Live from VMworld Europe 2009: Day 2

Posted by Staff   |   Wednesday, February 25th, 2009   |  

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Yesterday the VMware CEO Paul Maritz opened the VMworld Europe 2009 conference with a more concrete keynote compared to his first one given at VMworld 2008.

Besides a formal announcement of the vSphere 4.0 and the Client Hypervisor Platform (CVP), his speech highlighted a couple of key points:

  • VMware is becoming serious and aggressive in its positioning on the cloud computing market: Maritz took a bold position saying that the Google approach to cloud computing is not really scalable without virtualization
  • VMware won’t let any other virtualization vendor have a competitive advantage through its current partners: Maritz invited Intel on stage to announce a partnership on client hypervisors that sounds pretty similar to the one Citrix announced just one month ago

On stage today we’ll have Stephen Herrod, the company CTO and Senior Vice President of R&D, who should provide a great amount of technical details about vSphere, vCenter Suite and some other technologies that VMware is expected to release during this 2009.

Stephen Herrod is on stage. His presentation is titled The Future of VMware Virtualization.

First of all he describes the upcoming capabilities of vSphere ESX 4:

  • 8 vCPUs
  • 256GB vRAM

With this virtual hardware set Herrod states that there is no more reason to not virtualize your data base.

After a quick recap of the recent VMware records in performance, he moves on the vStorage part of the strategy and mentions the upcoming capability to provide thin provisioning.

Another jump to vNetwork and the obvious mention to the upcoming vSphere 4.0 Distributed Switch and the Cisco Nexus 1000V.

Herrod moves to other features: Distributed Power Management which will be no more an experimental feature in vSphere 4.0.
He highlights how needful smart power management is in a giant computer like the ones that will make the cloud computing infrastructures of tomorrow.

Herrod moves to application availability and mentions VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) as part of the vSphere 4.0 platform.
As already highlighted in the past VMware FT will be a LAN-only technology, working within the data center as long as the active and passive ESX nodes can share the same backend storage.

Herrod now moves to security and mentions the VMsafe APIs, another part of vSphere 4.0.
Besides VMsafe, VMware is exposing vShield Zones, the firewall virtual appliance that the company acquired from Blue Lane Technology in October 2008.

Now the focus is on the management part, and Herrod covers the the upcoming features of vCenter Suite 4.0.

The first module he discuss is the pre-announced vCenter Server Heartbeat, a hot-standby technology OEM’d from Neverfail Group (a detailed post about this release will be published next week)

The second module Herrod mentions is vCenter Server Linked Mode, a new technology that allows to share the same object inventory across tens and hundreds of vCenter hosts.
Demo time: vCenter 4.0 is shown for the first time in public, and the Search (basic and advanced) feature of the new Linked Mode is demonstrated.

Now Herrod moves on the upcoming Host Profiles feature, which verifies and enforces the compliance of new ESX hosts configuration as soon as they are included in the vCenter inventory (Veeam is already offering since November 2008).

Time for one of the most wanted feature ever: vCenter Server for Linux.
VMware will provide it as a virtual appliance. The beta will be available later today.

Herrod now completely changes the topic, moving to vCloud APIs.
They will be released later this year, and will provide management and federation capabilities.

Herrod mentions a FAQ about vCloud: are you going to provide long-distance VMotion? (meaning the capability to perform a live migration between private or public data centers).
The answer is: it’s very complex but we are seriously investing and cooperating with partners to solve the problem.

Now Herrod briefly mentions Customizable Self-Service Portals to let the end-users interact with the cloud infrastructure (available only for vCloud partners).

Demo time: vCloud Plug-in for vCenter.
A customer using vSphere 4.0 can install the plug-in, log on the cloud service provider he has a contract with and simply drag his production virtual machine inside the cloud infrastructure that appears within the vCenter GUI.
The VM will be automatically migrated inside the cloud without further intervention.

Time to cover the last part of the VMware strategy: vClient.

As Paul Maritz said yesterday the company wants to centrally manage any kind of corporate client, including LAN and WAN clients, thick and thin clients.
To do so VMware will use Linked Clones, ThinApp, security policies (coming from ACE).

To grand great performance for LAN and WAN clients VMware is developing with Teradici the PC over IP (PCoIP) protocol.
PCoIP is going to leverage the hardware acceleration that a local client can provide.

Demo time: Google Maps is running on a quad-core workstation on the backstage. Through PCoIP the workstation is accessed and a fly around Paris is shown. The experience is incredibly smooth.

Last part of the keynote: what will come next.
Stephen Herrod talks about mobile virtualization.
In this space there are several challenges: security, persona management, home / work convergence and applications management.

Herrod mentions the previously announced VMware Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP) and shows a prototype on stage for the first time ever.

The VMware hypervisor is running inside a Nokia N800 device, and boots a Windows CE 6.0 virtual machine side by side with a Google Android virtual machine.
Each VM takes less than 40MBs . The touchscreen capabilities of the N800, leveraged by Android, are still there.

And with this outstanding demo the keynote ends.

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