This week VMware have been holding its annual conference in San Francisco, as usual VMware have used this opportunity to release a number of new updates and changes to it suite of products.
The day one keynote started with the hand over of the reins from current CEO Paul Maritz to incoming CEO Pat Gelsinger
One of Pat Gelsinger’s first announcements as a CEO was the removal of the VRAM allocation from the licensing model, this was met by applause and cheers from the audience. Realisticly we hadn’t seen many issues with the VRAM policy but we had certainly seen customers need to purchase a higher licensing model than was required for the functionality they needed, particularly within the Essential bundles. This change in policy may also be a hard pill to swallow for those that upgraded their licensing model to meet the VRAM policy. But largely I think this will allow VMware to continue to be competitive in the industry against the likes of Microsoft.
The first product announcement on the day one keynote was the vCloud Suite.
The vCloud suites are bundles of VMware products that gives you the full stack of software required to create your cloud
The suites are available in three flavours, Standard, Advanced and Enterprise Plus detailed as below.
All the suites include vSphere Enterprise Plus, Cloud Director and Cloud Connector, and “Standard” vCloud Networking and Security, the advanced suite then adds the advanced vCloud Networking and Secuirty features as well as vCenter Operations Advanced.
The differences between vCloud Networking Advanced and Standard is as follows >> http://www.vmware.com/products/datacenter-virtualization/vcloud-network-security/compare-editions.html
The final Enterprise Plus edition adds vCenter Charge Back, Config Manager, Infrastructure Navigator and vFabric Application Director. The introduction of these suites certainly makes the purchase of products easier and more defined.
Pat Gelsinger handed over to CTO Steve Herrod to talk about the new technical product updates, one of the first announcements was the increase in girth for the monster VM
Realistically I image these maximums are way over and above most customers workloads but it certainly adds to the fact that all workloads should now be able to be virtualised, the most impressive one of these figures is probably the ability for an individual VM to be able to cope with in excess of 1million IOPS.
vSphere 5.1 includes a number of new features these included
- Enhanced vMotion
- Enhanced vMotion adds the ability to be able to vMotion a VM without shared storage, basically the ability to be able to storage vMotion and vMotion at the same time. This certainly adds to the functionality of vMotion and introduces new possibilities for those without shared storage or with multiple SANs ETC.
- New Web Based Client
- The web based client has been completely redesigned and is now the favoured method to administer your vCenter, the standard Windows client is still available at the moment but you will find that most of the new 5.1 functionality on exists in the new web client. I have been lucky enough to be part of the vSphere 5.1 beta and whilst getting used to the new client took awhile I could fine my way around it a lot easier and in certain situations found it a lot faster than the Windows client
- vSphere Data Protection
- Gone is the previously bundled vSphere Data Recovery product and we now have a new bundled backup product based on EMC Avamar technology. Im looking forward to playing with this product to see how it compares to the likes of Veeam and indeed vSphere Data Recovery.
- vSphere Replication
- Previously only bundled with SRM 5.0, vSphere Replication is now available with VMware Essentials Plus and above, allowing you to replicate your VM’s to another ESXi host up to every 15minutes, this certainly adds a new opportunities particularly to SMBs and Branch offices that would previously only be available through SAN based replication, SRM or another third party product. This is something that Microsoft are introducing in Hyper-V 3.0 so you can see why VMware have had to include this.
- Zero Downtime Upgrade for VMware Tools
- Subsequent VMware tools updates after 5.1 will no longer require a VM reboot, so hopefully gone will be the excuse that the VM Tools are out of date because you havent been able to reboot a VM.
These are just a taster of some of the updates and I will do some more dedicated hands on blog posts with these features soon, for a more extensive list check out the whats new white paper here >> http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/products/vsphere/vmware-what-is-new-vsphere51.pdf
vSphere 5.1 Licensing Updates
Other than the removal of the vRAM restriction there is also a number of other licensing changes, one of which is a new vSphere Standard with Operations Manager bundle, in my mind this is aimed to compete with Microsoft HyperV 3.0 with System Center directly. There are also a number of changes such as storage vMotion and FT are now available as low as Standard where as previously they have only been available in Enterprise. vShield Endpoint is now also bundled with Essentials Plus and above which certainly makes the AntiVirus solutions that plug into Endpoint more affordable. One other thing that I noticed is that the VSA (Virtual Storage Appliance) now appears to be bundled with Essentials Plus and above, previously this was a seperate SKU only available for the Essentials Bundles. Full details on the licensing can be found here >> http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere_pricing.pdf
vCloud Director 5.1
There were also a number of updates to vCloud Director which has now been bought up to date with the version number of vSphere, vCloud Director goes from 1.5 to 5.1 and adds a number of new features including
- Support for vSphere 5.1 (No Supprise There)
- Software Defined Storage – vCloud Director is now aware of storage profiles as defined within vCenter, A primary VDC (Virtual Datacenter) is able to consume all storage tiers, the organisation administrator is then able to define a default storage tier which can then be overridden by the vApp author as needed for the requirement of the vApp.
- Software Defined Networking
- Usability Enhancements
- Snapshot functionality as a cloud consumer
- Load balancing as part of the VCNS Gateway
All the details for the vCloud Director update can be found in this white paper >> http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/Whats-New-VMware-vCloud-Director-51-Technical-Whitepaper.pdf
One of my key goals for 2012 is to get up to speed with vCloud Director, I have had the opportunity to use it as an end user on a number of occasions and have completed the VMworld labs but I am going to concentrate on the architecture and administration now and will blog as I learn more.
SRM also features an incremental update adding a number of improvements, check out the blog post here for more information >> http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2012/08/srm-5-1-and-vsphere-replication-as-a-standalone-feature.html
I was really happy to see that Essentials + would now be supported with SRM, I have a number of customers who use Essentials Plus or were forced to but a higher edition just because they wanted to be able to use SRM.
vSphere, vCloud Director and the vCloud Suite 5.1 will be available as of September 11th 2012