VMware Clound Infrastructure Launch Live Event Overview

4 minute read

Another day that VMware has “raised the bar” for the virtualization community.  Today those of us who were online for the live event received a skim of the new features and changes coming to the vSphere and vCenter product lines, namely the new Cloud Infrastructure Suite.  Below you will find a short recap on the new key features along with some improvements divulged today.

The IT Transformation Journey

It is truly amazing to see the sheer growth and adoption of virtualization throughout the world’s infrastructures.  VMware CEO Paul Maritz broke it down into three separate functions or phases.  In each phase, he provided some shocking numbers on the adoption of virtualization as time goes on:

  • IT Production - VI3 Generation - 2009 30% of worlds server workloads running on virtualized infrastructures
  • Business Production - vSphere 4 Generation - 2010 40% of worlds server workloads running on virtualized infrastructures
  • IT as a Service - vSphere 5 Generation - 2011 projections of virtualization rise to ~50% of the computing load (Continue to accelerate this growth into the 3rd phase, need to amplify by transforming the way resources are allocated)

The Cloud Infrastructure Suite

The Cloud Infrastructure Suite is the new generation of Cloud Infrastructure products.  It is comprised of:

  • Built on vSphere 5 (High Performance Resource Control, Pooling and Scheduling)
  • vCenter SRM 5.0 (Business Continuity)
  • vCenter Operations (Monitoring & Management)
  • vShield Security 5.0 (Virtualized Security& Edge Functions)
  • vCloud Director 1.5 (Policy, Reporting, Self-Service)

vSphere 5

Everybody in the virtualization realm knew that today was going to be the day we hear official word about the next generation release of the famous hypervisor.  vSphere 5 brings us further into being able to virtualize larger applications in order to drive us more towards the end goal of IT as a Service (ITaaS).  Here are some of the first notable changes:

  • Up to 32 vCPU Allocation per VM
  • Up to 1TB of RAM per VM

Along with the above changes, VMware has brought us some new toys to effective push our virtualized infrastructures to a more automated approach.  Here is a list of those features:

  • Auto Deploy - This feature is built upon the PXE boot scenario.  Based on the information provided, deploying multiple hosts to scale can be done in mere minutes with little to no interaction needed.  This is ideal for shops that need to scale quick.
  • Storage DRS - As most of us are fully aware of the advantages DRS has brought us in the realm of the VM, VMware has now brought this awesome technology into the storage realm.  The ability to distribute your VMs based on I/O response times and so on amongst your storage resources.  I personally can’t wait to play with this technology.  This should bring great value to heavy I/O loads.
  • Profile-Driven Storage - This gives you the ability to create profiles that will determine what the storage needs or requirements have to be.  This will in-turn allow us to dynamically adjust storage actions such as Storage vMotion and creation of new VMs based on the profiles.  I see this being a great addition as well.

vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5

  • vSphere Replication - Brings costs of replication down to protect workloads utilizing typical network-based replicatio_n_.  This is geared more towards the smaller customers that are constrained by budget.
  • Automated Failback - Brings us into the world of automating just about every part of disaster recovery.  Personally, this is a huge success for those who are looking to implement SRM or already have it in place and plan to upgrade.
  • Intelligent Policy Management - Automated placement based on SLAs and other settings.

vCloud Director 1.5

  • Linked Clones - Allow for consolidation on the storage front to minimize and speed up deployments.  VM provisioning time knocked to around 5 secs.

vSphere Storage Appliance 1.0

  • SMB Market Targeted
  • Takes local storage and presents to all hosts as shared storage

vShield 5

  • vShield Edge - VMware has brought the ability to build static routes in vShield Edge.  This gives us more flexibility in designing virtualized networks topologies.
  • vShield App 5 - Sensitive Data Discovery can protect based on trust zones and compliance settings.  This will automatically scan and detect sensitive data in VMs.

Licensing Changes

I wanted to touch on the licensing changes coming but I don’t want to go into too much depth about it until I have a chance to really look at it.  Here are the upcoming changes in the licensing arena with the next generation of vSphere:

  • The physical constraints of licensing are being removed.
  • Unlimited physical constraints
  • Pooled vRAM entitlement (Amount of vRAM pooled across entire environment)
  • Moving from six to five packages, removed Advanced package.  Current Advanced licensed users are automatically upgraded to Enterprise

The event was definitely another great leap into virtualization and automation of our datacenters and the services we provide.  This pushes us closer to being able to truly server IT as a Service.  Sound off in the comments your thoughts on the above!

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