Today VMware announced the next version of its vSphere cloud operating system, a "suite" including a few existing products products and a new storage solution for SMBs. The products are expected to be available in Q3 2011.
The announcements follow stepped-up competition from Citrix, which just acquired Cloud.com today.
vSphere 5 represents a roughly fourfold increase in performance capacity for its virtual machines. vSphere 5 will support virtual machines with up to 1TB of RAM, up to 32 virtual CPUs and will be able to process over 1 million I/O operations per second.
Other new features in vSphere 5 include:
- Built-in i/o control at the virtual machine and application level (not to be confused with i/o virtualization)
- Automatic deployment of virtual machines based on pre-defined policies
- Profile-driven storage, which enables administrators to create policies for different storage configurations
- Expanded automatic load-balancing capabilities
VMWare VP of Product Marketing Bogomil Balkansky says the automation capabilities go beyond those included in systems like HP Blade Matrix by truly automating the process and not just creating wizards. He also says that thanks to the vSphere API, users will be able to use vSphere from within their existing IT management systems.
VMware is also simplifying its licensing by supporting pools of virtual memory instead of licensing based on physical memory per server.
Cloud Infrastructure Suite
The suite, at this point, is is a suite in name only; customers will still need to purchase each product separately. According to VMware Chief Marketing Officer Rick Jackson, the products will become a more cohesive suite over time. The idea is to build a set of related products, create seamless integration between them and update them as a whole.
To that end, each part of the infrastructure suite is getting a few updates:
- vShield 5: VMware's security, control and compliance system will include 80 pre-defined templates based on the country and industry specific regulations. Admins will also have more granular control over policies for segmenting applications and data into trusted zones.
- vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5: VMware's disaster recovery product is getting virtual machine level replication capabilities and fully automated failback capacity that can move users to a backup machine and and then back to the original production machine automatically.
- vCloud Director 1.5: VMware's virtual data center management product is getting the ability to deploy virtual machines from pre-defined templates, Microsoft SQL Server support and some new API features.
vSphere Storage Appliance
vSphere Storage Appliance is not actually a hardware appliance, but a piece of software designed to allow SMBs to use virtual storage instead of separate shared storage hardware when using vSphere. The appliance will make internal storage available as shared pools of storage.