VMware Preps Software-Defined Data Center For Its Star Turn

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Provisioning also is simple with vSAN: Admins can scale to the capacity they need by adding attached physical storage, Wei said. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and test/dev are two ideal use cases for vSAN, he added.

VMware started running a private beta of vSAN in the second quarter and plans to launch a public beta in the third quarter, Wei said. VMware does not have a time frame for general availability.

Jason Nash, data center solutions principal at Varrow, a Greensboro, N.C.-based VMware partner, calls vSAN a storage "game-changer" in the mold of Nutanix and ScaleIO, the latter of which EMC acquired in July.

What's important about vSAN is that it's built into the hypervisor and allows for easy storage policy configuration, Nash said. "We're getting asked about scale-out storage solutions, and one enticing characteristic of vSAN is that it's built in to vSphere and doesn't add any complexity," he told CRN in an email.

VMware also is unveiling NSX network virtualization software, which combines its own vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS) technology with that of Nicira, the startup it bought for $1.2 billion last July.

NSX turns the high-end functions of switches, routers, firewalls and load-balancers into software that can run on commodity hardware. VMware also is rolling out the NSX API, a new RESTful API that lets NSX integrate with network and application services, and cloud management platforms, from third-party vendors.

Virtual servers have been VMware's ticket to data center riches, and the Palo Alto, Calif., vendor is making them bigger and more scalable with vSphere 5.5, the latest update to its flagship product.

VMware has doubled CPU, memory and non-uniform memory access (NUMA) nodes. VMware is pitching a new feature called vSphere Big Data Extensions as a way to run Hadoop and other big data apps while taking advantage of features such as vMotion and DRS, Wei said.

"The key message here is that we plan to virtualize all types of workloads," Wei told CRN. "New workloads, and legacy ones, will all run well on vSphere 5.5."


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