VMware launches product barrage centering on vSphere 5

VMware hopes its view of the dynamic data center will win out. Unfortunately, it still focuses solely and only on X86 even though the data center is much broader than one type of system.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

VMware launched a product barrage today that included updates to vSphere, vShield, vCenter Site Recovery Manager, vCloud Director and the vSphere Storage Appliance. My ZDnet colleague, Ken Hess, presented his initial impressions in Go VMware Go: vSphere Goes to 5. I'm going to look at launch from a different perspective.

It is clear that the thought behind it is to continue to improve the company's position in the technology surrounding its flagship product, VMware ESX hypervisor. This product launch touches on cloud services management, security, disaster recovery, processing optimization and storage virtualization.

What's new?

VMware announced updates to the following products:

  • VMware vSphere 5 — product includes updates to the hypervisor and improving granularity of management, adding new APIs so that virtual storage can be better linked with physical storage, it also has increased awareness of storage arrays
  • VMware vShield 5 — adds the ability to better manage sensitive data that is contained within a given virtual machine
  • VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5 — improvements to disaster recovery capabilities
  • VMware vCloud Director 1.5 — adds faster provisioning of virtual machines, improvements for security, improvements for simple cloud management, and the ability to deal with hybrid (on and off premise) clouds
  • VMware vSphere Storage Appliance — Improved storage I/O management

The company also announced changes to its licensing moving from a physical system-based licensing model to a VM-based model.

Snapshot analysis

VMware appears to have addressed many of the feature issues I've heard when talking with VMware customers and partners. The improved features and capabilities are likely to be welcome by VMware customers.

VMware also seems to have started in the direction of addressing the licensing grumbles I've heard.  We'll have to all see if this amounts to a VMware tax on the data center, however.

What hasn't changed is VMware's view of what is in the data center. It is clear that VMware has a rather narrow view of the data center that only includes industry standard, X86-based systems and storage supporting those systems. Most data centers, however, include mainframes; midrange systems running UNIX or a single vendor operating system such as IBM I; as well as power management, cooling, networking and storage equipment. So, VMware still has not addressed the bigger problem facing most medium and large companies.

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