Podcast Season 5

VMware’s Journey into Edge Computing with Saadat Malik

Perhaps no company is more important to the datacenter than VMware, but how are the company’s technologies applied at the edge? This episode of Utilizing Edge features Saadat Malik, VP and GM of Edge Computing at VMware, discussing the evolution of VMware at the edge with Brian Chambers and Stephen Foskett. The discussion delves into the evolution of VMware’s presence at the edge, highlighting the differences between datacenter and edge environments in terms of people and technology. Malik emphasizes the importance of outcomes and product-focused mindsets in edge environments, as well as the constraints posed by limited physical resources. VMware’s technologies in connectivity, storage, security, and management are showcased as key enablers of successful edge computing. The episode also touches upon the growing significance of AI and machine learning at the edge and the need for standardized solutions to drive edge growth and transformation.

Perhaps no company is more important to the datacenter than VMware, but how are the company’s technologies applied at the edge? This episode of Utilizing Edge features Saadat Malik, VP and GM of Edge Computing at VMware, discussing the evolution of VMware at the edge with Brian Chambers and Stephen Foskett. The discussion delves into the evolution of VMware’s presence at the edge, highlighting the differences between datacenter and edge environments in terms of people and technology. Malik emphasizes the importance of outcomes and product-focused mindsets in edge environments, as well as the constraints posed by limited physical resources. VMware’s technologies in connectivity, storage, security, and management are showcased as key enablers of successful edge computing. The episode also touches upon the growing significance of AI and machine learning at the edge and the need for standardized solutions to drive edge growth and transformation.

Hosts and Guest:

Stephen Foskett, Organizer of the Tech Field Day Event Series, part of The Futurum Group. Find Stephen’s writing at, on Twitter at @SFoskett, or on Mastodon at @[email protected].

Brian Chambers, Technologist and Chief Architect at Chick-fil-A. Connect with Brian on LinkedIn and Twitter. Read his blog on Substack.

Saadat Malik, Vice President and General Manager of Edge Computing at VMware. You can connect with Saadat on LinkedIn. Find out more information on VMware’s website or check out what’s coming at VMware Explore 2023.

Follow the podcast on Twitter at @UtilizingTech, on Mastodon at @[email protected], or watch the video version on the Gestalt IT YouTube channel


Stephen Foskett: Welcome to Utilizing Tech, the podcast about emerging technology from Gestalt IT. This season of Utilizing Tech focuses on edge computing which demands a new approach to compute, storage, networking, and more. I’m your host Stephen Foskett, Organizer of Tech Field Day and publisher of Gestalt IT. Joining me today as my cohost is Mr. Brian Chambers. Thanks very much for joining me today Brian.

Brian Chambers: Yeah great to be here. I’m Brian Chambers, I’m the chief architect at Chick-fil-A and I also do a good bit of writing about technology at, The Chamber of Tech Secrets.

Stephen: The chamber is that where you’re broadcasting from today is the Chamber of Tech Secrets.

Brian: Yes it is, it is a bit of a chamber so we’re working on it. Yeah the new house, new room, new chambers.

Stephen: So we’ve been in tech, both of us, for awhile and I’m sure if you hear the name VMware, a certain thought comes into your head right Brian? I mean what do you think of when I say VMware?

Brian: Yeah I think back to actually my early days working at Chick-fil-A when we used to provision all of our virtual machines on the second floor in like a physical data center that was inside of our office at Chick-fil-A in Atlanta and I remember like emailing people details about the virtual machines I wanted, those were all VMware. So that’s what I think back to early experience spinning up stuff. It was way cooler than doing everything physically. But definitely a lot has changed since those days too. So that’s mine, what about you?

Stephen: Yeah I think a lot of people have this sort of notion that VMware, oh that’s about, that’s you know virtual machines, you know VMS in the data center, etc. And absolutely that was my first experience with it as well. It was a transformative technology. But of course VMware has changed quite a lot since then. I’d like to… we do a lot of work with them as part of Field Day and I like to say that just like some other big tech companies if little bits of it were cut off it, they would also be big tech companies. So like if the VMware Networking stuff was its own company, it would be like a big tech company, the same with their storage, the cloud stuff, I mean they’ve got a lot of things going on, operations, they’ve got their Kubernetes stuff. It’s not the not your father’s VMware, is it?

Brian: Yeah or maybe not even mine anymore.

