But licensing shift angers customers
VMware has updated its vSphere virtualisation suite and introduced a new Cloud Infrastructure Suite that it hopes will make, "infrastructure go away," according to CEO Paul Maritz.
Maritz added that VSphere 5 is the, "first step along the road to a more automated world where infrastructure is something people can just rely on." VMware's boss added that vSphere 5.0 is four times more powerful than its predecessor, with the ability to process over one million IOPS (input/output operations per second).
The company also says it can support VMs with up to 1TB of memory and 32 virtual CPUs.
The updated and expanded vSphere is the foundation of the Maritz called the Cloud Infrastructure Suite, a platform that aims to deliver the automation, self-service and security needs for managing a cloud-based infrastructure.
On top of vSphere 5.0, the Cloud Infrastructure Suite will feature vCenter Site Recovery Manager for business continuity purposes; vCenter Operations for monitoring and managing; vShield Security and vCloud Director, which will take care of policy, reporting and self-service, VMware said.
"This is how we will make infrastructure just go away for many customers," Maritz said.
VCenter Site Recovery Manager 5 will introduce in-built replication and automated failback capabilities. This means users will no longer have to rely on replication at the array layer, VMware said. The company reckons this will be of particular interest to SMBs that may not otherwise have replication capabilities.
VCloud Director 1.5 can reduce provisioning time down to around five seconds using Linked Clone capabilities and can reduce storage costs by as much as 60%, the company claimed.
Maritz added that VMware is looking to partnerships to enable it to offer hybrid cloud services, where businesses will be able to move loads from a private cloud to a public one and vice versa. Companies such as CSC, Colt, Verizon and bluelock have already signed up, Maritz said.
With the introduction of vSphere 5.0, which is expected to be released during Q3, VMware has revamped its licensing model. The aim of this is to offer a licensing model that is more in tune with "cloud-like" IT cost models, based on consumption and value rather than physical components and capacity, the company said.
Rick Jackson, CMO at VMware, said customers found existing packages confusing and this was an attempt to simplify the licensing process.
However the changes have not gone down well with all VMware customers. Writing on VMware's Communities website a user called SuperSpike said: "What I used to be able to do with 2 CPU licenses now takes 4. Incredible. It's almost as if VMware is putting a penalty on density and encouraging users to buy hardware with more sockets rather than less."
Another said: "We just purchased ten dual-socket servers with 192GB RAM each (enterprise license level) and we'll need to triple our license count to be able to use all available RAM if allocated by VMs. Ridiculous if this is true."
A third user even suggested the change may cost VMware some customers: "It seems like the licensing model promotes that "scale out" principle, where hosts with large amounts of memory now will cost a lot more than before. I had hopes that VMware should counter Hyper-V and XEN with lower license prices to really keep the leader position, but I am afraid this will force many customers away to alternatives, especially since many of the new 5.0 features is at the Enterprise Plus edition only."
UPDATE: "The new vSphere 5 licensing model, based on pooled vRAM, frees customers from the restrictions of physical core and physical memory limitations. vRAM enables customers to pool virtualised memory across their entire vSphere environment, rather than tie capacity to a single machine," said Martin Niemer, solution marketing director, sales, VMware, in a statement.
"This means that virtual memory can be shared across a customer's data center, giving customers flexibility in how and where they deploy without incurring unnecessary costs. Whereas physical memory capacity only applies to a single machine, vRAM memory is shared across all licenses," the statement added. "When one server is not using the full vRAM entitlement, the excess capacity can be used by virtual machines running on other hosts within the environment. Pooled vRAM is an important step for customers, closely tying the cost of VMware software to cloud concepts like consumption and value."