VMware Infrastructure 3 Hits The Street

The release contains ESX Serv 3.5, VirtCenter 2.5, eases management and makes Linux happy.

Joe Hernick

December 11, 2007

2 Min Read
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VMware has released VMware Infrastructure 3 for general availability. As expected, performance improvements, better automation, and easier management of host and VMs are on the list of improvements. We'll be updating the ESX environments in our virtualization test lab over the holiday season; I'll share any tales of joy or woe as they arise.

A sharp eye reviewing VMware's press release this morning will catch:

Numerous performance optimizations in ESX Server 3.5 such as support for paravirtualized Linux and large memory pages help bring significant performance gains to many common workloads such as Java applications and Oracle databases.

I'm sure this has been in the chute for a long time and has nothing to do with Oracle's recent entry into the VM marketplace.

Other upgrade notes:

  • Storage Vmotion yields minimal downtime, dynamic shifting of storage allocation via live migration of virtual machine disks. VM sysadmins everywhere are raising a glass over this one. We're all keeping our fingers crossed that this works as advertised reducing planned outages (and late-night time away from our families.)

  • Improved management of I/O loads thanks to TCP segmentation offload should make terminal services platforms (MS, Citrix) happy.

  • Guided Consolidation wizards to help smaller shops with the P to V move. This is a solid strategy for VMware to head downmarket, addressing the anxiety and lack of VW skills outside the Fortune 1000 world.

  • Paravirtualization support for Linux (Xen competition, anyone?)

  • Update Manager promises to improve production patching of ESX hosts and VMs, including off-line hosts.

If any readers see a trend toward ease of management and increased uptime as priorities, they'd be right. It will be interesting to see how the new bundled functionality compares with third-party utility sets that had addressed management, versioning, and patch maintenance gaps in previous VMware releases.

VMware offers a slew of price points and functionality bundles starting at $995 for a trimmed-down VMware Infrastructure 3 "Foundation" on a two-processor box through $5,750 for VMware Infrastructure 3 Enterprise two-processor license. Prices go up from there for bigger boxes and additional toys. Check out the release site here.

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