VMware revamps datacentre tools

The company aims for the cloud with its next generation of datacentre-virtualisation tools called vSphere, and announces a new Intel deal

Virtualisation specialist VMware has introduced its next generation of datacentre-virtualisation tools, called vSphere, and announced its vCloud initiative.

Speaking on Tuesday at the VMworld Europe 2009 conference in Cannes, VMware president Paul Maritz said vSphere would let companies virtualise all their workloads.

"VMware vSphere will gradually replace our existing generation of infrastructure products," Maritz said, adding that the first elements of the new suite will be delivered later this year. "On top of vSphere will be the new vCenter Suite. The idea is in a series of steps to move closer and closer to the management of service levels."

The VMware chief said the software company would complete its rollout of VMware View virtual desktop products — which make it possible for desktops to be provided as a service — during the course of this year.

vCloud is an initiative to help companies deploy cloud computing internally while bridging to external clouds, Maritz said. "VMware's focus is on enabling our customers to run their datacentres as internal clouds and operate in a far more flexible and cost-efficient way."

In a statement, the company said it would be extending its VCD-OS virtualising operating system and publishing a vCloud API, already under closed development with partners, which it would submit to the DMTF (Distributed Management Task Force) for consideration as an open standard.

Maritz also announced a tie-in with Intel, based on the chipmaker's vPro technology. "Today we're announcing a formal partership with Intel to work together on a client-side hypervisor with the advantage of centralised management," he said.

The goal is to let all corporate desktops be provisioned using virtual machines. Most users would access their desktop using thin-client devices, but mobile workers, or those using specialised applications, could run the virtual machine on a laptop or powerful workstation.

"We will use our desktop virtualisation assets to enable laptops and powerful desktops to host virtual environments on these devices in a secure way," Maritz said. "We can send a desktop VM to a thick-client device, then trickle down the user's data and trickle back any changes to that data."

Maritz also said that vSphere's integrated availability and reliability would provide 100 percent fault tolerance.