VMware vSphere 5 Automation Features to Drive Deployments

Cameron Sturdevant 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 cameron.sturdevant@quinstreet.com.
By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2011-07-18 Email Print this article Print

vSphere 5 to add automation tools to speed deployments.

I'm fresh off a 'desert island' vacation: no connected anything. So while I knew that VMware was announcing vSphere 5 and a host of cloud infrastructure components on July 12, today is the first day I've actually looked at the contents of the revamped products.

Looking at the technology announcements--as opposed to the licensing changes, about which much as been written and said--I can say that I'm interested in the re-minted command line interface and new data center automation features.

Many of these features put me in mind of the work that VMware has done with Cisco and EMC. In the case of Cisco's UCS (Unified Computing System), VMware must have learned something about the importance of pre-positioning data center resources such as storage, compute and network. Thus, the new "auto-deploy" feature makes a claim that 40 data center servers will be able to be deployed in 10 minutes instead of 20 hours. These kinds of performance claims make me ask questions like, "when did the start the clock to measure deployment?" and "what work needed to happen before vSphere 5 was able to create these 40 servers?"

There are two other automation advances that depend on policy creation; profile-driven storage and Storage DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler.) Again, having seen the behind-the-scenes work that was needed to set up resource pools for Cisco UCS, I'm curious to see how much needs to be done to enable these automation tools.

I don't mean to sound dismissive of these technology changes. On the contrary, I really am interested in the technology and architectural changes embodied in vSphere 5. I have a feeling that once the marketing language is stripped away, the underlying product will still be pretty compelling.

Okay, now it's back to digging through my email!

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