VMworld 2013

I appreciate the opportunity to regularly attend VMware events, both PEX (Partner Exchange) and VMworld. This year, I attended VMworld in San Francisco'a great platform for seeing the latest innovations, speaking with experts and taking sessions that teach about specific products.

This year's was the biggest VMworld convention ever, with 1000+ partners and 22,500+ attendees.

VMware made some excellent announcements, including the product launches of:

  • vSphere 5.5
  • Virtual SAN
  • NSX ' Network Virtualization
  • SDDC ' Software Defined Data Centre
  • vCHS ' VMware vCloud Hybrid Service

vSphere 5.5

This release has some nice new features. One'Latency Sensitivity'allows workloads sensitive to latency to get the best possible performance on vSphere. Such workloads include things like VOIP servers or trading applications.

There was also an increase in the maximum size of a virtual hard disk from 2TB to 64TB, which is welcome news. Also, speed and performance were increased'2x the number of cores and RAM. With these new enhancements, all workloads can be virtualized.

vSphere Replication was also improved. This product replicates data between data centres for disaster recovery and business continuity. It now performs between 2x and 5x faster than before. It also allows for multiple 'point-in-time' versioning'up to 24 snapshots.

Virtual SAN

Virtual SAN is a perfect solution for small- to medium- sized businesses. It allows local disk installed in each ESXi server to be used as shared storage.

For those who remember VSA (Virtual Storage Appliance), this is not that product'it is completely different and brand new. The VSA was an appliance that ran as a VM on each host while Virtual SAN is included at the ESXi hypervisor level.

Virtual SAN also provides customizable levels of redundancy with excellent performance. Each server can contribute disks to the cluster and if a server fails, the data is retained on other servers in the cluster. The only requirement is that each server that will contribute to storage must have at least one SSD drive to act as a read-cache and a write buffer.

NSX ' Network Virtualization

Just as ESXi abstracted the hardware layer of the server from the OS of the guest operating system, NSX abtracts the networking layer from the underlying switching infrastructure. It provides for a completely virtualized network environment that includes distributed switches, routers, firewalls and load-balancers. The control or management is also provided in a fully redundant fashion.

SDDC ' Software Defined Data Centre

This is the vision we are working toward'a datacentre defined completely in software, including compute, storage, network, security and management. The start of this product is available now as vCloud Director and future enhancements will make the total package a reality.

vCHS ' Vmware Cloud Hybrid Service

vCHS allows ESTI to sell a vCloud service to its customers, who can now seamlessly move their workloads from their private clouds to a cloud operated by VMware.

We look forward to continue to help our clients take advantage of the benefits provided by the VMware toolset.

Jim Nickel

VMware VCP5