Stephen: So it’s changed and that’s why we’ve decided to ask to join us here on the podcast today Saadat Malik from VMware to come and talk about it now. Welcome to the show and you’re not a long time VMware, you’re bringing some fresh ideas in here are you?

Saadat Malik: Stephen, Brian, thank you for having me here. Yes I am very new to VMware. I am I’m here in Austin right now, where I live with my wife and two daughters and VMware I’m the vice president general manager of edge computing and I’ve been here about three months now and prior to this I was running intelligent edge at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and then prior to that IoT at Cisco. So the common theme here in these roles that I’ve been involved with is IoT and edge so that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 19 years. I’ve seen the ups and downs of this area, I’ve seen the good and the bad, and I’ve seen the dreams and the realizations so here I am.

Stephen: Well it’s important I think to get a VMware’s perspective on edge and specifically on far edge and IoT and so on because I feel like you know VMware is one of the 800 pound gorillas of the data center. In fact, VMware may be THE 800 pound gorilla of the data center in the cloud because basically there’s almost no company that isn’t involved in VMware and yet I think a lot of people might ask, you know, what’s the relevance of VMware to the edge. So I guess how did we get here? How has this evolved? How has the use of virtual machines at the edge evolved?

Saadat: It’s a great uh it’s a great point right? So VMware as a company right has done a phenomenal job of helping our customers do better in terms of how we are doing compute in the data centers, how we are managing that, how we are orchestrating that, how we are getting the applications, and the outcomes achieved in the data center in a very friction-free manner, right? So it’s been… that has been a journey that our customers have been on and VMware has been partnering with them. So what’s happening now is that there’s a shift taking place in the industry. This has been going on for a while but it has been accelerating quite a bit. COVID helped accelerate this further. The shift is from the centralized data centers to the edge and when I say edge, right, it has different meanings in different contexts but edge for example, an example of it is factory floors right? So there is factory flows that are getting a lot of digital technology. They are their branches of banks which are getting a lot of instrumentation. There’s a lot of stuff that is happening at the edge and VMware, you asked why, what is the VMware’s relevance in this Edge area, well our customers want VMware to come and help them achieve the same level of friction-free experiences that they have enjoyed from VMware in the data center in these Edge environments. So our retail customers for example, right, they are putting servers in their stores. They want to do all sorts of fancy things, right? They want to see where the customers are moving around in the store and help them get the right products at the right time. So we are essentially creating helping these customers of ours, the retail store in this example, create the experiences that they need for their end customers in a way which is easy, which is standardized, which is secure, which is scalable, and we’re making this happen in the same way that we’ve done it in the data center. So if these customers of ours are familiar and comfortable with how VMware does things for them in the data center, this is nothing new for them. This is a continuation of that story, just done within the constraints of the edge.

Brian: Now you just mentioned data centers and I imagine a lot of people will bethinking about their experience with data centers perhaps the cloud where we’re used to you know big servers, lots of resources available, perhaps like horizontal scaling, things like that. A lot of that stuff is different at the edge, right? Can you share a little bit about how you think about the edge being different and then maybe how VMware is tailoring their solution overall to meet some of those differences and some of those challenges that might exist at the edge? Because it is the same in a lot of ways right but it’s also in a lot of ways very different, you know, at the edge right?

Saadat: You’re absolutely right it is the same but there are also major differences, right, so when I think about the edge and I’ve been in this area for 18-19 years now, looking at how Edge has.. was and how it is evolved and all. Edge is different in two main ways, right. The first thing has to do with people. So the folks who are responsible for Edge environments, for factory floors, for oil rigs, for retail stores, these folks are not the typical folks that tech companies like VMware are used to working with right. These are often business owners, these are factory floor managers, folks who are very hands-on with the actual outcome that their company is trying to produce so for, let’s say a car manufacturer, right, They they are the people who are running the data centers, right. Those are the IT folks that we are used to dealing with, but then there are these people who are on the factory floor, who are running the factory environments which are producing the cars that they’re selling and bringing in the box. So edge is a lot of the differences that tech companies like VMware see when they enter this space is the difference in the buying centers, the difference in the people, the customers, the clients, that they have to work with very different mindsets these people are very uh focused on the safety and security of their employees because these are physical environments where there is a threat of harm all the time. They’re conscious about regulatory constraints and they also are conservative in terms of how quickly they move on to new technology areas. They want to try things, they don’t want to break something which is working. So that’s the first part right. That’s the people’s side which is different. And then there is the technology side, right, which is different at the edge as well where as we pointed out right their constraints in terms of the size of hardware that you can deploy in these environments. Often their constraints in terms of how big a server that you can put in there, the constraints in terms of connectivity often there. It is not the same as what you get in data centers. The constraints in terms of how the physical security is handled. It’s not the same kind of safe physical location that you see in data centers, very different kind of environment, so there are differences in terms of technology as well which go from simple, how the hardware is located and connected all the way, to how the protocols are, their protocols which might be very different from what a typical IT person might be used to. So that’s a, in a nutshell, right, if I were to describe it, that’s the people and the technology, the differences, and for a company to be able to meet the needs of its customers in this area, it has to address both those aspects. It’s not sufficient to produce technology that meets those needs and forget about who is going to actually consume that and similarly having a relationship on that side but not having the technology is meaningless either.

