VMware's aggressive product road map for 2009

VMware will continue to advance its ESX hypervisor offering against growing competition by delivering on an aggressive product road map for 2009.

Throughout VMworld 2008, audience members were made privy to VMware's aggressive product road map for 2009. I remember sitting through one of the keynotes thinking to myself, "What aren't they going to do?"

As Microsoft, Citrix, and others continue to turn the competitive heat and pressure up on VMware, the virtualization giant will be forced to look elsewhere besides its core hypervisor technology to continue earning the revenue numbers that they have been enjoying. I realize that some in the industry hate to hear about the hypervisor becoming a commodity, but as the hypervisor technology itself continues to get squashed down to "free," companies like VMware will have to continue looking toward additional software to further extend their platform to justify the cost.

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And VMware really does seem to have an aggressive road map lined up for 2009. Looking at the company's Web site, there are quite a few products listed under something called "Products Coming in 2009."

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If you attended VMworld 2008, this probably isn't the first time you've seen or heard about many of these products. And some of these products have been around even longer than that. If you remember Dunes Technologies and VMware's acquisition of that company, you might recognize VMware vCenter Orchestrator. I remember being introduced to a company called B-hive during VMworld 2007, and they too were acquired by VMware, giving us VMware vCenter AppSpeed. And we've talked about a few of these other coming soon products before as well, like VMware Fault Tolerance and VMware VMSafe.

But perhaps you haven't heard about these:

VMware vNetwork Distributed Switch -- It simplifies virtual machine networking by enabling you to set up virtual machine networking for your entire datacenter from a centralized interface. VMware's vNetwork Distributed Switch spans many ESX hosts and aggregates networking to a centralized datacenter level. vNetwork Distributed Switch abstracts configuration of individual virtual switches and enables centralized provisioning, administration, and monitoring through VMware vCenter Server.

VMware vCenter CapacityIQ -- With VMware vCenter CapacityIQ, the company is going after capacity management. The key features here seem to be the ability to perform "What-If" analysis and its ability to forecast capacity usage into the future to prevent capacity shortfalls.

VMware vCenter Data Recovery -- This product goes after the backup market. It promises quick, simple, and complete data protection for your virtual machines in the form of a disk-based backup and recovery solution. It's fully integrated with VMware vCenter Server to enable centralized and efficient management of backup jobs and also includes data de-duplication to save on disk storage for your backups.

VMware vCenter ConfigControl -- ConfigControl is said to automatically discover configurations, dependencies, and compliance across the environment, and that includes all virtual configuration elements. With it, you can supposedly identify issues before they cause downtime with dependency analysis for planned changes, automated remediation of host profiles, and best practice views of host, VM, storage, and network configuration drift.

VMware vCenter Chargeback -- Chargeback becomes difficult to manage once an IT department starts virtualizing and sharing the infrastructure across many different business units. This product claims to deliver cost analysis, measuring, and billing and should help the administrator to understand costing and drive accountability across business units.

VMware is taking on an aggressive strategy to offer everything to everyone -- and this is only the list that they are telling everyone about!

I started this post by remembering a question I had asked myself during VMworld 2008: "What aren't they going to do?" But after diving a bit more into these new products for 2009, I also remember asking myself, "What does this mean for VMware's ISV market that has been creating third-party offerings to meet these very same challenges?"

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