I’m at the VMware Partner Exchange conference now. The pre-conference boot camps have finished up, and the “main” conference is starting. As part of the pre-conference events, VMware made several product announcements, including:
- vSphere 6.0
- vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Extensions
- VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO)
- VSAN 6.0
I’ll give an overview of each below.
This was, for me, the most-anticipated of the announcements. It was also the biggest of the Partner Exchange announcements, and the biggest vSphere announcement ever. There are a total of over 650 new features in vSphere. Rather than go through them all, I’ll only list my most-favorite ones, in no particular order:
- Cross-vCenter vMotion
In earlier versions, this could only be done as a cold migration, but with vSphere 6.0, this can be performed on a running VM.
- Hardware-Independent Long-Distance vMotion
vMotion was the VMware feature that gave most of us our first “Wow” moment that made us realize the power of virtualization. Long-distance vMotion, the ability to move a running VM between distant data centers — with no application downtime — takes that power of virtualization to the next level.
- Support for 4-way Symetric Multiprocessing
This provides for the ability to support the feature described below.
- Fault-Tolerance (FT) support for VMs with up to 4 vCPUs
I haven’t seen much Production adoption of VMware FT. I think that this is partly because, up until now, FT has been limited to VMs using only 1 virtual CPU. In vSphere 6.0, FT will support VMs with up to 4 viirtual CPUs. I predict an increase in adoption of this feature.
- Support for NFS version 4.1
NFS4,1 can now be used for data stores. This includes support for NFS4.1 features like multipathing and authentication via Kerberos. In 6.0, not all vSphere storage features will work with NFS4.1 (e.g.: Storage DRS), but support is roadmapped for future vSphere releases.
vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Extensions
vCloud Air is the name of the product formerly know as VMware Hybrid Cloud Service. The vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Extensions allow vCloud Air to be used in conjunction with various public cloud providers like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO)
This provides for full OpenStack support with vSphere. The VMware Integrated OpenStack will be provided for free to Enterprise Plus customers.
Don’t let the numbering confuse you (the current version of VSAN is 1.0). VMware has jumped the numbers so that VSAN and vSphere can match.
VSAN 6.0 includes:
- Support for VSAN clusters of up to 64 nodes
- Support for all-Flash VSAN nodes
- Support for JBOD
- Enhanced blade server support
- Enhanced snapshot features
VMware Integrated OpenStack will be GA on 24 February.
Both vSphere 6.0 and VSAN 6.0 will be GA on 3 March.
vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Extensions will be GA sometime in Q2 of this year.