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Press Releases

September 29, 2020 | ChannelPro

VMware Unveils Project Monterey: Re-Imagining Hybrid Cloud Architecture to Support Next-Generation Applications

New Initiative to Extend VMware Cloud Foundation to Support SmartNIC Technology for Increased Performance, Distributed Security and Consistent Operations for All Applications

Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo to Deliver Solutions Based on Project Monterey Using SmartNICs from Intel, NVIDIA and Pensando Systems

VMworld 2020 — Today at VMworld 2020, VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) announced Project Monterey—a technology preview focused on evolving its architecture for the data center, cloud and edge to address the changing requirements of next-generation applications including AI, machine learning and 5G applications. VMware is also announcing that it is collaborating with ecosystem partners to deliver solutions based on Project Monterey including Intel, NVIDIA and Pensando Systems and system companies Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Lenovo.

“Organizations are introducing increasingly sophisticated applications from cloud-native to machine learning to streaming apps that are distributed and data intensive”

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“Organizations are introducing increasingly sophisticated applications from cloud-native to machine learning to streaming apps that are distributed and data intensive,” said Rajiv Ramaswami, chief operating officer, products and cloud services, VMware. “We’re announcing Project Monterey to help customers address the shifting requirements of next-gen apps. By re-imagining the architecture of the data center, cloud and edge, we expect to offer customers the freedom to run these apps in the best environment.”

At VMworld 2020, VMware is delivering a range of solutions and services to help customers survive and thrive in the most turbulent market in generations. VMware’s cloud, app modernization, networking, security and digital workspace platforms form a flexible, consistent digital foundation on which to build, run, manage, connect and protect applications, anywhere.

Introducing Project Monterey to Address Next-Gen App Challenges

As organizations modernize existing apps and deploy news ones, traditional IT architectures are being stretched to meet their unique requirements. Next-generation apps spanning 5G transformation, cloud native, data-centric, machine learning, multi-cloud and hybrid apps distributed across environments have produced new challenges for IT organizations; including consuming an ever increasing amount of cycles on the server CPU—impacting performance.

To tackle these issues, organizations have adopted specialized systems with hardware accelerators such as graphics processing units (GPUs), field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and network interface cards (NICs) with offloading to support the performance and security needs of new apps. These accelerators have improved performance but led to siloed teams, specialized skills, increased total cost of ownership and introduced new levels of complexity and security requirements.

VMware is unveiling Project Monterey to help organizations address the increasingly complex application landscape. The initiative will span:

  • Support for SmartNICs: VMware is evolving VMware Cloud Foundation (VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN and VMware NSX) to support SmartNIC technology (also referred to as data processing units or DPUs), a new architectural component that offloads processing tasks that the server CPU would normally handle. By supporting SmartNICs, VMware Cloud Foundation will be able to maintain compute virtualization on the server CPU while offloading networking and storage I/O functions to the SmartNIC CPU. This will allow applications to maximize the use of the available network bandwidth while saving server CPU cycles for top application performance. VMware has taken the first step of this evolution by enabling VMware ESXi to run on SmartNICs.
  • Platform Re-architecture: VMware will rearchitect VMware Cloud Foundation to enable disaggregation of the server including extending support for bare metal servers. This will enable an application running on one physical server to consume hardware accelerator resources such as FPGAs from other physical servers. This will also enable physical resources to be dynamically accessed based on policy or via software API, tailored to the needs of the application. Additionally, because ESXi is running on the SmartNIC, organizations will be able to use a single management framework to manage all their compute infrastructure whether it be virtualized or bare metal. The decoupling of networking, storage, and security functions from the main server allows these functions to be patched and upgraded independently from the server.
  • Security: With Project Monterey, VMware can further deliver on its vision for intrinsic security. Each SmartNIC is capable of running a fully-featured stateful firewall and advanced security suite. Since this will run in the NIC and not in the host, up to thousands of tiny firewalls will be able to be deployed and automatically tuned to protect specific application services that make up the application—wrapping each service with intelligent defenses that can shield any vulnerability of that specific service. This will enable a custom-built defense that can be automatically tuned and deployed across tens of thousands of application services. Additionally, Project Monterey will enable enterprises or service providers supporting multiple tenants to isolate tenants from the core infrastructure.

Project Monterey will enable organizations to adapt data center, cloud or edge environments for application-specific performance, availability and security needs. Additionally, the initiative will extend VMware infrastructure and operations for all applications—reducing the need for specialized systems, teams and management tools—which in turn will be able to reduce overall complexity and TCO.

Globally, telcos are increasingly leveraging the VMware Telco Cloud platform to virtualize and containerize their 5G network deployments. Project Monterey will help them further accelerate their buildout of highly-efficient fully-virtualized 5G infrastructure that will be essential to deliver the advanced, innovative services expected on 5G networks.

