VMware has announced that the latest version of VMware Infrastructure 3, including VMware ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5, is generally available.

The release provides new capabilities for increased levels of automation, improved overall infrastructure availability and higher performance for mission critical workloads.
"Our customers have been using VMware Infrastructure to simplify management, drastically lower costs, better manage IT capacity, and provide greater service levels," says Raghu Raghuram, vice president of products and solutions for VMware. "This new release builds upon our proven virtualisation platform to deliver the non-stop virtual infrastructure, higher performance and better management."
Numerous performance optimisations in ESX Server 3.5 such as support for paravirtualised Linux and large memory pages help bring significant performance gains to many common workloads such as Java applications and Oracle databases.
"The next phase in virtualization growth within the enterprise is resource automation to yield improved data center flexibility and lower administrative costs," says Burton Group Senior Analyst Chris Wolf. "Streamlining IT operations in what is fast becoming the next generation data centre is best achieved by deploying a mature hypervisor combined with transparent storage management, proven high availability, and an intelligent management layer capable of increasing system responsiveness as workload demands fluctuate.
"Today's enterprises have high expectations for virtualisation platforms and vendors that deliver on those expectations are best positioned for long term success."
VMware ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5 includes the following new features:
* Virtualisation platform enhancements help deliver significant performance gains for the most memory and I/O intensive workload;
* VMware Storage VMotion enables live migration of virtual machine disks from one data storage system to another with little to no disruption or downtime. Administrators can dynamically balance storage workloads and address performance bottlenecks by migrating virtual machine disks to the best available storage resource, minimizing service disruptions.
* VMware Update Manager automates patch and update management for VMware ESX Server hosts and virtual machines by tracking certain patch levels and manually applying the latest security/bug fixes. Patching of offline virtual machines enforces higher levels of patch standards compliance than physical environments. Integration with VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) enables zero-downtime VMware ESX Server host patching capabilities.
* VMware Guided Consolidation, a feature of VMware VirtualCenter enables smaller companies to easily and quickly get started with server consolidation in a step-by-step tutorial fashion. A wizard discovers physical servers, identifies consolidation candidates, converts them to virtual machines, and intelligently places them onto the optimal VMware ESX Server or VMware Server hosts.
* VMware Distributed Power Management is an experimental feature that reduces power consumption in the data center through intelligent workload balancing. Working in conjunction with VMware DRS, Distributed Power Management is designed to automatically power off servers not currently needed in order to meet service levels, and automatically power on servers as demand for compute resources increases.