While there is still a lot of work to be done in getting businesses to change their one-app-per-box ways, VMware is already looking at the horizon and chasing clouds.
VMware unveiled vSphere 4, which the company is billing as the first cloud OS for private clouds. vSphere nearly promises the holy grail of data center operations, a vast, centrally managed and easily configurable pool of IT resources — computing power, storage and networking — that organizations can dynamically parcel out as business needs arise and change.
Easier said than done.
Several popular online services today rely on a cloud computing model, but generally their distributed infrastructures manage a handful of purpose-built, customer-facing and internal apps and storage with a smattering of authentication and security. Handling a veritable universe of disparate business applications is another matter entirely.
VMware says it’s got it covered. According to the announcement today:
VMware vSphere 4 delivers significant performance and scalability improvements over the previous generation VMware Infrastructure 3 to enable even the most resource intensive applications, such as large databases and Microsoft Exchange, to be deployed on internal clouds. With these performance and scalability improvements, VMware vSphere 4 will enable the 100 percent virtualized internal cloud.
VMware vSphere 4 delivers more powerful virtual machines with up to:
- 2x the number of virtual processors per virtual machine (from 4 to 8)
- 2.5x more virtual NICs per virtual machine (from 4 to 10)
- 4x more memory per virtual machine (from 64 GB to 255GB)
- 3x increase in network throughput (from 9 Gb/s to 30Gb/s)
- 3x increase in the maximum recorded I/O operations per second (to over 300,000)
- New maximum recorded number of transactions per second – 8,900 which is 5x the total payment traffic of the VISA network worldwide4
In case you’re wondering, vSphere 4 can handle up to 32 physical servers with up to 2,048 cores; address 32 TB of RAM; communicate over 8,000 network ports; and manage 1,280 virtual machines. No matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of power, and you’ll need it to achieve the consolidation scenarios VMware envisions, which according to the company, can yield about a “30 percent increase in consolidation ratios” over VMware Infrastructure 3.
Data centers can enjoy further efficiencies of up to 20 percent reduction in power and cooling costs with VMware Distributed Power Management and 50 percent storage savings by reducing unused storage overhead with VMware vStorage Thin Provisioning, according to company estimates.
But one of the most intriguing aspects of the whole announcement is that the company already has plans to have vSphere link individual data centers for geographically distributed private clouds. “Over time, VMware will support dynamic federation between internal and external clouds, enabling ‘private’ cloud environments that span multiple datacenters and/or cloud providers.”
Starting price is a cool $166 per processor, but data centers will be forking over at least $795 per processor for vSphere 4 Standard. General availability for VMware vSphere 4 is expected sometime before the current quarter ends (Q2 2009).
Interesting developments. Let’s see how Microsoft Azure and other enterprise cloud OS hopefuls respond.
Source: Press Release