By Kathy Gibson in Barcelona – A new era of computing has arrived, as virtualisation, cloud computing and end-user demands come together to drive the software-defined data centre where everything is virtualised.
Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, points out that IT, in general spends just 30% of its budget on innovation. Although VMware customers have a slightly better track record – at 40% of budget, the goal should be to be spending 50% of IT budget on new, innovative projects rather than day-to-day maintenance.
Gelsinger adds that the role of IT and infrastructure is to enable applications – both traditional and next-generation – while looking for new solutions that make applications “cool” and usable.
“The challenge for the IT leaders of today is to address complex demands from many different stakeholders,” he says. “Ultimately, the goal is to provide IT as a service, with on-demand access to any service, with cost transparency, available on any cloud or platform, with a programmable and automated infrastructure.”
Gelsinger points out that VMware has traditionally focused on virtualising the data centre, and has now extended this to virtualising the storage, networking and management environments as well.
“In compute, we want to expand virtualisation to 100% of compute, with every part of the compute platform virtualised.
“In storage, we need to align storage with the application demands of today.
“In networking, we need to virtualise for speed and efficiency.
“And in management, this is giving way to speed and automation.
“No other company can make these claims across the data centre – we are out to virtualise the entire data centre,” Gelsinger adds.
Networking virtualistion
Making networking virtualisation a reality, VMware today announced general availability of NXS.
Gelsinger describes networking virtualisation as arguably the most important element in the software-defined data centre. The idea of compute virtualistion has become so powerful that we can spin up – or tear down – a new virtual machine (VM) in seconds.
“But is an app requires a change to the network, we are still bound to the physical processes of the network. So, while a VM could take seconds, it could take weeks or months to change the network.
“This is why VMware NSX is so important: it is about abstraction, pooling and automation of the networking layer. What we did for compute is now available for networks.”
NSX is being announced with wide eco-system support, Gelsinger says. “This is the next leg of the software-defined data centre story.”
Storage virtualisation
VMworld has a long history of work in the storage domain, and today extended storage virtualisation as part of its drive towards the software defined data centre.
The basic tenets of software-defined storage, says Gelsinger, are about dynamically matching the right application requirements to the right storage; automating delivery of the service level agreement and guaranteeing execution against it; and pooling all storage resources.
At VMWorld today, VMware announced VMware vSphere Data Protection 5.5 Advance, with features that span assured recovery, increased efficiency and greater scalability.
Powered by EMC Avamar, VMware vSphere Data Protection Advanced delivers industry-leading storage-efficiency for backups, capabilities to accelerate recovery and unparalleled integration with VMware vSphere.
VMware vSphere Data Protection 5.5 Advanced will feature new capabilities including network-efficient backup data replication, integration with EMC Data Domain, a new Microsoft SharePoint agent, and automated backup verification. Customers will now benefit from disaster recovery protection, enhanced scalability and global deduplication with EMC Data Domain, and granular, application-consistent backups for Microsoft SharePoint.
The built-in backup data replication capabilities of VMware vSphere Data Protection 5.5 Advanced will enable partners in the VMware Service Provider Program to deliver backup to the cloud services. SunGard will be the first service provider to introduce backup and disaster recovery services for both VMware vSphere Data Protection and VMware vSphere Data Protection Advanced customers to replicate data to the SunGard cloud.
“This means that VMware now has a full range of storage solutions,” Gelsinger says.
Virtual SAN is in public beta now, he says. VVols (Virtual Volumes) have been demonstrated and VMware is executing on them as part of the next release.
The company has also launched flash read cache as part of vSphere 5.5. Meanwhile the recent Virsto acquisition offers write cache and data synchronisation.
Together with the data protection announced today, this means VMware is doing a lot across the storage stack, says Gelsinger, while working with the industry to help drive the software-defined data centre.
Today, VMware filled out its virtualisation management toolkit, announcing new capabilities and enhancements across its portfolio of cloud management solutions to simplify and automate management of IT services for multiple clouds and platforms.
New product releases introduced today include VMware vCloud Automation Center 6.0, VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.8, VMware IT Business Management Suite, and VMware vCenter Log Insight 1.5.
In addition, VMware will update the automation and management capabilities of VMware vCloud Suite 5.5, recently introduced in August.
As IT organizations evolve into brokers of IT services, they can rely on VMware cloud management solutions to enable key aspects of IT as a Service including:
On-demand access to any service: To help meet the expectations of immediate access to services, IT can increase agility and deliver infrastructure, application, desktop and custom services on diverse platforms and clouds with a common governance framework to simplify and control how services are consumed.
