VMware's VI3 Gets an EOY Upgrade

VMware announced a new version of its long standing enterprise server virtualization platform suite that the company says will provide greater levels of automation, increase overall infrastructure availability and boost performance for mission critical workloads. Expected sometime by the end of this year, VI3 will include VMware ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5 as well as updated packaging and pricing, inclu

VMware announced a new version of its long standing enterprise server virtualization platform suite that the company says will provide greater levels of automation, increase overall infrastructure availability and boost performance for mission critical workloads.

Expected sometime by the end of this year, VI3 will include VMware ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5 as well as updated packaging and pricing, including new offerings specifically targeted at midsize and smaller IT environments.

New capabilities of VMware Infrastructure 3 include a very well received feature during a keynote presentation at VMworld, VMware Storage VMotion. It enables live migration of virtual machine disks from one data storage system to another with no disruption or downtime. Using Storage VMotion, administrators can dynamically balance the storage workload and address performance bottlenecks by migrating virtual machine disks to the best available storage resource. This feature is a nice compliment to the already present VMotion which keeps the storage location the same, but changes the host server location.

Something that virtualization users have been asking for, and for obvious reasons, is a way to control the patching of their virtual machines, which with virtual server sprawl and the ease of deploying images, is something that can quickly get out of hand. VMware introduced VMware Update Manager which automates patch and update management for VMware ESX Server hosts and virtual machines. VMware said that the patching of offline virtual machines enforces higher levels of patch standards compliance, more so than on physical environments.

A feature that power companies and Green initiatives will love is the experimental feature called VMware Distributed Power Management. It aims to reduce power consumption in the data center through intelligent workload balancing by automatically powering off servers not currently needed and then automatically powering on servers as demand for compute resources increases.

Other updates include:

  • Expanded storage and networking choices such as support for SATA local storage, 10 Gig Ethernet, and Infiniband expand storage and networking choices for virtual infrastructure

  • Support for TCP Segment Offload and Jumbo frames reduce the CPU overhead associated with processing network I/O

  • Support for hardware nested page tables such as in processor assists for memory virtualization

  • Support for paravirtualized Linux guest operating systems enables higher levels of performance through virtualization-aware operating systems

  • Support for virtual machines with 64GB of RAM and physical machines with up to 128GB of memory

VMware is also introducing new packages and pricing to try and lure in the SMB market that others like XenSource and Virtual Iron are going after.

A starter edition, now called VI3 Foundation, is expected to be priced around $995 for a 2 processor license. It will include VMware ESX Server, VMware ESX Server 3i, VMware Consolidated Backup and the new VMware Update Manager.

VMware Infrastructure 3 Standard includes the capabilities of VMware Infrastructure 3 Foundation as well as VMware HA and will be priced at $2995 per 2 processors.

VMware Infrastructure 3 Enterprise contains the entire array of virtual infrastructure capabilities for resource management, workload mobility, and high availability. In addition to the capabilities in VMware Infrastructure 3 Standard, it also includes VMware VMotion, VMware Storage VMotion, and VMware DRS with Distributed Power Management (DPM). VMware Infrastructure 3 Enterprise list price will be $5750 per 2 processors.

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