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New VMware tools aim at realizing software-defined data center

Are you and your IT organization ready to go for 100% virtualization? VMware is, and not so much in the abstract. Of course the goal of VMware would be to have every customer at 100% virtualization, that’s not quite news,  but the difference now is new VMware tools make for a realistic way to get there.

At this week’s VMWorld 2013, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger announced an array of new products and services aimed at  making the  software-defined data center a reality including new versions of vCloud Suite and vSphere. But the bigger news, which generated a lot more hallway chitchat, was the introduction of  VMware NSX network virtualization platform and VMware Virtual SAN storage for virtual machines. Here is a quick bullet list of what they’re about:

VMware NSX – network virtualization platform

  • Entire networking and security model will be delivered in software, decoupled from networking hardware
  • Operational model for networking promises to breaks through current physical network barriers, enable data center operators to achieve significantly better speed and agility, while reducing costs
  • Data center operators will be able to treat their physical network as a pool of transport capacity that can be consumed and repurposed on-demand
  • Virtual networks are programmatically created, provisioned and managed, utilizing the underlying physical network
  • Virtual networks support existing applications, unchanged, on any physical network infrastructure
  • Platform is built on distributed architecture where the network services are integrated with the hypervisor kernel, enabling network services to scale out in concert with the hypervisor to meet the application’s needs
  • Extensible platform leverages a distributed service framework for easy insertion of partner services

VMware Virtual SAN – storage for virtual machines

  • New technology extends VMware vSphere to pool compute and direct-attached storage
  • A virtual data plane clusters server disks and flash to create high-performance, resilient shared storage designed for virtual machines
  • New tier of converged infrastructure  enables rapid and granular scaling of compute and storage resources
  • Distributed architecture enables storage services to scale out linearly with the needs of the application
  • Distributed architecture enables delivery of I/O performance comparable to mid-range storage arrays while leveraging the economics of direct-attached storage
  • Policy-driven control plane automates storage consumption and management via virtual machine-centric policies.

So what do the new innovations mean for CIOs involved in the virtualization process or who think they’ve gone as far as they’d like to? I spoke with VMUG (VMware User Group) president and cloud ecosystem lead Mariano Maluf to get his take; watch for it soon on

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