Industry Leaders Support Project Monterey

Project Monterey has garnered broad ecosystem support to deliver flexible, integrated solutions. VMware is collaborating with Intel, NVIDIA and Pensando to leverage their respective SmartNIC technologies as part of Project Monterey. Dell Technologies, HPE and Lenovo will deliver integrated systems based on Project Monterey.


Project Monterey is a technology preview. VMware is not announcing availability at this time.

Supporting Quotes

“At Equinix, our investments in SmartNIC and related proximity networking technology form an important part of our global, interconnected infrastructure strategy. We’re excited about the potential of VMware’s Project Monterey to deliver security and performance for next-generation applications while simultaneously unifying infrastructure and operations for our customers.” – Zachary Smith, managing director, Bare Metal at Equinix

“With today’s incredibly fast pace of new application innovation, there’s an opportunity to rethink the underlying IT infrastructure. We believe the enterprise of the future will comprise a disaggregated and composable environment. Working closely with VMware on Project Monterey, using SmartNIC technology, together we are one step closer to delivering the next level of performance, consistent operations and intrinsic security required in next-generation infrastructure across edge, core and cloud locations.” – Paul Perez, SVP and CTO, Infrastructure Solutions Group, Dell Technologies

“We have worked closely with VMware for almost two decades to deliver joint solutions to more than 200,000 customers and over half a million VMware licenses. Project Monterey expands our partnership with VMware and includes our strong collaboration with Pensando to offer high-performing and secure HPE servers that target emerging workloads for telco, HPC, AI, edge, and more, with the VMware Cloud Foundation that is validated for the Pensando Distributed Services Card (DSC). The combined solutions will offer customers choice to accelerate innovation with flexibility, agility and reduced TCO for any data center experience, from the edge-to-cloud and delivered more securely as-a-Service.” – Krista Satterthwaite, VP, Compute Product Management, HPE

“This collaboration is a great opportunity to expand our long-time strategic partnership with VMware enabling next generation infrastructure. With VMware’s software stack and Intel’s data centric server platform and networking expertise, we’ll expand the customer value and flexibility SmartNICs can provide across the industry.” – Patty Kummrow, VP Data Platforms Group & GM Ethernet Product Group, Intel

“Our collaboration with VMware on Project Monterey will bring exciting new capabilities to our ThinkAgile VX systems. We will continue to simplify the experience of operating and maintaining Lenovo ThinkSystem solutions portfolio with our plug-in for vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM). Project Monterey will enable new innovation in our system designs to enable stronger data protection and provide new ways of dynamically provisioning resources. With the new Project Monterey platform, our ThinkAgile VX systems will be able to run full virtualization, and provisioning to run bare-metal VMware Tanzu for maximum performance, high-velocity time-series databases, AI/ML and advanced analytics workloads.” – Greg Huff, chief technology officer, Data Center Group, Lenovo

“Modern applications require a new architecture that brings more intelligence to the hybrid cloud. NVIDIA GPU-accelerated computing powers AI, data science, HPC and graphics workloads, and the NVIDIA BlueField-2 DPU integrated into VMware Cloud Foundation enables VMware customers to bring the breakthrough performance, security and programmability of a data processing unit to their enterprise data centers to accelerate every application.” – Manuvir Das, head of enterprise computing at NVIDIA

“We founded Pensando on the belief that the massive growth in data and need for distributed services created by emerging technologies such as 5G, IoT, and AI, would require a new approach to enterprise, SP and cloud infrastructure. Our vision for the Pensando Distributed Services Platform has always been that of a programmable, scalable, low latency, highly secure platform that not only improves the performance and capabilities of the server platform, it is key to simplifying data center operations and the delivery of next generation applications. This makes us a natural fit for Project Monterey and we’re very pleased to have been chosen to partner with VMware on the delivery of true Application Driven Infrastructure.” – Prem Jain, CEO of Pensando

Additional Resources

News at VMworld 2020

Read a summary of today’s news from Chris Wolf: VMworld 2020: Innovating with the Expectation of Change

About VMware

VMware software powers the world’s complex digital infrastructure. The company’s cloud, app modernization, networking, security, and digital workspace offerings help customers deliver any application on any cloud across any device. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to being a force for good, from its breakthrough technology innovations to its global impact. For more information, please visit

VMware, vSphere, ESXi, NSX, Tanzu, VMworld, VMware Cloud Foundation, and VMware vSAN are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.


Eloy Ontiveros
VMware Global Communications
+1 (650) 218-9589

Emily Mullen
Archetype for VMware
+1 (212) 331-8422

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