Bigger, Faster, Stronger
Herrod said that VMware vSphere 5 will support virtual machines that are up to four times more powerful than previous versions, with up to 1TB of memory and 32 virtual CPUs. These VMs will be able to process in excess of 1 million I/O operations per second, which will far surpass the requirements of even the most resource-intensive applications, Herrod said. "vSphere 5 also has three new features: intelligent policy management to support a 'set it and forget it' approach to managing data center resources, including server deployment and storage management," Herrod said. "With this, customers now can define policies and establish the operating parameters, and vSphere 5 does the rest."vShield 5 enables the identification of risk exposures resulting from unprotected sensitive data, isolates applications with different levels of trust, and migrates security policies as data and applications move between different virtual systems, Herrod said. This is VMware's way of keeping the data and its security apparatus in sync at all times. The key attribute, however, is that vShield 5 now enables IT administrators to apply the same policies they have in their physical infrastructure in public clouds. Perhaps the most important advancement in storage administration of vSphere 5 is that vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5 introduces new automated replication that allows customers to double the number of protected applications for the same cost, Herrod said. "Traditionally, you have been required to do array-based storage replication with VMware," Herrod said. "Now we have brought replication directly into the software and use the network to copy between two sites. This allows the cost of replication to go down for some customers [they won't have to buy arrays, for example], and will allow you to replicate more of your workloads for a lower cost." The much-hyped term "big data" wasn't uttered at this event, but the word "monster" became a commonly used expression. 'Monster' VM Handler "The engineers have dubbed this a 'monster' VM because it can handle so many more processors and 1TB of storage," Herrod said. "Because so many of these virtual machines are now bigger than the physical machines, this is enabling them to run these large and critical workloads, and accelerate the journey to virtualization. We're sort of 'monstering' the data center, so to speak, with vSphere 5." Raghu Raghuram, senior vice president and general manager of VMware's virtualization and cloud platform, told eWEEK in summary that vSphere 5 "sets the stage for customers to be 100 percent virtualized. Also, the game is no longer about virtualization; it's about running infrastructure in a new way. "And what we announced today are a set of products to provide a foundation for that."
vSphere 5 also features what Herrod called Profile-Driven Storage and Storage DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler), which automates tedious, repetitious but non-trivial storage tasks that take a lot of extra time for storage administrators.