Editorial & Analysis
Also by this author
28 Aug 2013
With the announcement of four new product announcements from its user conference in San Francisco, the virtualisation specialist stakes its claim for leadership in the emerging software-defined data centre space.
Software is the future of the data centre and hybrid is the future of cloud: these are the two messages coming over loud and clear from virtualisation company VMware’s user conference in San Francisco, VMworld.
In his Day One keynote on Monday, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger spelled out for the audience the company’s vision of the software-defined data centre, or SDDC. The SDDC may start with compute power, Gelsinger told 22,000 attendees at the company’s tenth annual conference, but it also includes storage and networking, with a hefty dose of management automation thrown in for good measure.
And those that insist that virtualised data centre workloads have already reached saturation point are just plain wrong: “We’re not done until every app, every database, every big data applications and every physical server becomes replaced by virtual infrastructure,” he said. “That is our passion, and we will continue to drive compute virtualisation until it is 100 percent virtualised for the data centre.”
To back up its bold claims, the company has used the gathering to launch a number of products designed to push adoption of its SDDC vision. These will fundamentally redefine the hypervisor and its role in the data centre, according to Raghu Raghuram, executive vice president of cloud infrastructure and management at VMware. Those products are:
Incorporating technologies acquired in VMware’s 'July 2012' purchase of Nicira, this network virtualisation platform is designed to manage and secure networks via software. This will enable IT admins to treat the physical network as a pool of transport capacity that can be consumed and repurposed on demand. It will be available in the fourth quarter of 2013.
VMware Virtual SAN
VSAN enables vSphere to cluster the solid state disks (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs) from between three and eight servers to create a shared pool of storage, directly from the hypervisor itself. It could be used to support virtual desktops, test-and-dev storage needs, big data projects and disaster recovery processes - all at a lower total cost of ownership than current options, according to the company. It will be available via a free public beta programme in the third quarter of 2013.
VMware vCloud Suite 5.5
The latest version (5.5) of the vCloud Suite focuses on enabling customers to build private cloud infrastructures in SDDCs. It is built on the foundations of vSphere 5.5, and enhancements with this version include vSphere App HA, to detect and recover from application or operating systems failures, and VMware vSphere Flash Read Cache, that virtualises server-side flash in order to lower application latency. The new version also supports configurations twice the size of previous ones in terms of CPU, memory and NUMA [non-uniform memory access] node limits. It is licensed on a per-processor basis, starting at $4,995, and will also be available in the third quarter of 2013.
VMware vSphere with Operations Management 5.5
This product, launched earlier this year, combines the latest version of vSphere with additional insight into workload capacity and health, so that admins can monitor and manage overall health of their environments. It is offered in three editions, Standard, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus, with pricing starting at $1,745 per processor.
The products, said Raghuram, represent the next wave of innovation at VMware. “We continue to evolve the software-defined data centre architecture to address IT’s critical needs - enabling them to build infrastructure that is radically simpler and more efficient, while delivering the agility and flexibility to support the velocity of their businesses.”