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Interop 2009 Show Winners
Category: Cloud Computing
Winner: VMware -- VMware vSphere 4color="#CC0000">
Judges: Charles Babcock, InformationWeek; Steven Schuchart, Current Analysis, Inc.
The adoption of server virtualization is growing by leaps and bounds every day. VMware has really stepped up in delivering the next-generation platform offering advanced features and capabilities that will propel x86-based server virtualization well into the next decade. The new and beefier vSphere 4 can manage up to 1,280 virtual machines on 32 servers -- or an average 40 VMs per server -- although there's no reason vSphere can't manage more than 40 if the customer wishes.
Each server in a vSphere cluster or private cloud may have up to 64 cores, and each VMware host under vSphere 4 may host 32 terabytes of RAM. But the statistical dimensions of vSphere 4 are less important than the way the product changes how we think about the data center. VMware's new vSphere 4 gives enterprises new levels of reliability and new features that competitors in this market space cannot currently match.
For example, the innovative Fault Tolerance feature of vSphere 4 allows enterprises to designate two identical blades within a chassis as a fault tolerant pair. When one blade fails, the second blade has an identical copy of the first, all the way down to memory and internal IO operations. This allows for instant failover, a feature that has in the past only been found on specialty servers designed for full fault tolerance. VMware Fault Tolerance can also automatically bring another identical blade into sync, re-creating a fault tolerant pair if such a blade is available.
Then there's vShield Zones, which address the security vulnerability of virtual machines by giving them a zone definition of what security measures must accompany their operation. This definition then follows the virtual machine around when it is moved by vMotion from one server to another. VMware Host Profiles in vSphere 4 make it much easier to determine what combination of components is a balanced one for the workload under consideration. And for added resource conservation, VMware Distributed Power Management tracks which servers are underutilized and could be shut down if their virtual machines were migrated to another server.
Under vSphere 4, the fully virtualized data center is really beginning to take shape and vSphere 4 is a big step forward in server virtualization; bringing new features and value along with general upgrades that make it truly Best of Interop.
-- Charles Babcock
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