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vSphere Wish List

VMware has a feature suggestion mechanism, but just ask Jason Boche if he feels that this vehicle is effective.

I've got a few wish list items that I'd like to see in VMware vSphere. These are based primarily on day-to-day tasks coupled with a preference to do everything in the vSphere Client. I'd like to see vSphere offer the following:

Storage vMotion to allow single VMDK migration and change to thin-provisioned discs. This can be done with PowerShell finesse, and a single VMDK migration can be done with the SVMotion remote command-line option, but we are at a point where it should be available in the vSphere Client. Ironically, the Andrew Kutz plug-in for VI3 did allow this functionality sans the thick-to-thin options.

FT virtual machines to protect against single instance storage. This is quite the lofty wish, but I would love to see FT functionality include an option to replicate storage to another VMFS data store. Ideally, this datastore would be on a separate storage controller or storage network. While FT protects at the host level, we are still locked on the single instance of the virtual machine on the storage. In my dreamboat armchair architect mind, it is a modified version of existing storage migration and changed block tracking features. To be fair, some hairy topics will arise when dealing with logical issues (array parity errors) on the storage system compared to hard failures.

Improved free virtualization offering. I'll make it very simple: Citrix and Microsoft have superior free virtualization offerings. There is definitely a market for free virtualization, and it does lead to bigger virtualization implementations. On a recent Virtumania podcast, Gartner analyst Chris Wolf and I agreed that the free offering by Citrix and Microsoft are leading in this category. In my dreamy world of an improved free offering, I'd see vCenter manage multiple hosts and virtual machines without all the features of the licensed editions.

Crawl the Microsoft stack. System Center and other Microsoft offerings are crawling around in VMware environments. Is it time to return the favor? To be fair, it would be a tremendous task to select applications and operating systems to manage within vSphere as well as a monumental political storm. This could include integration with Microsoft Clustering Services to fail-over systems based on infrastructure events.

Just ideas for what vSphere could do better.

What ideas do you have for vSphere and have you shared them in the online forum? Share your comments here.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 06/15/2010 at 12:47 PM


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