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VMware’s vSphere 4.0, released just over a month ago, is aimed at helping VMware stay at least two steps ahead of Microsoft, now its biggest competitor in the virtualisation market; VMware’s previous move in this perpetual dance was to make its core hypervisor ESX a free download.

So I went to talk to VMware to find out more, and to get a hands-on demonstration of how it works. The company describes vSphere as an operating system for the internal cloud — a term you might as well view as synonymous with datacentre, as a VMware exec was ready to admit. The top level story is that vSphere is all about improving the efficiency of the four key datacentre resources: computing, networking, storage, and memory.

vSphere, from the company that’s led the server virtualisation market since its inception. is aware of its customers’ needs for fast return on investment: the last enterprise IT manager I spoke said that no spending that didn’t offer more or less instant ROI was making it through today’s tight budget filters. But as VMware’s Fredrik Sjostedt pointed out at the demo, there are lots of projects that companies are implementing for that reason, and many of those are making use of virtualisation.

Caveats
A few caveats before I get into the demo highlights. The company talks about addressing the internal cloud. And applications for vSphere may not lie within a single datacentre but instead might be spread across multiple datacentres. An example might be an organisation with multiple sites and which has grown through acquisition, and wants to consolidate to achieve efficiencies.

There’s also an underlying assumption in a datacentre operating system that there’s always adequate hardware waiting to be converted into a virtual resource. This may be the case in your setup…  read more

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  1. […] Can VMware stay ahead of Microsoft with its new vSphere 4.0? « GeeekQ – VMware’s vSphere 4.0, released just over a month ago, is aimed at helping VMware stay at least two steps ahead of Microsoft, now its biggest competitor in the virtualisation market; VMware’s previous move in this perpetual dance was to … […]

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