by Adam Armstrong

VMware Introduces Several New Updates At VMworld 2017

Today at VMworld 2017 in Las Vegas, VMware Inc. announced several new updates to its products. These new releases include VMware Integrated OpenStack and VMware vRealize Network Insight aimed at modernizing data centers and increasing networking and security. The company is updating its popular vSAN HCI solution with new HCI kits to speed deployment and expanding vSAN reach well beyond the data center. VMware is also introducing a new vSphere Scale-Out Edition that will tackle Big Data and HPC workloads.

Transformation and digital transformation are two buzzwords that get thrown around a bit too much. However, all markets are experiences a transformation (the majority through automation, AI, and the overwhelming amount of Big Data shedding new insights, and the information technology field is changing for several of the same reasons). This transformation brings several issues that need addressing as well as many potential benefits. VMware is attempting to address issues and capitalize on the benefits with its new portfolio spanning cloud, digital workspace, and security. With the newly updated and announced products, VMware plans to enable customers to run, manage, connect, and secure any application on any cloud to any device.

The latest version of VMware's Integrated OpenStack, version 4, complies with the OpenStack Foundation’s 2017.01 interoperability guidelines. The new version will provide customers with what VMware is calling the fastest and most efficient solution to deploy and operate OpenStack clouds on VMware’s software-defined data center (SDDC) infrastructure. The deployment can be done without the need of professional services as well. OpenStack's latest release, Ocata, is supported that will allow VMware customers to take full advantage of all the new performance and scalability enhancements to core compute and networking services as well as increased support for containers. Though VMware Integrated OpenStack used to be free to select customers it will now be sold in two editions.

VMware Integrated OpenStack 4 new functionality will include:

  • Enhancements that enable enterprises to run containerized applications alongside traditional applications in production on OpenStack
  • vRealize Automation integration to enable OpenStack users to use vRealize Automation-based policies and to consume OpenStack components within vRealize Automation blueprints
  • Increased scale and isolation for OpenStack clouds enabled through new multi-vCenter support.

On the networking and security side of things, VMware vRealize Network Insight 3.5 builds off of the capabilities introduced in 3.4: support for micro-segmentation planning, troubleshooting, and application modeling using native Amazon Web Services (AWS) components. To this end, 3.5 offers intelligent operations for software-defined networking and security across virtual, physical, and multiple-clouds with micro-segmentation planning that can be scaled to thousands of VMs at a time, 360-degree visibility and VMware NSX operations. The latest version also gives customers even deeper visibility into both the networking and security infrastructure. This visibility makes it easy to monitor NSX deployments and help meet PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance.

Key new capabilities will include:

  • The NSX Edge Health Dashboard and NSX Internet Protocol Flow Information Export (IPFIX) integration to enable NSX customers to safeguard health and access analytics for SDDC flows impacted by NSX firewall rules.
  • Support for HPE OneView, Brocade MLX and Check Point firewalls to provide customers with holistic visibility across their virtual and physical networking and security infrastructure.
  • The PCI compliance dashboard for NSX Distributed Firewall (DFW) will help customers in verticals such as Financials, Health Care and Government to build compliance for their NSX infrastructure.

vSAN is VMware widely popular HCI. It has racked up near 10,000 customers since it was released. The only real downside to it is that it lives mostly in the data center. VMware is taking all of the benefits and vSAN and pushing it out to remote and branch sites through its new VMware HCI Acceleration Kit. This kit brings a cost-effective version of vSAN to distributed environments. The kit brings VMware vSAN software and vSphere-native architecture onto several hardware options. The software licenses support single-socket vSAN ReadyNodes, which are available from Dell, Fujitsu, Lenovo, NEC, and Supermicro. Ideal use cases for the new kits include edge analytics and on-prem deployments of the new VMware Pulse IoT Center for Internet of Things (IoT).

Big Data and HPC workloads are growing fast. Realizing this and building off of the vSphere 6.5 release VMware introduced VMware vSphere Scale-Out specifically for Big Data and HPC workloads. This solution enables customers to rapidly change and provision compute nodes. vSphere has also been updated with a new enhanced HTML 5-based vSphere Client supporting 90% general workflows administrators rely on. The solution has a more scalable vCenter Server Foundation that now supports four hosts.

vSphere Scale-Out benefits for customers include:

  • Dramatic Resource Optimization - Memory and CPU utilization optimization in a virtualized environment can increase performance significantly over a native, physical system. VMware tests of Big Data workloads have shown that virtualized Spark clusters can exceed physical clusters performance by up to 15 percent.
  • Simplified Compute Node Creation - Adding new nodes to a Big Data cluster can be done by cloning new VMs and giving them an identity. Clusters can be scaled-out and -down as needed to ease daily activities for Big Data architects.
  • Network Flexibility - Widely distributed system like most Big Data clusters, require the management of many nodes using a common central point of control. vSphere delivers that with the Distributed Switch.

Availability and Pricing

VMware Integrated OpenStack 4 is expected to be available by November 3, 2017. VMware will introduce two new SKUs for purchase with the availability of VMware Integrated OpenStack 4. VMware Integrated OpenStack for Data Centers will be available for $995/CPU for net new customers. A second edition will be available as an add-on for existing vRealize Suite customers for $495/CPU.

VMware vRealize Network Insight 3.5 and the new VMware vSphere Scale-Out edition are both expected to be available by November 3, 2017. The new VMware vSphere Scale-Out Edition will be sold directly by VMware and OEM partners.

VMware HCI Acceleration Kit starts at $7,852. Partner VMware vSAN ReadyNodes for the HCI Acceleration Kit are available today.

VMworld 2017

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