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VMware vSphere 5 Now Generally Available

VMware's newest hypervisor upgrade officially released before the company's VMworld Conference taking place next week in Las Vegas.

VMware has made the newest version of its hypervisor, vSphere 5, generally available, according to a blog post by VMware product marketing group manager Michael Adams.

vSphere 5 comes with a long list of new features and improvements, all of them listed in a blog post by VMware Principal Architect Duncan Epping here. VirtualizationReview.com's "Virtual Insider" blogger Elias Khnaser, has been detailing a handful of those features, including VMFS-5 (#3 on Epping's list) and VAAI (#9-11), an improved Storage vMotion (#15, 25, 46), and Profile-Driven Storage (#24), to name a few, in a series of posts in recent weeks.

vSphere 5 was introduced in July with some minor controversy when the company released details regarding a new licensing model. Bloggers were quick to comment that a proposed change from a 256GB per-processor limitation in version 4 to a reduced vRAM per-processor memory entitlement based on which edition is purchased in version 5, was limiting.

"I completely understand why VMware changed the licensing model from a per-processor-with-core-limitation to the new model, given Intel's forecast for CPUs with 12 cores or more being a standard," blogged Khnaser. "But what VMware failed to understand is that it will cost me about three times as much to upgrade to vSphere 5 or to roll out a new environment."

Microsoft's Virtualization Team blog was quick to latch onto a term floating among the social networks that called the diminished vRAM entitlements a "vTAx." which caught on and helped to fan the virtual anger toward its bigger hypervisor competitor.

VMware relented in recent weeks based on the feedback they were getting from the VMware community and forums, and released new, higher-limit entitlements. Some comments in the blogosphere said the changes still don't go far enough, but bloggers like Khnaser consider the new pricing to be a "fair model."

"Hyper-V was cheaper than vSphere 4 and is most definitely cheaper than vSphere 5. Period, the end," said Khnaser. "People don't buy vSphere because it is the same price as Hyper-V or because Hyper-v is cheaper; people buy vSphere because of technology, feature sets, integration with storage, cloud and stability and performance. If that costs a bit more, then that is okay."

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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