VMware Delivers Networking, Storage Portions of Its Cloud Promise

From VMworld 2013: CEO Pat Gelsinger confirms delivery that aims to fulfill a vision to fully virtualize the enterprise.

(San Francisco) VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger's keynote to the still-sleepy contingent of VMworld 2013 attendees in San Francisco this morning offered up confirmation rather than revelation, as the mostly filler with a bit of news hovered around the release of several new products and services as well as major point-releases. The goal of these releases is to fulfill a vision to completely virtualize IT services and obliterate the kludgy, expensive world of client-server computing.

"There are more people, more apps and more data, placing huge demands on the infrastructure," said Gelsinger. "These trends and the pressure on IT are requiring you build the future, cloud mobile era, but it also demands that you liberate resources from the client-server world."

Of note was the release of these four products in various stages of availability:

  • VMware NSX -- available at end of 2013
  • VMware Virtual SAN -- public beta to come in Q3 2013
  • vSphere with Operations Management 5.5, and vCloud Suite 5.5 -- available now

VMware NSX technology comes mainly as a result of VMware's acquisition of software-defined networking company Nicira a year ago. Nicira's CEO, Martin Casado, was quickly folded into VMware as CTO of Networking Software at that time. This morning, he did the honors of describing how his former company's technology was used as the leverage to build up VMware's SDN strategy. Included in the strategy is VMware vCloud Network and Security, to tie up the loose ends that there aren't any holes in the architecture.

NSX essentially encapsulates products and services into a hypervisor kernel so that network complexity can be fully managed as easily as software. Gelsinger described it as a technology that will allow it to help companies achieve complete virtualization.

If the morning had one surprise, it was the Virtual SAN technology. Still under development, it's already getting the support of the majority of storage vendors at the show. Simply put, it's software-defined storage in a SAN-style configuration. vSAN pools server-side SSDs and HDDs in a scalable pool of compute and storage resources, with those resources managed and consumed through policy-driven VMs via a distributed architecture. Virtual SAN will be beta tested in Q3 2013.

vSphere 5 isn't that new, but many of the features included with the .5 release are, with features having impact on vSphere with Operations Management and vCloud Suite. New is the ability to hot-swap SSDs on a running vSphere host; VM compatibility features between ESXi 5.5 and vSphere 5.5; single sign-on security updates; support for 62TB VMDKs, support for Microsoft Cluser Services (such as Windows 2012 support; use of iSCI with shared storage, among others).

VMware has news on each release here.

Quick Hits:

HyTrust announced an $18.5m cash infusion that, according to president/co-founder Eric Chiu, will allow the company to accelerate growth of its sales and marketing groups. The company also announced version 3.5 of its HyTrust Appliance.

FalconStor showcased its Continuous Data Protection and Network Storage Server solutions at VMworld. CDP and NSS debuted a week prior to the show. New is Windows 2012 storage management support, enhanced DR automation through its RecoveryTrac technology; and some updates to how NSS manages storage on devices using VMware vStorage APIs for Array Integration.

Splunk demonstrated its Splunk App for VMware 3.0, which it released a week ago. The app provides real-time health monitoring of VMware environments across the broad spectrum of hosts, VMs and virtual datacenters.

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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