Monday, March 03, 2008

VMworld Europe in Cannes: day 1

Last week I had the priviledge of going to VMworld in beautiful Cannes.

Lots of interesting new features were introduced in the new VI 3.5 or are going to be implemented in future updates.

I've created a short overview of the most important new features I noticed at VMworld at Day 1:

1. ESX server 3i
Several types of Siemens, HP and Dell servers are going to be shipped with ESX 3i. With this, ESX is already installed and during the first power up of the server a few configuration options have to be chosen and your new ESX server is automatically added to your existing ESX environment. So basically, extra CPU power and Memory can be added to your cluster within minutes.
In ESX 3i, no Service console is included anymore and only a 32 MB hypervisor. For command line instructions, a remote console can be downloaded.

2. Update Manager
The Update Manager can patch your ESX servers as well as your Windows and Linux VM's, even if those VM's are turned off. Also, a snapshot is automatically created which can be used for rollback functionality in case the patching went astray.

3. DPM: Distributed Power Management
Everything is in light of the "green" environment. So trying to reduce energy levels are high on the priority list of managers. An excellent sales point for VMware. Not only does virtualizing 10 VM's on 1 physical server has it's obvious benefits, now they also have DPM. DPM will monitor your power supplies and activate and deactivate them as needed, thus saving on power (and air conditioning) costs.

4. Storage VMotion
As you already know, we can easily move running VM's from one host to another. Now, with Storage VM, we can relocate a running VM's virtual disk from one datastore to another. Although now it is still command line based, several people have developped a GUI.

5. HA enhancements
HA is now enable to restart individual failed VM's. That's cool, and expected, but what is coming next is even better. VMware is working on HA being enable to VMotion running VM's to another host if the original host has failed! So, VM's can be moved to a new host even after a host running the VM's has failed. A feature I thought that will be called Distributed Playback. But I'm not sure of the naming. Since it is still being developped VMware mentioned it only very quickly once. I'm sure we'll hear about it in the future.

6. Template broadcast
VM templates that are created can now be used across multiple datacenters.

More of the second day in the next post.