6. VMware vMotion over higher latency networks: This almost sounds like magic, but it’s one of the most incredible vSphere features of all. vMotion technology allows IT pros to move a VM from one physical server to another while it is still running without downtime. Now, with vSphere 5, this can be done even in higher latency networks, so instead of just moving from one local server to another, the VM can be moved from one server to another in a completely different data center even over a high-latency campus network.
7. Management changes: With vSphere 5, there is now the ability to manage a vSphere virtualized network through a Web browser from anywhere in the world. Another appealing new management feature is the new switch port analyzer, a mechanism that supports network diagnostics and NetFlow, giving IT pros the ability to listen to traffic from five ports at a time, which increases monitoring capabilities and decreases troubleshooting time dramatically.
8. Auto Deploy: Now IT departments can automatically deploy servers “on the fly” and cut down the time it takes to deploy a datacenter with 40 servers, for example, from 20 hours to 10 minutes. Once the servers are up and running, Auto Deploy also automates the patching process, making it possible to instantly apply patches to many servers at once. With the LAN-based booting of VMware, CIOs can also configure vSphere to automatically be installed over the network in a diskless environment, communicating with a central server and downloading the needed info as soon as it’s powered on.
“An administrator literally plugs in a bare metal server, and using Auto Deploy combined with PXE boot, Image Builder, Host Profiles, and an Auto Deploy server, the OS is installed and added to the existing HA cluster,” said David Bloom, Network Consulting II at Welsh Consulting, which provides IT strategy and support services. “DRS can then take over and start moving VMs over to the new host to distribute the computing load. This is all without administrator interaction.”
In a nutshell, vSphere 5 and the VMware Cloud Infrastructure Suite are proving to be almost impervious to VMware competitors.
“Really, what all this amounts to is the ability to put more virtual machines on the same hardware, offer better service level agreements to your business units and drive higher availability of the servers you virtualize, all in an environment that is easier than ever to manage, creating a better return on investment,” said Steve Pelletier, solution architect for Logicalis, in a statement.
A prolific and versatile writer, Pam Baker writes about technology, science, business, and finance for leading print and online publications including ReadWriteWeb, CIO and CIO.com, Institutional Investor, Fierce Markets Network, I Six Sigma magazine, CIO Update, E-Commerce Times, and many others. Her published credits include eight traditional books, a smattering of eBooks, and several analytical studies on various technologies for research firms on two continents. Among other awards, Baker won international acclaim for her documentary on the paper-making industry, and is a member of the National Press Club and the Internet Press Guild (IPG). She lives in Georgia, USA with her family and two dogs.