vSphere 5.0 and Cloud Infrastructure Suite Announced!

As I am sure you have heard by now, VMware announced yesterday the next step for the company in the cloud space. I would like to quickly highlight what this means for VMware users and some comments and questions that came to mind.

vSphere 5.0

  • ESXi only
    • You were warned this was coming 🙂
  • Auto Deploy + Stateless
    • Third parties have offered this for awhile so about time!
  • Storage DRS
    • Cool stuff!
  • Complete rewrite of HA
    • AAM replaced by FDM
    • No more primary/secondary
    • Networking as well as storage used to ensure availability!
    • Requires two shared datastores…
  • VAAI expansion
    • Some NFS support
    • Full datastores do not result in crashed VMs!
  • vStorage API for Storage Awareness (VASA)
    • Who comes up with these names?
  • VMFS-5
    • No need for extents and limit now of 64TB per LUN!
    • Only one allocation size: 1MB…
  • vMotion improvements
    • Can migrate a VM with snapshots and keep snapshots!
  • Licensed by pools of vRAM instead of RAM (!!!)
    • It will be interesting to see how customers react to this
  • vCenter Appliance for Linux
    • It is about time!
    • “1.0” release if you will and likely many features are still missing
  • vSphere Web client
    • It is about time!
    • “1.0” release if you will and likely many features are still missing


  • Static routing
    • Instead of just NAT
  • RSA + Data Loss Prevention (DLP) = vShield Data Security (vSDS) + Bonus: agentless!
  • Certificate-based VPN

I have not seen anything listed around load balancing. One major limitation with vShield 1.0 was that the load balancing component only supported port 80.

vCloud Director (vCD) 1.5

  • Support for SQL databases
    • It is about time!
  • Linked clones
    • Can you say Cloud Foundry?
    • For those who were forced to convert from Lab Manager – it is about time this is supported!
  • Integration with vShield IPSec VPN
  • Can scale to same limits as vSphere

While these changes sound good, what about bug fixes? I am not sure about your experiences with vCD 1.0, but mine were quiet negative given all the bugs I uncovered.

Site Recover Manager (SRM) 5.0

  • Built-in automated failback (awesome!)
  • Host-based replication (great for SMBs – no longer need expensive storage!)

vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA) 1.0

  • Can aggregate local storage and present as shared storage (great for SMBs!)

This has been offered by third-parties in the past and is a great idea. I would be interested to see the support/compatability matrix. In addition, I would perform heavy testing on this product as it is a 1.0 release.


Overall, while there are some great new features and improvements to existing features, the initial review left me desiring more from a feature perspective. With that said, this release in my mind reflects VMware listening to the customer and attempting to fix the pain points that have been experienced in the past, simplify the management components, and forgo the introduction of additional complexities and feature sets that are immature and not ready to be released.

© 2011, Steve Flanders. All rights reserved.

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