What will be new in vSphere 5.1 & Introducing vCloud Suite

With the buzz of VMworld slowly coming to a close with only a few hours left now, I thought I would sit down and reflect on some of the information I have gleaned from VMworld 2012. The big announcement on Monday was the launch of vCloud Suite which allows its customers to create an agile data center, with the intelligence at the software level, extending it to networking, availability and storage, all of which will be contained with a single SKU.

The product is built around vSphere 5.1 and launches at version 5.1 itself. It includes existing products such as vCloud Director and vCloud Networking and Security, and the standard package will be available as a free upgrade to anyone paying an Enterprise Plus license fee for vSphere.

There are three versions to choose from beyond the Standard version vCloud Suite Advanced includes vCloud Operations Management (vCOPS), which automates the process of scanning alerts for significant incidents, making the operations manager’s job easier.

vCloud Suite Enterprise also includes vCenter Site Recovery Manager, which automates the process of recovering a virtual data center from a different site in the event of a disaster.

For more information see vCloud Suite Pricing and Packaging whitepaper

The other announcement which was met with massive applause by the 20,000 attendees at the main keynote was the killing of vRAM licensing models, VMware announced that they will be using a Per CPU model with no limits on the number of cores. Sitting next to me was a reseller who was not pleased with this approach but I guess he was within a very small majority, personally I like the approach as it follows the industry which most are using for pricing metrics.

The new version of vSphere will bring some new functionality and also some faster performance capabilities within the VM. Breaking away replication from Site Recovery Manager was also announced which I expect is to bring inline the functionality which Hyper-V v3 will also have. Looking at what new features are coming down the road although not ground breaking, will definitely attract its SMB and also Enterprise Customers too.

The other announcement which I was expecting as it effects products I look after for Symantec was that of the killing off of the windows vSphere Client, VIX or c# UI which ever you are familiar with. The Web Client will be the defacto standard of interaction with all products by the next major release. It still looks like Plugins will be the bane of this direction though as most vendors will have to re-engineer their plugins to Flex to be able to use the Web Client. The Web client does look good and brings management up to date with its look and feel and will also scale much better than the vSphere Client which can suffer from the White Screen of Death (WSD) if using in a large environment and multiple tasks are happing at once. Scalability will also be better with support for 300+ concurrent administration access too.

So while I start to work on dissecting my attended session reports, I will leave you with some docs which will highlight some of the new functionality coming down the line with the new release of vCloud Suite. Word on the street is that by mid Sept we should see the release go GA, just in time for VMworld EMEA in October.

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