Coding for the future of U.S. national defense

The rise of software factories across the Department of Defense illustrates the art of the possible in developing applications and services across multiple clouds.

Hock Tan is President and CEO of Broadcom Inc. He also serves as a member of The President’s National Security and Telecommunications Advisory Committee.

Since we announced our intent to acquire VMware last year, customers have expressed to me their excitement about VMware’s momentum around cloud-native software applications in its Tanzu business. Tanzu is a central part of VMware’s software portfolio and its multi-cloud strategy and will remain that way after Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware closes.

The future of enterprise IT is multi-cloud — the ability to distribute applications and services across a combination of clouds. A combined Broadcom-VMware will empower customers, including federal government agencies, to modernize and architect their IT infrastructure with large-scale, secure, and reliable yet flexible solutions. 

The move to multi-cloud is changing the way modern software applications are designed and built. Kubernetes clusters, which VMware’s Tanzu business enables, have become a core component of modern software applications, making them more resilient, easier to manage, and capable of running in internal environments and between different clouds. As a result, government agencies can accelerate the speed and agility of innovation within their organizations in a multi-cloud environment.

VMware-enabled software factories

VMware customers are leveraging Tanzu to run some of the most mission-critical cloud-native applications in the world, including applications used by government agencies that are essential to national security. The battlefields of tomorrow are digital domains, which means the tools essential to a country’s national defense have to be both physical and virtual.

That vision gained significant momentum in December when the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) announced a $9 billion investment in a multi-cloud infrastructure across all domains and classification levels. Even before this major move to multi-cloud, VMware’s Tanzu Labs has already been at work assisting DOD in building its digital defense capabilities by going cloud-native, engaging in workforce reskilling, and developing software. VMware Tanzu Labs partners with organizations worldwide to accelerate the delivery of software and modernize legacy apps while reducing operating costs and risk, working side by side with customers to build capabilities, transfer skills and knowledge, and instill a process that shows immediate and lasting impact. In a short time, Tanzu Labs has made an immediate and lasting impact on DOD’s efforts to use all its tools, virtual and physical, to protect U.S. interests.

That impact began seven years ago in response to the growing potential of digital confrontations with adversaries. Tanzu Labs sought to work with DOD to improve speed and agility in software development, starting with increasing the digital proficiency of U.S. soldiers and service personnel. With no existing footprint of tools, practices, or personnel, DOD and Tanzu Labs were starting from scratch when they first stood up a VMware-enabled software factory within the U.S. Air Force — and did it in only 120 days.

Today, the U.S. Air Force Software Factory is now self-sustaining, employing more than 1,200 people who build mission-critical systems that will increasingly leverage a multi-cloud strategy. The DOD has followed suit by standing up additional software factories within the U.S. Space Force and the U.S. Army. Tanzu’s methods of enablement helped create a learning environment within the factories that provide foundational knowledge to soldiers, airmen, sailors, guardians and government civilians. The mission objective is self-sustaining factories that can continuously deliver enterprise-grade software into the hands of constituents.

Building on VMware Tanzu’s work with DOD

DOD’s software factories are just scratching the surface when it comes to cloud-native application development and the future of virtual national defenses. With its multi-cloud strategy very much in the initial stages of development, DOD is building and deploying more modern applications every year.

Modernizing legacy systems as part of DOD’s move to multi-cloud is a national security imperative. Through its partnership with Tanzu Labs, DOD is poised to succeed by continuing to invest in software factories that build, secure, and deploy cloud-native applications for its national defense and warfighting capabilities. It’s a model that is also drawing the attention of other U.S. government agencies similarly embracing multi-cloud environments. Upon the close of Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware, we will remain committed to this partnership with DOD. We look forward to building similar mission-critical collaborations across the U.S. government.

Learn more about Broadcom’s innovations for the federal government here.

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