High availability, storage and networking capabilities also get a work over.
VMware vSphere 5.0 continues to set the pace for data center x86
server virtualization and remains the clear leader for IT managers who need a
virtual infrastructure that can handle production workloads while containing
The vSphere 5.0 ship date is imminent
but as yet undisclosed; however, eWEEK Labs obtained an advance
In assessing the technology, IT managers should look for significant
changes to functions such as HA (high availability), VMware's DRS (Distributed
Resource Scheduler) and new network-monitoring tools, and a complete reliance
on the ESXi hypervisor. Despite changes to the VMware licensing model, the
bottom line remains the same: Organizations will pay a premium to use the
enterprise-class components that make up vSphere 5.0.
IT managers who are already using vSphere 4.1 or 4.0 will quickly
come up to speed on this latest version. For experienced users, changes that
bolster existing features-including enhancements in the CLI (command-line
interface), HA and VMware's exclusive use of ESXi (ESX hosts are still fully
supported in vSphere 5.0)- while powerful, are not radically different from
previous versions. Where they are significantly different, as in HA, my tests
show that the change usually reduces the amount of training needed to use the
One area that will need some new thinking is the sizing and
outfitting of physical hosts. The new configuration maximums allow for the
creation of virtual machines with up to 1TB of memory and up to 32 virtual
CPUs. I can't say much about how these giant systems would work. Our modest-sized
workloads running on medium-to-slow speed iSCSI storage worked well. I will be
following up with enterprise managers who are using the giant-sized VMs to see
how well these Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade-sized systems perform in the
field. I'll be paying special attention to the physical machine configurations
needed to run these much larger VMs as well.
Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.