VMworld 2015: What we've seen so far

VMware’s five-day event has kicked off at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with VMware “in the midst of a massive transition.” Says Dave Vellante, co-founder and co-CEO of SiliconANGLE Media.

“You don’t hear VMware talking about (the ecosystem) anymore. Instead, we’ve seen a navigation through that ecosystem play, and now we see VMware grabbing networking and storage. With all this Federation talk coming back together, maybe EMC is thinking of taking a more Oracle-like approach – so there’s going to be an interesting undercurrent to VMworld this year.”

Day one of the 12th annual VMworld has set a new record for the number of attendees, suggesting that interest in virtualisation continues to grow. The conference was kicked off with several announcements, from the new “intelligent automation engine” for efficient use of data center equipment to new open source tools.

vCloud Air Enhancements

VMware has announced various vCloud Air enhancements, now allowing companies to test and run disaster recovery plans in vCloud Air’s new Site Recovery Manager Air.

Disaster recovery on vCloud Air is based on usage, instead of being part of a subscription. Additionally, the first new product cominIT out of VMware and Google’s reseller relationship, vCloud Air Object Storage, has been introduced.

Grid 2.0

And NVidia has announced the launch of the latest version of its desktop virtualisation technology, Grid 2.0, which allows companies to remotely deploy graphics-heavy applications.

Servers with Nvidia Grid boards allow the use of virtualization software such as VMware vSphere 6 and Horizon 6 and Citrix’s XenApp, XenServer, and XenDesktop to share the GPUs power with Grid 2.0, and this new release doubles previous capacity, managing up to 128 users per server.

Moreover, Grid now supports Linux OS as well as Windows OS, and the technology is able to run on blade servers in addition to rack servers.

Integrated OpenStack 2.0

The launch of VMware Integrated OpenStack 2.0 has also been announced, the second release of the company’s distribution of the OpenStack open source cloud software.

Based on OpenStack Kilo, the new version will become widely available by the end of September. Customers will be able to upgrade from Icehouse (V1.0) to Kilo (V2.0) and roll back if necessary in, according to VMware product line manager Arvind Soni, “a more operationally efficient manner.”

Containers

Two new products for companies to build and run applications inside of containers, Photon Platform and vSphere Integrated Containers, are also being discussed.

Containers provide an alternative to virtual machines, and VMware believes this new technology underlies many existing technologies including Google-led Kubernetes, Docker’s Swarm, CoreOS’ Rocket, Mesosphere-led Apache Mesos, and Cloud Foundry. These can all integrate with vSphere Integrated Containers.

Container Specific Storage Provision

VMware has teamed up with startup ClusterHQ to develop a storage driver allowing ClusterHQ’s Flocker open source software to play with VMware’s vSphere server virtualisation software.

This lets companies provision storage not only for virtual machines but for specific containers, with storage software such as vSphere Virtual Volumes and Virtual SAN.

EVO SDDC

A new suite of software including several existing VMware tools for managing data center resources, EVO SDDC, was also debuted and includes a new “automation engine” as well as open source hardware management software.

Existing tools handle storage, server, and network virtualisation and include Virtual SAN, vSphere, vRealize Operations, and NSX. With server virtualisation being the foundation of VMware, the company is now also making the other, less widely utilised, pieces a standard.

For more news of this year’s VMworld, take a look at the General Session Replay. The event continues to provide in-depth training and hands-on experience, product research and analysis, and networking opportunities for industry experts.

And check out IT Process Automation and VMware for a discussion of managing virtual tasks with a central administration tool.