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During the VMware NOW – Live Launch Event with Pat Gelsinger (VMware CEO) and other executives there where several news also with new products.

The VMware vision announced (or confirmed if you prefer) during the last Partner Exchange was all around three main points: Software Defined Datacenter, Hybrid Cloud and End User Computing.

Most news (or the most important) are around the first point, considering that the several previous announces have already covered the Hybrid Cloud strategy and that the EUC will be probably covered better during the European VMworld edition.

Software Defined Datacenter

In the vCloud Suite 5.1 there were already some aspects related to this vision, but honestly was not possible define it a complete SDDC solution (at least for the storage and network aspects. Now there are important (and potentially distruptive) news on those two aspects!

Software Defined Storage

In the vSphere 5.1 suite there are already several technologies that help in storage virtualization and can (partially fit) in the Software Defined Storage definition:

Now two new Technologies redifine completly this aspects:

  • Virtual SAN (VSAN): a software-based storage solution built into the hypervisor that aggregates the hosts’ local storage devices (SSD and HDD) and makes them appear as a single pool of storage shared across all hosts.
    Virtual SAN provides the following capabilities:

    • Automated Storage Management via Intelligent VM based policies
    • Dynamic scalability to grow storage and compute dynamically on an as-needed basis
    • Integrated with vSphere and managed in vCenter
    • Built-in resiliency with protection from multiple hardware failures
    • Per-VM with SLA management via intelligent data placement
    • Instant storage provisioning without complex workflows
  • VMware Virtual Flash (vFlash): it adds the following capabilities:
    • Virtualizes multiple Flash devices to have that Flash managed as a single pool
    • Hypervisor based solution – no need for in-guest agents or any other modification to the guest OS or application
    • Accelerates application performance via a write-thru cache
    • Fine-grained control via per vmdk caching
    • Support for DRS-based vFlash reservations
    • Optionally vMotion the cache along with the VM
    • Integration with vSphere HA
    • Supports all kinds of datastores – NFS, VMFS and RDM’s

Interesting also what could be added soon: Virtual Volumes, Policy-based Management, and more.

Software Defined Network

Virtual switches, distribuited virtual switches (DVS), 3rd part virtual switches are already and example of network virtualization. But what about the physical networks?

The new NSX will be what ESX was for the physical servers: a virtualization and automation layer!

Lot of news and also several VMworld sessions are related with this announce. And probably there will be also a specific certification path?!

vCloud Suite 5.5

What? Why 5.5 and not 6.0? It’s funny that in the last years VMware has followed a tick-tock model in the realease of vSphere and now has choose to consolidate the products. Honestly I think that a better integration was needed and also more time to complete the upgrade process (several customers are still using vSphere 4.1!).

So this move it’s a good sign to build a better and rich suite and leave the new major realese probably for the next year.

New minor release mean no new certs or no new licenses? Not sure about this. VMware Operation Manager Suite as demostrate that also a new minor realease could mean several changes (in this case only on licences)… So let’s see.

vSphere Suite 5.5

Several improvement are included in this new release:

  • vSphere Configuration Maximum Increases: 2x increase from vSphere 5.1
  • Virtual Machine Compatibility ESXi 5.5 (vHW 10): with new features including LSI SAS for Solaris 11, New CPU Enablement, AHCI Controller Support
  • Expanded vGPU and GP-GPU Support: that include support for both Intel & AMD GPU
  • vMotion supported across different GPU vendors
  • Hot-Plug SSD PCIe Devices: Hot Add/Remove SSD Devices without any downtime
  • Support for Reliable Memory
  • Enhancements for CPU C-States: that permit to reduce power consumption
  • Support 40 Gbps Ethernets and also FC 16 Gbps end to end!

For more info see also: VMware vSphere 5.5 – New limits (almost huge!)

vCloud Director 5.5

Enhancements in this vCloud Director 5.5 release focus on the Content Catalog, vApp provisioning and lifecycle management, improved OVF import/export functionality and added browser support to include supporting Mac OS.

Andrea MauroAbout Andrea Mauro (2489 Posts)

Virtualization & Cloud Architect. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). PernixPro 2014. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014. MVP 2014. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.


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