VMware unveils cloud-based virtualization O/S

April 23, 2009 -- VMware has introduced its VMware vSphere 4 operating system, designed to bring cloud computing to enterprises.

April 23, 2009 -- VMware, Inc., a provider of data center virtualization platforms, has introduced its VMware vSphere 4 operating system, which according to the company is "designed for building the internal cloud, enabling the delivery of efficient, flexible and reliable IT as a service." With a range of groundbreaking capabilities, the company says its VMware vSphere 4 brings cloud computing to enterprises "in an evolutionary, non-disruptive way, delivering uncompromising control with greater efficiency while preserving customer choice."

According to a press release issued by the company:

"As the complexity of IT environments has continued to increase over time, customers' share of IT budgets are increasingly spent on simply trying to "keep the lights on." With the promise of cloud computing, customers are eager to achieve the benefits, but struggle to see the path to getting there. Leveraging VMware vSphere 4, customers can take pragmatic steps to achieve cloud computing within their own IT environments. With these "internal" clouds, IT departments can dramatically simplify how computing is delivered in order to help decrease its cost and increase its flexibility, enabling IT to respond more rapidly to changing business requirements.

VMware vSphere 4 will aggregate and holistically manage large pools of infrastructure – processors, storage and networking – as a seamless, flexible and dynamic operating environment. Any application – an existing enterprise application or a next-generation application – runs more efficiently and with guaranteed service levels on VMware vSphere 4. For enterprises, VMware vSphere 4 will bring the power of cloud computing to the datacenter, slashing IT costs while dramatically increasing IT responsiveness. For hosting service providers, VMware vSphere 4 will enable a more economic and efficient path to delivering cloud services that are compatible with customers' internal cloud infrastructures. Over time, VMware will support dynamic federation between internal and external clouds, enabling "private" cloud environments that span multiple datacenters and/or cloud providers.

"Since pioneering virtualization for x86 systems 10 years ago, VMware has delivered an impressive list of 'industry-firsts' – the first hypervisor, the first VMotion capability now synonymous with VMware, and the first platform for pooling servers, storage and network, allowing customers to decrease the capital and operating cost of computing by up to 60-70 percent," said Paul Maritz, president and chief executive officer, VMware. "VMware vSphere 4 is the next evolution along this path of innovation. By giving IT organizations a non-disruptive path to cloud computing, we will be leading our customers on a journey that delivers value every step of the way, delivering up to an additional 30 percent cost reduction today while enabling IT to provide reliable and adaptable IT services."

VMware vSphere 4 extends the previous generation VMware platform – VMware Infrastructure 3 – along three dimensions: it delivers the efficiency and performance required to run business critical applications in large scale environments, it provides uncompromised control over application service levels, and it preserves customer choice of hardware, OS, application architecture and on-premise vs. off-premise application hosting. VMware vSphere 4 brings the capability to aggregate large number of virtual machines and large amounts of physical infrastructure into a single logical resource pool or "compute plant" on a cloud scale in order to create "the mainframe of the 21st century." VMware vSphere 4 can pool together up to: 32 physical servers with up to 2048 processor cores; 1,280 virtual machines; 32 TB of RAM; 16 petabytes of storage; and 8,000 network ports.

VMware vSphere 4 enables efficient operational control of these very powerful "compute plants" with new large scale management features such as VMware Host Profiles and VMware vNetwork Distributed Switch that allow easy standardization of server security, storage and network settings; automating configuration management and reducing errors due to misconfiguration. For an environment of 100 virtualized hosts, these new management features can save an estimated 25 weeks or half year of system administrator time, thus significantly reducing operating cost.

"The days of the traditional monolithic operating system are numbered," said Chris Wolf, senior analyst with Burton Group. "Server platforms are now being purposed-built for virtualized workloads, and many of the roles associated with the traditional OS are transitioning to virtualized internal and external cloud-based infrastructures. Organizations looking to gain the operational and financial benefits of cloud-based IT can do so today by deploying purpose-built cloud infrastructure software that streamlines internal data center operations, while providing a gateway to future external cloud expansion."

Qualcomm, a leader in developing and delivering digital wireless communications products and services, commented on the flexibility that VMware vSphere 4 can provide for its business.

"VMware has provided us with cost savings and efficiencies for a number of years," says Paul Poppleton, IT architect, Qualcomm. "With VMware vSphere 4, we can leverage our virtualization implementations to get greater economies through an internal cloud strategy. As a leader in virtualization, VMware is positioned to help us continue to automate and streamline our infrastructure to best serve our business needs, on or off premise."

For more information on VMware vSphere 4, visit: www.vmware.com/go/vsphere. For more information on the VMware vSphere 4 pricing, please visit: www.vmware.com/go/vsphere/buy.

More in Power & Cooling