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VMware has released a slew of updates to its products

VMware has released a slew of updates to its products

VMware announced a slew of updates to the company’s virtualisation offerings including a VMware-integrated OpenStack distro, a new version of vSphere, and updates to its virtualised storage and networking offerings. VMware’s executives said the company’s hybrid cloud strategy will help differentiate it among a growing group of competitors.

The virtualisation incumbent introduced a range of updates this week including vSphere 6, which VMware chief exec Pat Gelsinger praised as “the biggest update yet” to the platform. This week Gelsinger delivered an overview of the firm’s 2015 strategy, with his message of ‘one cloud, any app, any device’ seemingly becoming VMware’s hybrid cloud slogan.

In vSphere the firm significantly upped most supportable resource specs (from 32-64 hosts per cluster; 4x the number of VMs per host; 4x supportable RAM and CPUs per VM), and said it has improved application support as well as the performance of large databases. The company’s chief technology officer Ben Fathi said virtualised Hadoop clusters perform up to 12 per cent faster in vSphere than on comparable deployments using bare-metal servers.

The company also added support for GPU virtualisation (Nvidia vGPU) and improved live-migration capabilities to vSphere, as well as better support for containers. VMware has included a set of technologies it had been working on for some time (“Project Fargo”) that negate the need to layer a container inside a VM while still giving users control through VMware’s VM management tools, and offer much quicker deployment for both virtual machines and Linux containers.

“As our customers accelerate growth, their IT organisations are expected to drive transformation, enhance efficiency and bring more value to the business than ever before,” Fathi said. “We are helping them achieve these goals through continued innovation in VMware vSphere as the platform for their hybrid cloud strategy. VMware vSphere is the gold standard by which all other virtualization technologies are measured, and vSphere 6 raises the bar even higher.”

Included in the slew of updates were updates to the firm’s storage and network virtualisation capabilities – particularly, the fact that features of both vSAN and NSX can now be extended from on-premise VMware ecosystems into VMware’s public cloud, which Ted Ranft, vice president EMEA SDDC, network and security at VMware said was a major differentiator for the firm.

“Being able to extend these virtual networking capabilities outside your perimeter, your firewall, and into the public cloud is one of the biggest takeaways here – and something that no one else is doing,” he said. “It’s something that helps complete that picture of the software defined datacentre.”

Alongside vSphere 6 the company also introduced its own VMware-integrated OpenStack distribution, which it will offer free to – and support for – vSphere customers. Despite the fact some perceive OpenStack and VMware compete at certain levels of the stack, Ranft, who was speaking to journalists in London Tuesday, suggested the company has “gone all in” on the platform. The company also said it will in time offer OpenStack-focused professional services to help customers leverage DevOps on OpenStack more effectively.

“18 to 24 months ago we really had to grapple with how deeply we would embrace open source and OpenStack,” Ranft said. “But the leadership team decided to take us in that direction.”

“It was a big change for us,” he added.