VMware CEO intros vCloud Suite 5.1 for software-defined datacenter

VMware's new CEO announced the company's the first solution to deliver a software-defined datacenter: vCloud Suite 5.1.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor on

SAN FRANCISCO -- In the space of four years, virtualization has evolved from being a growing approach to transforming IT into the default way of running applications, according to current VMware chief executive officer Paul Maritz while delivering the opening keynote at VMworld 2012 on Monday morning.

"We're going to see an equal transition in IT in the next four years as we've seen over the last four years," Maritz asserted, outlining three factors that transition will revolve around.

Maritz explained that includes the transformation of underlying infrastructure and what's happening in the data centers, the development of real-time applications and data, and how results are actually made available to end users.

Incoming CEO Pat Gelsinger continued that the next step for VMware is building out a suite of solutions for the software-defined datacenter, which VMware is debuting as vCloud Suite 5.1. Essentially, this means all infrastructure will be virtualized and delivered as a service as the datacenter control is entirely automated by software.

As a reminder, VMware and its parent company, EMC, are swapping executives. EMC has installed Maritz as chief strategist. Pat Gelsinger, currently president and chief operating officer at EMC, will take over as VMware CEO, effective September 1.

Boasted to be the first integrated soution for software-defined datacenters, vCloud Suite 5.1 includes the virtualization of not just networking and security but also storage and availability.

To put it into the simplest terms, VMware chief technology officer Steve Herrod explained that the three purposes for vCloud are creating clouds, deploying apps, and managing ongoing operations.

Gelsinger also remarked that by abstracting and pooling all datacenter services, VMware can automate the management of the environment by using policy-driven automation.

VMware executives announced a number of updates rolling out for their existing products that will be filtered into vCloud Suite 5.1, including vSphere 5.1. The latest version of the foundation of the vCloud Suite includes more than 100 updates and new features for better service when it comes to business-critical workloads, low-latency, and I/O-sensitive apps.

Along with support for virtual machines with up to 64 virtual CPUs, vSphere is also getting a new, full-featured browser-based web client for improved scalability, performance, and extensibility.

Herrod added during the morning keynote that the vCloud Suite represents a shift in focus from primarily virtual machines to virtual datacenters, working to ensure that running a virtual datacenter is just as simple as a VM.

One of example of how that could be done is with the new vCloud API, which Herrod described as a way to let customers build new as-a-service offerings that fit into the vCloud Suite model, allowing them to inherit the multi-tenancy model, permissions, and more.

Touting vCloud Suite as optimal for both public and private clouds, Herrod also highlighted that vCloud Suite should enable customers to easily deploy apps to these clouds with VMware's vFabric Application Director.

Cloud Ops: "A New Operating Model for IT"

Additionally, VMware's new cloud strategy includes the Cloud Ops Forum, a group of consulting and integration partners sharing knowledge with the end-customer community to realize greater efficiency. Some of the partners already signed onto the initiative include Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and EMC.

At the heart of this new direction is what Gelsinger referred to as a "new operating model for IT." That would be Cloud Ops, which consists of new cloud operation services designed to provide customers with collaborative assistance in analyzing, designing and implementing cloud solutions.

Cloud Ops includes more education offerings and certifications intended to expand upon in-house skills and experience with cloud environments as well as a VMware Architecture Toolkit (vCAT 3.0), a set of documents for helping customers construct a cloud platform leveraging recommended technologies, practices, and tools tested in real-world enterprise and service provider cloud deployments.

Editorial standards