LightEdge Systems Engineer, Matt Patterson, is back from his annual trip to VMworld in San Francisco and brought back some highlights to share. Check out some of the announcements that were made in his blog below.
VMworld Highlights
By Matt Patterson, Systems Engineer
The big event for VMware admins around the world was last week at VMworld 2013. Kicking off the conference (besides the pre-parties) was the keynote given by the CEO of VMware, Pat Gelsinger.
The big announcements from the keynote were:
•VMware vSphere 5.5
As rumored, we didn’t see vSphere 6, but there were several enhancements here that caught my eye. A new VM version which now supports better vGPU and more device support (more disks per VM). vApp HA which checks for the presence of “heartbeats” from VMware Tools™ as well as I/O activity from the virtual machine. If neither of these is detected in the specified amount of time, vSphere HA resets the virtual machine. You will notice that many of the performance features have increased 2x except the vmdk which overshot and now supports 62TB-512b vmdks attached to a VM. I know several of my customers that will like that new feature. You can read more about what’s new in vSphere 5.5 here.
•VMware vCloud Hybrid Services 
General Availability Not really sure how to feel about this one yet. As a vCloud provider, they appear to be competing directly with me. And based on their 6 data center expansion planned for the next year (4 VMware DCs + 2 provided by Savvis), it makes it hard to think that they are going to throw us a bone anytime soon. At the same time, I do get it if you are an enterprise customer that has always trusted VMware for your infrastructure needs. Moving to the cloud is a bit scary to go with someone you don’t have that relationship with. VMware is your trusted partner here so why not go with them? What I would like to see is VMware say, hey Mr Enterprise, meet my partner here Mr vCloud who can fill this gap for you the same way that we can. Sure you lose the one throat to choke, but you keep partners happy while spreading the operational costs at VMware. It’s a pipe dream at this point, but that’s the approach I would have rather seen.
•VMware NSX
The Platform for Network Virtualization – We’re finally seeing the fruits of the Nicera purchase a year ago by VMware. Essentially, we have a new layer on top of existing physical networks that allows a true software defined network. What ESX did for compute resources, NSX hopes to do for network resources. VMware NSX brings together the best of Nicira NVPTM and VMware vCloud Network and SecurityTM into one unified platform, delivering the entire networking and security model (Layer 2 – Layer 7) in software. I don’t think that there is any avoiding the SDN. Where we used to have just VLANs separating customers, now we can have additional separation and isolation on top of existing networks as well as providing various services (Firewalls and SLB) with the click of a button. Should be exciting to see and I looking forward to turning a few wrenches on this in the lab.
•VMware Virtual SAN (vSAN)
Similar to VMware NSX, VMware Virtual SAN is built on a unique distributed architecture that will enable storage services to scale out linearly with the needs of the application. Through the seamless integration of VMware Virtual SAN with VMware vSphere, VMware has redefined the role of the hypervisor to deliver virtualized compute and storage services in an elastic, flexible fashion. The distributed architecture enables VMware Virtual SAN to deliver I/O performance comparable to mid-range storage arrays while leveraging the economics of direct-attached storage.
Additional announcements and details from VMware can be found on their website.