Will VMware vSphere debut on April 21?

It is expected that VMware will announce the release of its highly anticipated, next-generation flagship product vSphere on April 21. Where will you be?

Are you one of the people marking off your calendar for the month of April, counting down the days with anticipation? No, I'm not talking about tax time; I'm talking about the expected launch of VMware's next-generation virtualization platform on April 21, taking place at its Palo Alto headquarters with industry partners Cisco and Intel. The company promises to release significant product news to attendees, and it will also share this information with Webcast viewers who can't make the journey to find out about how "virtualization is about to take another giant leap."

We're less than a week away now from possibly hearing about the big announcement of VMware's vSphere product. There is a lot of industry and consumer excitement building around this new release, as it has been nearly three years since VMware introduced VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3) to market.

[ In earlier news from VMworld, VMware announced plans to add to its cloud strategy | VMware's new strategy is all about management within its Virtual Data Center OS ]

The vSphere product is VMware's follow-up to the wildly successful VI3 product line.  As we await the complete details of vSphere to be unveiled in the near future, we have already been privy to a number of new features expected in this platform, many of which will continue to elevate VMware's virtualization technology above the competition. Some of the features previously discussed are options such as improved high availability with fault tolerance, faster configuration changes with host profiles, centralized management and configuration with distributed vSwitches, and improved Storage vMotion. vSphere is also expected to help customers build internal compute clouds, access external compute clouds, and bring the two together into something being called the "private cloud."

However, as much excitement as there is around vSphere launching, it will be interesting to see just how quickly people start adopting it by rolling it out into their production environments.  When VI3 first came out, it seemed to take some organizations quite a while before they migrated away from ESX 2.5.  Further shining a light on that question, rumor has there's a possibility that vSphere may not have support for some of VMware's management and automation solutions. Specifically, there may not be any support out of the gate for technologies such as VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager, Lab Manager, Lifecycle Manager, or Stage Manager.  If true, it could be a side effect of trying to stay far ahead of the competition in the hypervisor wars, and it could keep people on the sidelines waiting to adopt the new platform until the bugs are worked out and support is added for their favorite management and automation solutions.

Adoption percentages aside, one thing is certain: The release of vSphere will be an important step for VMware as it charges forward toward its Virtual Data Center Operating System (VDC-OS) concept. Stay tuned! It's only a few more days now until the big reveal takes place.