Stephen: Yeah it occurs to me that the people at the edge are generally not IT people. They’re focused on business outcomes and customer satisfaction and get, you know, getting the job done and not as, you know, and not focused on the technology like people in the back office may be and that’s one of the things that came up in our last episode as well where we had to think about how can we reframe all of the things that we do in terms of as IT, both in terms of specifying requirements but also specifying solutions and figuring out how to deploy things in a way that is very outcome focused and very, you know, very use case focused rather than thinking about things in terms of the typical technology. Is that right?

Saadat: Yeah absolutely. so I’ll put a caveat in there right. So when I started off in this space, right, looking at electric utilities manufacturing 18-19 years back, there was a massive gap, massive difference between with IT folks were and where as we described the OT people, operations technology people, or the line of business owners or the line of business owners were still trying to figure out the role that technology would play in doing their day-to-day right and of course the IT people, they were very comfortable with running their traditional data center environments and not so worried about how that technology was getting used on the factory floor, for example, or in a substation for an electric utility. Things have changed. Obviously it varies by vertical, but things have changed right? So there is a convergence that we have started, that started to happen with IT folks realized that they could have a much bigger impact if they focused on where the company was actually producing the stuff which made them the money and the line of business, operations folks also realized at the same time the look there’s technology which can change the game for them, make them more differentiated and accelerate accelerate their growth in a meaningful way. So that convergence has been happening at varying paces in various verticals but it is certainly happening the result of all this is that we are seeing a significant change in terms of how people how people think about technology and how they consume that technology to drive outcomes. Outcomes was always the focus for the line of business people. At the edge, they wanted to make sure that any discussion they were having, it was focused on what they wanted to get done that day, that quarter, that year. However they have now realized that they can leverage technology to make those things happen in a much more meaningful way than they used to when their understanding of technology was somewhat less in the in the years gone by. So there is an evolution that has been happening and we are very happy to see that both sides have come together to achieve bigger things for their employers.

Brian: As a follow-up to the talk a little bit about technology and maybe some of the differences that exist at the edge, what’s VMware’s position or your position on how people deploy applications to the edge and we’ve talked a lot on this podcast about the importance of applications, you know, the central thing that matters when you think about the edge, we put them there to make sure that there’s availability and latency and such. What do you guys think of as the right way to deploy things at the edge? Is it a virtual machine, you know, going back to the roots? is it a container based, you know, and Kubernetes? Is it something different? How are you thinking about that today?

Saadat: My perspective, Brian, on applications that the customers need to deploy to achieve the outcomes, it really depends upon the customer’s needs, right? So different customers depending upon what their needs are, what the constraints are, we’ll go with different methodologies. It also depends upon where they are in the evolution on the data center side because there are lots of customers who want to have the same look feed and experience on their in their environments as they become used to from a devops perspective from other angles in their data center environment. So that again depends upon how much of a convergence is happening between the IT and OT and how much of an experience they want to have. I think the bigger thing here from my perspective is the emergence of what we call Edge Native Applications, right? So there is the whole aspect of taking applications that work in the cloud today and how they operate or in the data center and thinking, rethinking those for the edge, right, where there are constraints in terms of compute, in terms of connectivity. There’s also distributed environment where there might be a need for applications to talk to each other more often they’re also risk constraints in terms of people who might be using these applications in these edge environments. They might not be as savvy about it as some of the people that we are used to having, so that edge native application that paradigm is shifting very rapidly and when we say, you probably have heard people say, right, that within a few years, within two or three years, seventy percent of the data would be produced and processed at the edge, right, not in the data center, but at the edge. So the question then becomes the applications that are gonna process this data, they’re going to display this data for people to partake, how are they going to evolve. So I think that’s the that’s the key thing as a company we are focused on as we’re building this edge compute platform for our customers, to take take advantage of we’re making sure that we are thinking about this edge native application paradigm and enabling that as opposed to enabling applications that they the way they were constructed in the years gone by.

Stephen: So there are going to be differences to these applications and fundamental differences then from traditional datacenter applications and I think that that’s an important thing because as you mentioned it all has to do with the constraints that you mentioned. So connectivity capacity, human resources, and when it comes to connectivity there’s all sorts of things, latency, throughput, data transfer, and yet there as we’ve discussed in the past, there’s also more data being collected, Especially when it comes to industrial IoT where there’s a lot more sensor data, there’s video data, and so on. So there’s maybe a lot more processing happening at the edge as well. So what is the, I guess, maybe it’s too early to ask you this but what is the VMware message when it comes to what kind of compute you need at the edge?

Saadat: Yeah that’s a great question. So VMware is a customer driven company, right, so we are looking at what the customers need at the edge and we are driven by those requirements. So there’s no one-size-fits-all here right? There are edge environments which mimic almost what small data centers look like and there are edge environments which are very different right? If you look at a factory floor you see all these PLC’s, IPCs, HMI on the factory floor which are very different, these are computational devices as well but they look very different from a typical server sitting even underneath somebody’s desk. So we are looking at ensuring that the customers who have these varying needs, we are able to help them take advantage of our capabilities in whatever environment they have. So I’ll give you an extreme example right? We are involved with customers who are engaged in battlefields. So in the battlefield, right, some of these constraints that we’re talking about, they’re taken to the next extreme, right, so they are not just in terms of size and in terms of connectivity but in terms of ruggedization. They might have constraints in terms of battery usage they might be significant constraints so we would work with them to address those issues in that scenario, in that specific environment. So we will we have a platform edge compute stack as we call it that platform is the underlying foundation. On top of that then we would customize it for the specific needs, whether it’s in the battlefield, whether it’s in the oil array on the oil rigs, or on the plants floor in the retail environments so there’s no one-size-fits-all. It depends upon the customer needs and we as a company are ready to address those needs as their arise.

Brian: So tell me a little bit about things that you’re seeing emerging in the space. I know in our world which is retail based at Chick-fil-A, one of the big things that we’re thinking about right now at the edge is moving away from, well not moving away from, but doing more than just kind of general purpose compute. We have a history of running containers there for business applications, but there’s some emerging things in our world like computer vision use cases or things like that that are making us think about some of the stuff that maybe isn’t traditionally at the edge, like artists with GPUs and things like that. What are you kind of seeing in the industry, whether it’s in the manufacturing world or battlefields or oil fields or elsewhere? What are you seeing emerging right now and what are some of the trends that people who are deploying solutions at the edge maybe right now should really be thinking a lot about and considering in their architecture and what’s VMware kind of bring to the table in that regard?

Saadat: Yeah that’s a great question Brian so here’s the thing, right, AI machine learning right now is is on everybody’s mind right? Everybody’s thinking about how we can take advantage of AI machine learning capabilities for their specific environment right? So you guys are looking at it for your locations, every customer that I speak with right they are interested in understanding how they’re going to take advantage of whether it’s computer vision, whether it’s analyzing some of the data that they’re gathering or even interconnecting pools of data to get new insights. So there is a lot of focus on that and I think that’s going to be an emerging area and edge is going to play a very critical role in that so the amounts of data that are being generated by devices at the edge, there’s a proliferation of sensors, compute has become cheap, so there is an amazing amount of data that is going to be generated in the next few years right, and the ability to take that era and push it somewhere else is really very limited. So edge is going to become the focus of where a lot of the, not just the inferencing but also some of the training will happen for these models. So we are as a company are very focused on becoming the standard platform at the edge which enables our customers to take advantage of the AI machine learning capabilities that you’re looking for. Some of these capabilities, some of these solutions we will build for them right so if there are some very specific use cases which a lot of our customers are asking for which take advantage of AI machine learning we will build that entire stack for them. But in other situations what we will do is that we will enable those capabilities, right. So you talked about GPU right? So if the customers are looking for GPU sharing right how do we enable that for them if they’re looking for event correlation between various applications with a lot of data? How do we make that happen? So there’s a lot of a lot of things that we will enable for these customers which is going to be key. I will point out there that this is not a road which does not have challenges. There are challenges. There are privacy issues, there are customers are going to run into their regulatory issues there are security issues that people will have to think through, and those are things that we are willing to, that we will be partnering with our customers to figure out overtime so we are in this journey with them right now. There’s a lot of excitement around AI machine learning we want to capitalize on that bring that to our customers in a meaningful way but at the same time we’re cognizant that there are challenges that need to be addressed along this way and we’re working with our customers to address those challenges.

Brian: Just as a fun follow-up, I’m curious, do you have an opinion on do we ever see a large language model or just language model inference living at the edge for certain use cases or is that always a cloud thing? Do you have any any opinions on that?

Saadat: I think everything is going to move to the edge at some point.

Stephen: Yeah I would agree with you on that um I definitely think that there’s that those are going to live in in the edge as well. What do you think Brian?

Brian: Yeah I mean when I talk about this topic I always think it comes back to at least in our type of environment like business continuity and if you want to do language model things that are actually critical to running your business maybe like taking orders in a restaurant it just feels like there’s going to have to be a time where you can keep doing that even if you don’t have an internet connection. Maybe the answer is that people invest a lot more in redundant connections and such but it just feels like it’s probably inevitable that at least some use cases live at the edge instead of just in the cloud. that’s where I’m at right now right now anyway.

Stephen: It does seem like on device hardware and it is going to be able to do the inferencing as you mentioned at the edge. I mean we’re already seeing that. I mean I’ve got, you know, most, actually I’ve got all the open AI models running on my laptop for experimentation purposes and if they run fine on a MacBook they’re going to run fine on on an edge server. One of the things that I want to get at, setup is many people may not be aware that VMware has very specific technologies around things like, you know, you mentioned GPU sharing. VMware has GPU sharing technology already. Another thing that we’ve talked about on this podcast is the sharing of network connections and dynamic basically applying SD-WAN to the edge. Again VMware has technologies there and I’m Mr. Storage so I would I have to mention that VMware has really wonderful storage sharing, advanced storage sharing capabilities sort of sand less multi-node storage. I could see all these Technologies being applied at the edge as well. Is that what you see?

Saadat: Absolutely Stephen. I think from my perspective right if you look at these Edge environments you can look at edge compute as kind of the central thing right, that people want to leverage at the edge but they are key pieces around that which are very important as well, right. So four key pieces right there is the connectivity piece which is fundamental right. There is no Edge until you can connect. Now it doesn’t have to be the type of connectivity that you have in data centers but it has to be some type of connectivity. So there’s the connectivity piece having that in a secure manner. There’s a storage piece right, so your ability to store is going to become more and more critical as time goes on where you may not be able to move data back and forth because of the sheer quantity of data in some cases. And then there is the security aspect right so you need to be able to risk manage this entire edge environment in a way which makes sense, right. This is not the same type of security that you see in in our traditional IT environment. This is not confidentiality, integrity, availability in that order. Often our customers are looking for availability first, integrity second, and confidentiality third in these types of scenario. And last but not least manageability, ability to visualize the environment is fundamental to success at the edge far more than it has been in the data center. So being aware of the situation what’s happening, say you have 5000 stores being able to understand which store is doing what especially when stores are sharing data back and forth and dependent upon each other to make business decisions. So these like five things right with the compute in the center, the management, the security, the storage, and the connectivity around it all these areas right, VMware is very focused on helping customers address. So VMware is making sure that we are engaged in all these five areas and moving the ball forward for the customers in the context of edge, not in the traditional IT context but in the context of the operations environment where we understand what the people need the line of business owners and we bring the technology to where to make this work in an as constrained environment.

Brian: What do you think are some of the most interesting emerging challenges that maybe haven’t been solved at the edge so far? What’s on your mind there?

Saadat: Some people might find this boring but I’ll say it anyway. So I’ve been involved in the manufacturing space for a very long time right. Then we started off when there was very little being done on the plant floor, right, and over time our customers started becoming more, I mean, initially they just wanted connectivity right, put wireless on my plan pro so my folks can at least have their phones connected right. It was that type of thing and then involved right the evolution happened and we started doing quality assurance on the plant floor. We started doing predictive maintenance of the machines on the floor. So some of the lower hanging fruit right, we started addressing. So what’s happening now is something very interesting and this is not the first time it has been tried in the manufacturing space this is probably the second or third major attempt at this and that has to do with how do you fundamentally change how you produce something on a plant floor right. So let me become more specific, right. Think about car manufacturers right. They have these car manufacturing plans where they have production lines where a specific car is made and they have these PLC’s programmable logic controllers and other devices which basically make sure that the robots are moving the right way, they’re welding in the right place, and they’re kind of, you know, sanding in the right area, and all that good stuff. So the idea is, right, that can we take this very hardware focused environment with these PLCs which are hardware devices, HMI devices, industrial PCS, can we take them and convert them into a more software focused environment. So what that will do is, right, that now if you have a production line which makes a certain type of car and all of a sudden you realize that the demand for a different type of car, that’s also part of your portfolio has increased dramatically. You can actually change the software on that production line to change the type of car that you’re making now. That’s the game changer right? That basically changes so this is like like saying that somebody who runs 100 meter sprints all of a sudden starts doing weight lifting, right. It’s a different ball game altogether, but that’s what this flexibility that software brings. So if you can bring that to them in a safe manner in the regulatory constraints, they have in a manner that allows them to achieve their outcomes without disrupting their business, they will take that. The platform managers will take that. But that’s the big shift I’m starting to see happen. We’ve tried this a couple of times before in this vertical, in the manufacturing space but I’m feeling now that the time is right with the level of understanding that both IP and OT have that they’ll make it happen this time around.

Stephen: Yeah that point actually does is not you said maybe this doesn’t sound interesting. That sounds very interesting because man we were… we’ve been talking about this quite a lot as well in terms of bringing enterprise rigor, IT rigor to these edge environments in terms of processes and practices and man PLC’s, if you talk to people in the security space, that is one of the things that they are extremely worried about and so when you talk about basically ensuring, you know, availability, integrity, and confidentiality for PLCs, absolutely I think that that’s going to be a huge thing a focus and a huge Market in the industrial IoT space.

Saaday: Yep, no you’re exactly right. I think where we see is some of these verticals especially on the industrial side is where our data centers were maybe 30 years back. And the good news though is that we have gone through that journey before right. We have as IT folks right, we have gone through the journey. So now as you’re partnering with these Anno businesses we know some of the things that will go wrong we know for example that you cannot have security as an afterthought we have learned that lesson right. We have been through those pains right where we where we used to think okay let’s build it and then we’ll worry about secured later. We know it doesn’t work so now we can make sure that as we’re partnering with our clients in these environments, in the industrial environments and they as they’re evolving, we are bringing that mindset to them rather than them having to learn it from experience.

Stephen: So as we wrap up here, what should people be thinking of if they hear the name VMware, they thinking Edge, what should their their first thought be, what should they be thinking of in terms of VMware at the edge?

Saadat: That’s a great question. I think from my perspective the Nirvana would be right as they are thinking about it I would like them to of course think about what business outcomes they want to achieve, what will make them successful, what would make them better at what they are doing right. So that’s obviously the first thing as they’re thinking about that right. I would like them to think about VMware as a company that has been very successful in making IT organizations a lot of technology companies very successful in achieving those outcomes for many many years. So what I would like them to be thinking at that time is that if they want to accelerate their growth if they want to transform their business. VMware is the business that can provide them with a standardized way of doing things at the edge, a standardized way where scale is not an issue, security is not an issue, operational efficiency is not an issue. all of those things are handled for them by VMware as a company in the context that they operate in right. So we don’t want we will not make them feel like they’re out of place in this environment. We will actually understand how they think, how they talk about stuff, talk in their language, and how do they make the change at the edge that they want. So it’s about their success it’s not about us, it’s about their success, how they think they can be successful and then I would like them to think of us as the trusted partners at the edge. We may not we as a company as most IT companies right, we may not be the most we may not have the most expertise in the specific business that they have but they will find us willing partners to learn and make them successful

Brian: Yeah for me I think my take away from this conversation is I think back to the days where we worked with data centers with our own infrastructure and things like that and like it’s hard, it’s really hard to do and that’s why a lot of companies were really excited to have things like VMware back in those days and then companies were very excited about, you know, moving their infrastructure and things to the cloud. I think from this conversation we’ve kind of explored that there’s a lot of things about the edge a lot of problems that are really similar and have a lot of the same types of solutions even that we needed in the days of running our own data centers and such also at the edge. The edge is almost like a little mini data center with a bunch more constraints that make it way more difficult actually to operate successfully. You don’t have the people, you need you don’t have the connections you want, etc. So definitely having like building blocks that you can start stacking because like we’ve done a lot of it from the ground up and it takes a lot of time and it’s difficult so finding good building blocks you know primitives or even whole solutions I think is really great for people who are getting started today like the the edge industry has come a really long way and um and I agree with what we talked about a lot but I think more and more things are just going to move to the edge by nature of needs for lower latency better user experiences manufacturing and you know industrial use cases even retail. They’re all driving more and more workloads right to the site most of the users to make those great experiences happen and uh yeah I think you need you need things to build on top of um to do that successfully so I enjoyed hearing about how VMware is contributing to that conversation and the types of solutions they’re bringing.

Stephen: And as for me, I feel like I want to get back to sort of the third of this conversation here and say yeah I think it’s easy to say VMware oh yeah that’s about compute. And sure we’ve talked a lot about the fact that uh virtual machines are needed at the edge because we’ve got to run a diverse set of applications and just like VMware saved us in the data center by letting us run our weird old Bizarro applications in a VM virtual machines at the edge you can run weird Bizarro applications there. But there’s a lot more to the story than that there’s the technology here and the thing that I’m going to be watching out for is I’m really going to be keen on seeing how VMware applies some of these Advanced Technologies in terms of the other topics that you mentioned in terms of connectivity and storage and security and management, how those Technologies are applied at the edge because I know that the VM thing is great and I know that it’s in the name but the thing that I’m really interested in seeing how these other technologies are applied. So thank you very much Saadat for joining us today on Utilizing Tech. As we wrap up this conversation where can people connect with you and continue this conversation on edge computing and any other topics you’re interested in?

Saadat: Absolutely I really appreciate you folks having me. So the next big event that we are planning to do is VMware explore in August where some major announcements coming you will see some fairly groundbreaking stuff in terms of how we are going to be helping our customers change the way they take advantage of the edge. Everybody knows the edge, edge is the next big thing we’re going to help our customers see how we’re gonna revolutionize the way that they take advantage of this so VMware Explore in August in Las Vegas.

Stephen: Excellent I will be there I look forward to seeing you there and look forward to seeing our audience there as well. Brian how about you what’s new with you in the Chamber of Tech Secrets?

Brian: Yeah just writing about whatever is interesting or lately it feels like whatever Kelsey Hightower tweets about is what I end up writing about. But yeah, nothing nothing big on the horizon I’m going to be home for a little bit, conferences this summer, so looking forward to being around relaxing a little bit. We talked about it before but I just uh got married this past weekend so I guess that’s big and exciting to mention. In general you can find me in the usual places Brian Chambers on LinkedIn, I think I’ve cornered that market, Chamber of Tech Secrets, And then of course Chick-fil-A Tech blog out there as well you can just Google for that one. So yeah you can find me in those usual places and uh yeah hope you will.

Stephen: Excellent and as for me, you’ll find me here at every week, on Mondays with Utilizing Tech, on Tuesdays with the On-Premise IT podcast, and on Wednesdays with our Rundown of the week’s tech news. You’ll find that in your favorite podcast application as well as on YouTube at Gestalt IT Video. Also I will point out that we will be doing another Edge Field Day event, looks like we’re trying to set a date that’s not a conflict for people, so right now we’re looking at the first week of October maybe. We’ll be announcing more about that here on the podcast as it arrives and as I mentioned also I will be at VMware Explore. I’m very much looking forward to that. We’ve got VMware presenting at Tech Field Day at VMware Explorer along with some other companies and we’ll be doing some videos from there as well so stay tuned for that. Thank you for listening to Utilizing Edge, part of the Utilizing Tech podcast series if you enjoyed this discussion please do subscribe. You can find us in pretty much every podcast application and also please do give us a rating in a review it helps. This podcast is brought to you by your home for it coverage from across the enterprise. For show notes and more episodes go to or find us on Twitter and Mastodon at Utilizing Tech. Thanks for joining and we will see you next week.