I was recently re-watching the classic cultural assessment of our friends down under, Bart vs. Australia. Among the other completely accurate portrayals of our Aussie friends, you will see MPs slopping pigs, the Prime Minister drinking beer from an inner-tube on a lake, and of course The Boot. All of this got me thinking of the Melbourne stop in EMC’s five-city Pre-sales Conference Roadshow that finished a week ago. VMware partially sponsored this event and its fantastic SE and one of my good friends, Pete Marfatia, gave an electrifying presentation on the top 10 reasons to upgrade to vSphere 5.
In this entry I want to share with you VMware’s top 10 list that Pete presented with Tim Hartman. I have provided a PDF version of their presentation on my blog in case you want more detail. Feel free to contact me, your local VMware SE, or a vSpecialist if you want more information. Now, on to the top 10!
Reason #10: OSX Lion Support. If you follow me on Twitter you know I think OSX Lion is Apple’s Vista. Application load times stink, the built-in PDF viewer “Preview” will not print on my laptop, I am always warned that no preferred network is available followed by a dialog showing my preferred home network, and there are other annoyances. But, hey, at least Apple is allowing VMware to virtualize this version of OSX. And vSphere 5 supports it.
Reason #9: Auto-deploy. VMware has been working on stateless ESXi for some time and vSphere 5 finally got it right. You can easily build installable images and use vCenter’s Auto Deploy to fully configure a new instance during install time. This means a small amount of configuration information in the image points the new ESX server to vCenter’s host profiles, which provides the full configuration for an ESX host.
Reason #8: vSphere Replication. Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5 can now use software replication in the ESX server, which I informally call host-based replication (HBR). Even though EMC sells replication, we love what VMware is doing with HBR. Its simple, elegant, and wonderfully integrated. Everyone should give it a try. You will find EMC’s replication products as simple, as integrated, and even more robust. As your SRM deployment grows consider EMC replication. But for your first SRM deployment I highly recommend VMware’s HBR.
Reason #7: Cloud Security. Roman Tarnavski and I love VMware vShield. I am convinced that every customer in the world should deploy vShield. vShield 5 comes embedded with RSA’s data loss protection. This means vShield can automatically detect and fence off virtual machines with sensitive information.
Reason #6: Monster VMs. Now you can make 32-way virtual machines with up to 1 TB of vRAM. VMware’s goal here is to enable customers to go 100% virtualized with virtual machines that can contain your largest workloads. But in my opinion the applications that could not fit in vSphere 4’s 8-way virtual machines represented less than 0.01% of the world’s x86 applications. The result is these new virtual machine sizes only opened vSphere up for the final 0.01% of the world’s un-virtualized x86 applications.
Reason #5: Manage Anywhere. Finally, a vSphere Web Client! ’nuff said.
Reason #4: Failback Planned Migration. SRM 5 has been augmented to allow re-protection of a protected site after a migration or DR event. This allows for failback, which customers have been asking for since SRM was first released. On top of this, VMware has enabled a planned migration scenario with SRM 5. This means SRM 5 customers can shutdown protected virtual machines, synchronize their content using the vendor’s storage replication adapter (SRA), and restart the virtual machines on the remote site. With the click of a button an entire datacenter can be moved with little disruption.
Reason #3: vSphere Storage Appliance. Turn your unused x86 servers with direct-attached storage into vSphere storage nodes. The VSA will protect data using a RAID 1+0 configuration.
Reason #1: Smarter Storage. VMware finally released the storage DRS you knew was coming for years. On top of this, the new vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness will subtly but powerfully change the face of storage management.