Tuesday, August 28, 2012

VMware vSphere 5.1 - What's new with this version?

As promised, a quick post to see whats changed after 1st day of  VMworld 2012.

Well I hope I can keep up with the word QUICK, because of the number of new things VMware has announced in a single day. I will give you the highlights and then some interesting links to follow which will give you tons of great reads on this latest release of VMware.

  • vRAM Entitlement is a concept of past - After a huge row about vRAM restrictions which were introduced last year with the announcement of vSphere 5.0, VMware relaxed the vRAM tax to 32 GB entitlement on Standard Edition, 64 GB Entitlement on Enterprise Edition and 96 GB vRAM entitlement on Enterprise Plus Edition of vSphere. This scheme of things ran for an year, however in the last customer survey done by VMware, they found that customers are not very happy about the limitations as this makes the entire capacity planning exercise a bit complex. VMware heard the customer and BOOM... the plan just changed. Yes no more vRAM tax. Just license each populated  processor socket on the server and you are good to go.
  • Feature Flow & New Editions- The editions have just become more beefier. Yes, you got it, the features from higher versions of vSphere like Enterprise & Enterprise Plus have flown down to the Standard edition making it more attractive and affordable for the SMB segment. For an example, Storage vMotion, VMware FT, vShield Zones, Hot Add etc. An important thing to note is that this has not affected the prices of these editions, yes you can get this at the same price. In addition to this a new edition is launched which can be seen as a new Avatar of the Standard edition along with Operations Management which allows you to lay your hands on Behavioral Performance Management & Capacity Planning. So you can not only be a smart SMB with Virtualization, but would also have the capability to manage it.
  • New Features Added - As always the VMware R&D teams are quick to react to customer requirements and this time around they were able to change the Monster VM's to SUPER MONSTER by giving them 64vCPU capability. SR-IOV is another feather in the cap which will now allow you to share special hardware devices between virtual machines. vMotion without Shared Storage is another one which would help those who cannot afford shared storage.
  • Data Protection - aka VDP (VMware Data Protection) just replaces the VMware Data Recovery (VDR) technology with a much widely accepted EMC Avamar backup appliance. VDP is a part of all the license editions hence all the VMware customers would have the liberty to throw the traditional backup equipment out of the window and use the more smarter and efficient way to backup virtual machines. Yes, you can still use your existing backup mechanisms if you wish too.
  • vSphere Replication - One of the coolest solution which I encountered with host based replication. You will not be wrong to say that this was introduced to help customers use SRM without identical storage and array based replication, but this feature was such a hit that VMware has made it native to the vSphere Platform. So now you can replicate virtual workloads as and when you need. SRM may not be needed if your use case is just replicating for a point in time backup. I am sure the smart customers of VMware would find 100 of use cases by the time they upgrade to vSphere 5.1 to get there hands on FREE vSphere replication.
  • vShield Endpoint is a part of all the editions - Must appreciate the fact that how VMware wants its customers to choose the best way of securing there virtual machines. vShield Endpoint which was a licensed product and came with a price tag is now FREE and is part of all the editions. Time to call your Anti-Virus and Malware vendors and ask them to help you transition to a more effective way of performing Antivirus scans by offloading to the Endpoint Service VM and saving your environment from deadly Anti-Virus scan storms. Way to go.
Here is a quick snap of what I discussed above:-

Well for those who want to learn more about other license changes, here is the link to go to:-

vSphere 5.1 - Licensing, Pricing & Packaging - http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere_pricing.pdf

For the TECHIES below are the bunch of links which will give you oodles of information about what VMware is upto with this release:-

All the above technical whitepapers have some great information about the new vSphere Platform. 

Apart from these great reads from the Technical Marketing teams of VMware, you can also see these features in action on the VMware Now Website at http://www.vmware.com/now.html?skip=y

Go to the Topics Guide section on this page to get a Deep Dive on all the topics mentioned above.

Enjoy the read. I will try some of them in my home lab and share my findings on how they make a difference.

Till then...

Happy Virtualizing
Sunny Dua

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