VMWorld – vSphere 5.5

As usual my comments are my own.

Given that it is is VMWorld this week and also I am not able to attend, maybe next year, I felt it was time to highlight some of the announcements to come out of the conference.

I found the content of the key note interesting this year, continuing the drive towards the software defined data center, I think the decision to make the products a 5.5 release shows where the focus has been (more in the network/storage space). Whilst engineering limits have been increased, there is nothing ground breaking in the core products (please feel free to disagree with me). vSphere 5.5 for instance has some new features, for instance the scale out of VSAN for example. Here is a quick overview of the updates, (more details can be found here: http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere/VMware-vSphere-Platform-Whats-New.pdf)

  • Enhancements to the use of processor C-states
  • Increase in the VMDK size to 62 TB
  • Permanent Device Loss AutoRemove
  • Full 16GB FC support
  • VMFS Heap Improvements
  • Increase in the number of support vCPUs 
  • vSphere Flash Read Cache
  • 40GB NIC Support

That is just highlight. Some of these bring VMware in line with other hypervisors, some of them are response to common issues I have witnessed on platforms, the PDL autoremove is a great addition. I have seen an issues with a single LUN take whole clusters offline.

So where is the focus right now, well it seems in the following two areas:

1) Software defined networking (building on the previous work already completed)

2) Software defined storage (to rival a number of vendors starting to offer these products to the enterprise, e.g. Gluster)

So where too next with vSphere, still the core VMware product, are we due for another core change to the internal architecture that will allow the product to scale with greater ease? I think so, but remember that is just my opinion.

It also seems to me that in other areas such as network and storage the focus is fantastic, how can we remove scaling limits. These are really game changing technologies especially in the service (cloud) provider space. The big question for me is as we push up a level in the storage/network space how do we:

1) Ensure compliance 

2) Ensure security is maintained, remember these solutions have to be rock solid from a security perspective.

Anyway, enough for today. I am going to be keeping an eye on the other announcements and I will write something more detailed around the introduction of VSAN in my next blog.

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