With over 23,000 attendees in San Francisco during the week of August 24th, VMware’s VMworld conference was a treasure trove of new and exciting virtualization-driven products, both from VMware and their partners, to grow and support their Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) push.
Hyper Converged Infrastructure
During the keynote on the first day, VMware unveiled several new key technologies in their “hyper-converged” infrastructure: vCloud Air, VMware EVO, NSX enhancements and vSOM 5.5, amongst others. What does “hyper-converged” mean? To VMware, it means taking the building blocks of a traditional compute environment – Servers, Disk, Networking and Racks – and bundling them into a simple-to-use, easy-to-manage platform. Envision rolling this platform into your datacenter, branch office, cloud provider or remote offices, plugging it in to power and network connectivity, and being ready to go in a short amount of time (typically much faster than the time to build the infrastructure yourself). The VMware EVO management GUI looks easy, and I expect it will significantly streamline management of the virtual infrastructure.
Speaking of management, I expect expanded adoption of the vSphere Operations Management Suite (vSOM) to help customers getting the most “bang for the buck” out of their virtual environment. I see this as a growing and very key area for VMware and their partners (including Datatrend Technologies) to help customers realize every tangible benefit that their software-defined data center can offer!
Server Aggregation Pools Individual Resources
VMworld was flush with “server aggregation” software. What is “server aggregation” you might ask? It’s the ability to take individual resources (such as local storage and local memory) on each node and, with the assistance of underlying software, pool those resources so multiple servers within a cluster or datacenter can utilize them as storage as if they were attached to each respective server.
Atlantis Computing’s USX 2.0 product (which also won Best of Show 2014 at VMworld and is also a Datatrend software partner) is one of those products that is redefining the market for server resource aggregation. The Atlantis solution helps assemble what were once disparate and dedicated resources to a single server and make those available to the entire cluster of servers, increasing productivity, increasing utilization of your physical resources and improving the speed and responsiveness of your application and infrastructure. If you manage a Virtual Desktop Integration (VDI) environment, this technology has massive implications for improved responsiveness and scalability.
Flash Array is Here to Stay
Lastly, and this comes as no surprise, solid-state storage whether it be SSD- or NAND-based is here to stay. No fewer than 8 vendors displayed flash arrays, demonstrating just how much speed could be achieved when moving from a traditional mechanical disk based array with hundreds and hundreds of disk platters to a smaller, more power efficient, more space efficient and much better performing flash array like the IBM FlashSystem 840. As the technology improves, speeds increase and prices keep trending lower, this technology is sure to be a game changer for a lot of companies who need the speed that an all flash array can bring, whether in the analytic workspace, virtualized desktop or virtualized server clusters.
The Software Defined Data Center has “No Limits”
The speed at which the software defined datacenter has caught on is absolutely astonishing. I, for one, see this as a great thing for our customers. It allows an unprecedented level of creation and control over infrastructures. I am excited by the possibilities this brings to our customers and partners in this space!
Some VMworld 2014 Recap related resource links: