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‘The Internet architecture at the edge has outlived its potential,’ says VMware’s new tech boss

As labs and research centres begin to put into motion the development of 6G, digital infrastructure operators and players are being urged to act now and build the foundations to support the next generation technology.

By João Marques Lima

Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

4 Mins

November 22, 2021 | 4:00 AM GMT

‘The Internet architecture at the edge has outlived its potential,’ says VMware’s new tech boss

VMware's CTO Kit Colbert. Source: VMware

The call came from VMware’s (NASDAQ: VMW) new global CTO Kit Colbert who points out to the fact that the Internet architecture of today, is not fit for what is to come.

Colbert wrote in a company blog: “Today’s Internet is optimised for server-to-server communication between data centres or clouds, which are usually located in remote areas where land and power are/were most inexpensive and easy to acquire.

“The problem with this architecture is that it does not effectively support the edge, where users and (increasingly) things are. Application architecture is becoming more distributed, with data being increasingly generated and consumed at the edge.”

He continued to say that applications need to be able to intelligently place app instances and data in the right places to optimise performance, experience, and cost.

“Unfortunately, today’s Internet doesn’t support this well,” he added. “In other words, the Internet architecture at the edge — as we know it today — has outlived its potential.”

To that extent, VMware has recently announced the formalisation of the Open Grid Alliance (OGA), a member-supported collaboration organisation that produces vendor-neutral strategies to re-architect the Internet with grid topologies needed to scale globally.

The original Founding Open Grid Alliance members include CBRE, Dell Technologies, DriveNets, MobiledgeX, PacketFabric, Vapor IO, and VMware. Twenty-seven other brands have joined sinte its formation in October, including Commscope, DartPoints, arm, Crown Castle, Intel, and AWS.

Commenting further, Colbert said: “Whereas today, services like content-delivery networks or concepts such as cloud regions or availability zones are overlaid on top of the Internet, the opportunity exists to build these capabilities directly into the network, making it more intelligent and reducing the burden on app developers.

“Such lofty goals will require input from a diverse collective that represents everyone, since we will need to fundamentally rethink the architecture and design — up and down the technology stack — for the next few decades. The path to 6G and beyond requires significant advancements of physical and digital systems through broad partnerships and true collaboration.”

Colbert has been appointed as VMware’s CTO last September to help with shaping the technical vision for the company, and the transformation to a cloud and subscription-centric R&D organisation.

He joined VMware in 2003 as the technical lead behind the creation, development and delivery of the vMotion and Storage vMotion features in VMware vSphere.

Throughout his tenure at VMware, he has served in multiple roles, including VMware’s Cloud CTO, General Manager of VMware’s Cloud-Native Apps business, CTO for VMware’s End-User Computing Business, and as the lead architect for the VMware vRealize Operations Suite.

VMware has also recently partnered with IBM’s spin-off Kyndryl (NYSE: KD) focusing on app modernisation and multicloud services.

The primary goal of the expanded partnership is to accelerate IT and business reinvention for customers through the combination of VMware solutions and Kyndryl’s design, build and managed services.

The companies also aim to help customers speed their digital transformations by rapidly building and deploying new applications designed and built for a world of distributed work.

Susan Nash, senior vice president, strategic corporate alliances, VMware, said: “Multicloud is the digital business model for the next 20 years.

“With the average organisation running hundreds of apps across many different clouds, customers need solutions and strategic partners that enable their organizations to be as agile and resilient as possible. This is the power of the VMware and Kyndryl partnership.”

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João Marques Lima

Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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