VMware Announces Major Updates to its Flagship Product - VI3

VMware finally announced the general availability of its highly anticipated upgrade to its flagship product Virtual Infrastructure 3 - which includes VMware ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5. The company said the new release provides additional capabilities for increased levels of automation, improved overall infrastructure availability and higher performance for mission critical workloads. Two of the more in

VMware finally announced the general availability of its highly anticipated upgrade to its flagship product Virtual Infrastructure 3 - which includes VMware ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5. The company said the new release provides additional capabilities for increased levels of automation, improved overall infrastructure availability and higher performance for mission critical workloads.

Two of the more interesting and commented on features include Storage VMotion and Update Manager.

Storage VMotion does what it sounds like. It basically provides the same functionality as VMotion for storage arrays. In other words, you can dynamically balance storage workloads and resolve storage related performance issues by migrating virtual machines to the best available storage device. It helps eliminate the problems of planned downtime when you need to work on a storage array.

Update Manager is another new feature that has long been requested from VMware users. It helps automate the patch and update management for the VMware ESX Server hosts and the virtual machines in your datacenter. Patching has long been a headache in a virtual environment, so this is a welcomed feature.

In addition to the ESX 3.5 hypervisor, VMware has also made available an update to its management platform, VirtualCenter 2.5, as well as a host of new features to its VI3 suite.

VMware ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5 provides the following new features:

  • Virtualization platform enhancements help deliver significant performance gains for the most memory and I/O intensive workloads:

    • Large memory pages for both ESX Server as well as guest operating systems improve memory processing for memory intensive workloads such as databases

    • Support for TCP Segmentation Offload and jumbo frames reduces the CPU overhead associated with processing network i/o, and benefits workloads such as Citrix and Windows Terminal Services

    • Support for paravirtualized Linux improves the performance of Linux workloads
  • VMware Storage VMotion enables live migration of virtual machine disks from one data storage system to another with little to no disruption or downtime. Administrators can dynamically balance storage workloads and address performance bottlenecks by migrating virtual machine disks to the best available storage resource, minimizing service disruptions.

  • VMware Update Manager automates patch and update management for VMware ESX Server hosts and virtual machines by tracking certain patch levels and manually applying the latest security/bug fixes. Patching of offline virtual machines enforces higher levels of patch standards compliance than physical environments. Integration with VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) enables zero-downtime VMware ESX Server host patching capabilities.

  • VMware Guided Consolidation, a feature of VMware VirtualCenter enables smaller companies to easily and quickly get started with server consolidation in a step-by-step tutorial fashion. A wizard discovers physical servers, identifies consolidation candidates, converts them to virtual machines, and intelligently places them onto the optimal VMware ESX Server or VMware Server hosts.

  • VMware Distributed Power Management is an experimental feature that reduces power consumption in the data center through intelligent workload balancing. Working in conjunction with VMware DRS, distributed Power Management is designed to automatically power off servers not currently needed in order to meet service levels, and automatically power on servers as demand for compute resources increases.

At the same time of the release, VMware also announced changes to its naming and pricing of the VI3 suite. The product is available for purchase in the following editions:

  • VMware Infrastructure 3 Foundation (previously called "Starter") will include VMware ESX Server or VMware ESX Server 3i, VMware Consolidated Backup and the new VMware Update Manager. VMware Infrastructure Foundation list price will be $995 per 2 processors.

  • VMware Infrastructure 3 Standard will include the capabilities in VMware Infrastructure 3 Foundation plus VMware HA which provides automated restart of virtual machines affected by hardware failure. VMware Infrastructure 3 Standard list price will be $2,995 per 2 processors.

  • VMware Infrastructure 3 Enterprise includes the capabilities in VMware Infrastructure 3 Standard, plus VMware VMotion, VMware Storage VMotion, and VMware DRS with Distributed Power Management (DPM). VMware Infrastructure 3 Enterprise list price will be $5,750 per 2 processors.

  • VMware Infrastructure 3 Foundation Acceleration Kit: Three 2-processor licenses of VMware Infrastructure 3 Foundation as well as VMware VirtualCenter Foundation Server, which includes VMware Guided Consolidation and the ability to manage up to three VMware Infrastructure server hosts. List price is $2,995.

  • VMware Infrastructure 3 Standard High Availability Acceleration Kit: Two 2-processor licenses of VMware Infrastructure 3 Standard, which includes the above features of the VMware Infrastructure 3 Foundation Acceleration Kit plus VMware High Availability (HA). List price is $5,995.

  • VMware Infrastructure 3 Midsize Acceleration Kit: Three 2-processor licenses of VMware Infrastructure Enterprise as well as flexible training and consulting credits that can be applied to classes to learn how to deploy and use VMware Infrastructure 3, such as the "VMware Infrastructure 3: Install and Configuration" course. List price is $14,495.

  • VMware VMotion, Storage VMotion and DRS with DPM will also be available for standalone purchase with VMware Infrastructure 3 Foundation and Standard.

  • Existing VMware Infrastructure customers with valid support and subscription contracts will receive the new products and features included in each edition at no additional cost.

  • VMware supports VMware Infrastructure 3 in all main operating system locales and is expected to release Japanese, simplified Chinese and German versions in the first half of 2008.
Related:

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

How to choose a low-code development platform