VMware To Ship Infrastructure 3
Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware is rolling out this month a new suite of its
virtualization tools that bundles both existing and new products into a package
meant to more closely reflect what customers say they need as their deployments
become more complex. High on that list, say company officials, is the ability
to manage a lot of virtual machines from one centralized view.
Infrastructure 3 is intended to do that and more -- like providing virtualization
management systems for entire farms of servers and storage, independent of the
application/operating system workloads and of the underlying hardware.
"Managing [virtual machines] on a server-by-server basis will be shortly
viewed as the past," Patrick Lin, director of datacenter products at VMware,
said in an interview. "[Instead, it will be that] I have applications
and workloads that have certain requirements... You define what the resource
requirements are and Infrastructure 3 provides that," Lin added.
In polling their customers, it turned out, said Lin, that they typically licensed
a set of VMware's products to help them manage virtual machines (VMs)
running on the company's flagship ESX Server virtualization product. The
new suite combines existing and new products to better meet customers'
request for an all-in-one solution, Lin said.
Infrastructure 3 is comprised of ESX Server, plus two other existing products
-- Virtual SMP and VirtualCenter, which includes the company's VMotion
technology. (VMotion is a technology VMware introduced three years ago that
enables a VM to be moved around a set of physical servers automatically without
To this base, VMware is also adding four new products: VMFS, a next generation
distributed file system that supports management of VMs, VMware Distributed
Resource Scheduler (DRS), VMware High Availability (HA) and VMware Consolidated
VMware HA provides high-availability capabilities as part of the virtual environment.
For instance, if a host goes down, HA can automatically restart all of that
host's VMs, the company said in a statement. Other upgrades have been
made as well to existing products. Virtual SMP support, meanwhile, has been
scaled up from two-way to four-way virtual processors.
Ultimately, Lin said, virtualized environments are changing how companies use
computing technologies. "IT [becomes] a shared utility that is deployed
dynamically in order to meet the needs of the business," he added. "When
you bring up a VM, you can say, 'I want this level of resources'...you
don't have to look at individual VMs."
Infrastructure 3 comes in two editions: Standard and Enterprise. The Standard
edition starts at $3,750 and includes ESX Server 3, Virtual Center 2, Virtual
SMP and VMFS. Meantime, the Enterprise edition adds VMotion support, DRS, HA
and Consolidated Backup. That package starts at $5,750.
Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.