VMware To Increase Scalability, Change Pricing For Virtualization Management Tools

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VMware on Tuesday expanded the capabilities of its vSphere virtualization platform with increased scalability and performance with an eye on getting customers into cloud computing, and unveiled a plan to change the way vSphere is priced.

VMware's new vSphere 4.1 offers increased scalability in terms of network traffic, storage traffic, and the number of virtual machines it can manage, with all this increased functionality making it easier for customers to build private computing clouds, said Tim Stephan, senior director of product marketing for the company.

VSphere is VMware's platform for pooling compute, storage, and networking resources as a first step in building a public or private cloud infrastructure using the company's virtualization platform.

The increase in scalability of vSphere 4.1 is aimed at making sure the virtualization technology will not hinder customers' adoption of cloud computing, Stephan said.

"VSphere 4.1 will support anything anyone wants to throw at it," he said. "We never want the virtualization technology from VMware to be the bottleneck. We're pushing this so no application will feel bound by the virtualization."

To enable the scalability needed to meet that goal, VMware is making a number of changes with vSphere 4.1.

The virtualization platform can now manage up to 15,000 virtual machines, or about three times the maximum number of virtual machines in the prior version, Stephan said.

VMware is also adding new memory compression technology, which allocates more virtual machines per given amount of memory in order to reduce the cost per virtual machine while increasing performance, he said.

Two other new features of vSphere 4.1 give customers dynamic control of the amount of storage and networking resources are allocated to virtual machines. This includes storage I/O controls, which allow customers to specify particular virtual machines as "VIPs" in order to give them priority access to storage resources, and network I/O controls, which lets customer-specified virtual machines access to priority network flows, he said.

VMware is also decreasing the amount of time needed to migrate a virtual machine from one physical host to another via the company's VMotion feature by a factor of five and quadrupling the number of concurrent virtual machine migrations to eight, Stephan said.

"Now, if there is a resource contention, customers' virtual machines can migrate very quickly," he said. "This is great for the cloud, where resources are on separate networks and servers but aggregated together."


Next: The Importance Of Virtualization Scalability

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