VMware announces slew of new products at VMworld
News September 12th, 2007
By Roger Howorth

Virtualisation specialist VMware announced three major new products at its VMworld conference in San Francisco earlier this week.

Top of the list is a new venture with server hardware vendors such as Dell, IBM and HP, which will see the hardware vendors marketing servers that come with the VMware ESX Server hypervisor supplied in Flash memory. The move should reduce down to a few minutes the time needed to deploy new servers running VMware virtual machines. The move also breaks new ground because this is the first time server hardware will run the VMware hypervisor without also running the VMware Service Console (SC). The SC is used by system administrators to interact with the VMware hypervisor to perform system maintenance tasks such as creating or booting-up virtual machines. Previously all ESX Server systems were required to run a copy of the VMware Service Console, but system administrators will manage the new servers using the VMware Virtual Client, which is supplied free with ESX Server, or using VirtualCenter, which is a chargeable option. The new server hardware is expected to be available by the end of this year.

VMware also announced a new disaster recovery (DR) option for firms that want to support a failover datacentre that hosts replicas of servers in case there is a problem connecting to the primary datacentre. VMware Site Recovery Manager will target large enterprises and addresses the failover between two datacentres. The suite will help administrators create and execute DR plans, but firms would need a separate replication product to actually copy data between the two datacentres. Currently Site Recovery Manager is in the early stages of development and is expected to be launched in the first half of next year.

In other news, VMware also said it will later this year launch a connection broker for firms using ESX Server to host virtual desktop PCs. A connection broker is located between users and the ESX server farm where the virtual desktops are hosted. Users log onto the connection broker, which provides a list of available VMs, and users can click on one to begin a session. The VMware connection broker will be able to provision VMs from gold images, and will support SSL encryption to ensure privacy of the users’ sessions. It will also support USB devices that are connected to the users’ hardware. The suite is currently in beta testing and is expected to be available in December.

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