Three Transformations Powering App Modernization

January 13, 2021 VMware Tanzu

The pandemic has accelerated digital business initiatives. Ultimately, it’s the application that delivers new capabilities to customers and employees; but transformation occurs at several layers to support those applications. At VMware, we see our customers navigating three transformations, each of which supports digital business and app modernization at different levels. 

Infrastructure transformation

Data centers are being automated and cloud migrations are accelerating. Organizations have the opportunity to optimize infrastructure operations, shift from capex to opex spending, and access elastic capacity with minimal friction. But the frictionless portability needed to realize this transition without disruption has been a challenge. Here, VMware Tanzu is part of a broader VMware solution for organizations to modernize from infrastructure up. 

With over 15 million workloads on VMware Cloud, VMware vSphere customers have a clear and simple path from private data centers into the cloud. In September 2020, we announced vSphere with VMware Tanzu and VMware Cloud Foundation with VMware Tanzu as the simplest paths to adopting Kubernetes. And we launched Tanzu Editions, which package capabilities from the Tanzu portfolio to directly target the most common challenges enterprises encounter in modernizing their infrastructure and applications. With VMware’s multi-cloud solutions and partnerships like Tanzu support for VMware Cloud on AWS and Azure VMware Solution, customers can modernize their data centers and simplify migrating to the cloud provider of their choice.

DevSecOps transformation

Alongside this data center transformation comes the need to support a shift in operating models. DevOps practices and continuous delivery are enabling business advantages to those who can deliver higher-quality code to production faster and more frequently. These practices depend on a tremendous amount of automation, for which an ecosystem of container-centric technology, the so-called “cloud native” ecosystem, has emerged. 

Meanwhile, security remains ever important but has often posed a challenge to rapid releases to production. Integrating security measures throughout the development and deployment lifecycle aligns the goals of DevOps and security. As such, DevSecOps has emerged as a unifying approach for enterprises, defining additional requirements within the cloud native ecosystem. 

But this cloud native container ecosystem is already large and complex. Assembling a complete solution from disparate projects and providers leaves companies with a huge amount of integration work and ongoing support effort. VMware, on the other hand, is uniquely positioned to deliver, thanks to the products we offer and the experts, technology, and services we’ve developed and acquired. 

In January 2020, VMware completed its acquisition of Pivotal and combined the company with the talent and technology from Heptio, Wavefront, and Bitnami to create Tanzu. Today, we’ve made Tanzu Advanced edition available, offering companies a platform that reduces developer toil and automates operational effort, all with a declarative, policy-based approach to secure how containers are built, how Kubernetes clusters are managed, and how services connect. Read more about Tanzu Advanced here.

The transition to DevSecOps is more than a technology stack. The experts at VMware Tanzu Labs have deep Kubernetes experience pairing with platform teams, helping them internalize modern platform-as-product practices. In September, we also launched KubeAcademy Pro to offer free, long-form training to practitioners looking to expand their knowledge and skills. To learn more about the value of DevSecOps and how to get started, check out this upcoming webinar with guest Sandy Carilli of Forrester Research and download her report on container security here.

Microservices and application pattern transformation

Atop the evolving data center infrastructure and DevSecOps platform are the applications themselves. To support more frequent changes, security best practices, and novel uses of data, these applications need to follow modern application patterns, such as microservices architectures and API-first design. But this is easier said than done. Many organizations are struggling with application modernization because of the complexity that comes with modernizing their large application portfolios. 

The obvious first application-modernization step for our customers is to assess which category each of their apps falls into. That’s why we’re so excited to introduce Project Iris*, which will deliver a more scalable approach to app modernization and be available soon. 

Project Iris discovers and analyzes an organization’s full app portfolio; recommends which apps to rehost, replatform, or refactor; and enables customers to adapt their own transformation journey for each app, line of business, or data center. For apps that fall into the replatform category, it simplifies the conversion of Java applications (using Tomcat, WebLogic, and WebSphere) to run in a Kubernetes environment.    

For applications that need more meaningful refactoring—or new applications built with modern practices and user-centered design—VMware Tanzu Labs works with customers and delivers modernization and software product design outcomes. During 2020, this extraordinary team of nearly 800 practitioners delivered 697 projects across platform and app services for clients such as Duke Energy and USMEDIC

This app-level transformation is more than a technology stack, and it needs to reach the millions of developers already supported by Tanzu today. If you're ready to start down this path, explore an App Navigator engagement with Tanzu Labs, or plan to attend SpringOne to learn the latest techniques and connect with other developers and app leaders bringing microservices and modern app patterns to organizations.   

*This information is provided without warranty or any kind, express or implied, and is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions regarding VMware offerings.

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