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Scott Drummonds on Virtualization

Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to vSphere 5

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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 #2: Linked Clones. vCloud Director now supports linked clones.  This greatly improves virtual machine deployment times and drastically reduces the cost of storage in cloud deployments.

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.

11 Responses

Scott, great summary. I’m definitely keeping this in my proverbial back pocket. On point #6 re monster VMs, it’s not about the 0.01% of x86 apps, but rather about the low hanging Unix/RISC apps that customers no longer want to pay $$ for proprietary support costs. Almost every customer I talk to these days wants to move off Solaris/Sparc because they don’t trust Oracle. Huge opportunity there!

Disclosure: I’m a former VMware SE and EMC vSpecialist now a storage/virtualization specialist at Accenture.

  • Scott, great summary. I’m definitely keeping this in my proverbial back pocket. On point #6 re monster VMs, it’s not about the 0.01% of x86 apps, but rather about the low hanging Unix/RISC apps that customers no longer want to pay $$ for proprietary support costs. Almost every customer I talk to these days wants to move off Solaris/Sparc because they don’t trust Oracle. Huge opportunity there!

    Disclosure: I’m a former VMware SE and EMC vSpecialist now a storage/virtualization specialist at Accenture.

  • [...] Drummonds has written up a really great posting all about what he feels are the Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to vSphere 5. This is a great list for anyone who needs to explain to their boss on management why they need to [...]

  • How exactly does vSphere5 support OSX Lion ? Your link to macrumors clearly states that you can run OSX Lion virtualised only on Mac hardware. You cannot legally run OSX from ESX or ESXi. Therefore unless I am mistaken you reason#10 is incorrect !

    • Great point! The OSX Lion EULA states users can “use and run up to two (2) additional copies or instances of the Apple Software within virtual operating system environments on each Mac Computer you own or control that is already running the Apple Software”. This license permits users to legally run two Lion VMs on a Lion host using VMware Fusion.

      Because all VMware virtualization products use the same monitor, virtual machines that run on one product will run on all of them. This means that the Lion VMs running legally in Fusion on a Lion iMac will correctly run on vSphere after cold migration. But will that be a license violation? Possibly.

      Apple permits these VMs on Mac hardware. The HCL for vSphere 5 has not been released yet but it would be interesting if vSphere’s HCL included an Apple configuration. That might permit multiple Lion VMs on that ESX server. But there is still a catch in this reasoning.

      The EULA quote above says these VMs are only permitted on servers “already running the Apple Software”. I think this wording intended to require a native OSX install on the Apple hardware. This would mean no VMware hypervisor–just hosted virtualization like Fusion. But the phrasing is ambiguous and could allow for OSX VMs with other OSX VMs “already running”.

      Finally, VMware has a long history of allowing customers to pursue new strategies for datacenter efficiency that are beyond the limits of existing license models. One need only look at pre-SVVP Microsoft virtualization and current Oracle DB virtualization to see smart customers pushing the bounds of dumb license models. By opening up the technical possibility of OSX virtualization and its stated support by VMware, customers may experiment with OSX virtualization within their interpretation of the license agreement they have with Apple.

  • [...] my last blog article I counted the ability to virtualize Apple’s new OSX Lion as one of the top 10 reasons for [...]

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  • Greetings,

    The top ten points unfortunately do not apply to my customer. If we are migrating off of 3.5, why go straight to V5 with possible limited support with 3rd party vendors i.e. TSM for VE

  • TSM V6.3 should have support for TSM for VE and ESX(i)/vSphere V5…its scheduled to be release in october…

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