Cost transparency: By providing transparency into the cost of VMs, infrastructure services and the use of shared resources, IT can help end users make informed decisions about the cost of services across private and public clouds, increasing accountability and efficient use of resources.
Automated operations: Managing IT services today requires management solutions that are tightly integrated, leverage big data analytics and are purpose-built for the dynamic nature of the software-defined data centre. This approach provides proactive management and unprecedented operational visibility of the performance and health of applications and underlying virtual and physical infrastructure, including storage and networking.
Multiple clouds and platforms: VMware cloud management solutions support heterogeneous hypervisor and physical environments and multiple clouds, providing customers increased automation, with a unified management approach and freedom of choice and flexibility.
The new product capabilities across VMware’s comprehensive management portfolio reinforce VMware’s commitment to provide industry-leading solutions that are tightly integrated with VMware vSphere while offering customers freedom of choice to run services on diverse platforms and across a hybrid cloud. Today VMware introduced significant enhancements and a new offering across its cloud management product portfolio:
vCloud Automation Center 6.0 – Delivering business agility through IT automation
VMware vCloud Automation Center provides the agility customers need by automating the delivery of personalised IT services. The new release of VMware vCloud Automation Center will offer customers a single solution for the rapid delivery of applications, including application release automation and support for DevOps automation tools, through the incorporation of VMware vCloud Application Director. The product will feature a self-service catalogue for requesting and managing all types of IT services providing customers with on-demand access to any service and reducing time to value.
VMware vCloud Automation Center 6.0 will enable customers to design any custom IT service in minutes (such as Hadoop-as-a-Service), to complement current out-of-the-box service capabilities for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Desktop as a Service (DaaS). Further extending its multi-platform and multi-cloud capabilities, VMware vCloud Automation Center 6.0 will introduce support for VMware vCloud Hybrid Service, VMware NSXTM and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack-based cloud environments.
vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.8 – Automated operations management for the mobile cloud era
The VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite provides automated operations management using patented analytics and an integrated approach to performance, capacity and configuration management. The new release will offer enhanced performance analytics for business-critical applications, including Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server. In addition, VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.8 will introduce analytics for a broad range of storage vendors and devices to help administrators pinpoint configuration errors, resources issues and performance bottlenecks. New monitoring dashboards delivered out of the box provide deeper visibility into applications running on Microsoft Hyper-V and Amazon Web Services.
VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.8 will enable IT organisations to standardise on a single operations management platform designed to enable higher quality of service, operational efficiency, control and compliance across all applications and services running on virtual, physical and cloud environments.
VMware IT Business Management Suite – Transparency into cost and quality of IT services
The VMware IT Business Management Suite provides transparency and control over the costs and quality of IT services, enabling CIOs to align IT with business priorities. Today, VMware introduces VMware IT Business Management Suite 1.0 Standard Edition, a new addition to the VMware IT Business Management Suite. Targeted at the head of infrastructure, this solution will allow infrastructure and business stakeholders to quickly understand the cost and consumption of their virtual infrastructure across private and public cloud environments through integrations with VMware vCenter Server, VMware IT Benchmarking and VMware vCloud Automation Center. The solution will also enable the comparison of internal costs with those of public cloud providers offering similar infrastructure services.
VMware IT Business Management Suite 8.0 Advanced and Enterprise editions will introduce additional persona-based dashboards tailored to the unique needs of the CIO, CFO of IT, IT project managers and line-of-business owners. This latest release will also feature native integration with VMware IT Benchmarking, allowing enterprises to continuously compare the cost of their services against industry peers and companies with similar operational characteristics.
vCenter Log Insight 1.5 – Automated Big Data log analytics to simplify root cause analysis
VMware vCenter Log Insight delivers real-time insights and monitoring of data from applications, virtualized infrastructure and physical hardware to help improve operational efficiency and minimise costs and troubleshooting time. Integration between VMware vCenter Log Insight and VMware vCenter Operations further enables organisations to combine and analyse both structured and unstructured data for end-to-end operations management. New VMware vCenter Log Insight capabilities will ease adoption in enterprise environments and enable rapid time to value. Optimised for VMware vSphere, VMware vCenter Log Insight 1.5 will also simplify the use of content packs developed by partners, allowing for increased visibility into the logs of infrastructure software and hardware commonly found in virtualized and cloud environments.