BARCELONA: VMware executives used the second day of the firm's VMworld Europe conference to discuss upcoming capabilities the firm is set to deliver in its software platform, as well as the next step on the roadmap for its EVO converged infrastructure initiative.
Raghu Raghuram, VMware's executive vice president for software-defined data centre, explained in his keynote address how vSphere 6.0 will provide greater fault tolerance and enhanced vMotion capability.
He also discussed VMware's support for the OpenStack framework and Linux containers, as well as how the vRealize management suite will make hybrid cloud operations easier for customers.
The upcoming vSphere 6.0, currently in beta with delivery expected next year, will extend the VMware Fault Tolerance feature to protect applications running on up to four virtual CPUs. Currently, only a single virtual CPU is supported.
The new release will also extend the vMotion capability to migrate live virtual machines across vCenter instances, Raghuram said.
"You will be able to take a VM across the data centre to a separate server cluster controlled by another vCenter instance," he claimed.
"You will also be able to take vMotion from a data centre on one side of a continent to another without having to change any network settings thanks to the magic of NSX."
NSX is VMware's network virtualisation technology, introduced last year.
Also on the subject of application portability, Raghuram said that VMware is working on projects to help customers run and manage container-based applications.
Containers have caught on as a way to package and run applications, especially in the cloud where many instances of an application may need to be provisioned quickly.
"Some people are saying that containers mean that you no longer need virtual machines, but we disagree - you can get the best of both worlds," said Raghuram.
Here, they will benefit from the persistence, network and security features of the virtualisation layer, "none of which exist in the container environment", he claimed.
Raghuram also said that VMware is addressing customer concerns about lock-in with its support for the OpenStack framework announced at VMworld in August.
"We believe that the best way to run OpenStack is on VMware," he said, as VMware has "the best hypervisor and the best networking stack".
VMware has integrated OpenStack with its vRealize Operations tool to get health, risk and efficiency telemetry from virtual machines and applications running on OpenStack.
"This is a powerful way to deliver enterprise-grade infrastructure, yet preserve the openness of OpenStack," Raghuram claimed.
The vRealize suite also enables automated management by policy settings. Raghuram demonstrated how an administrator could simply tick a box to have an application or virtual machine automatically replicated out to VMware's vCloud Air public cloud for disaster recovery purposes.
Meanwhile, VMware detailed plans for a follow up to its EVO:RAIL converged infrastructure platform, which is being delivered in partnership with hardware vendors such as Dell and EMC.
While EVO:RAIL is targeting mid-size companies, the upcoming EVO:RACK will be aimed at meeting the requirements of larger organisations, according to chief technology officer Ben Fathi.
"Think of it as a bigger brother," he said.
Some of the differences are in the software stack, which in EVO:RACK comprises the full vCloud suite, Virtual SAN, NSX and rack-level management tools.
"It's designed to scale up to the demands of the largest enterprises in terms of hardware but, like EVO:RAIL, slot into the data centre so you can go from zero to app in less than two hours," Fathi explained.
VMware is also contributing the management level specifications for EVO:RACK to the Open Compute Project, the firm said.
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