VMware's big new release turns the corner on machine virtualisation, and toward next-generation management of virtual machines
- Life should get easier if you're running a VMware infrastructure, can add up to eight vCPUs to a single VM, increased RAM limit
- Time will tell whether its features are as solid as they need to be
VMware vSphere 4.0 touches on almost every aspect of managing a virtual infrastructure, from ESX host provisioning to virtual network management to backup and recovery of virtual machines. Time will tell whether these features are as solid as they need to be in this release, but their presence is a substantial step forward for virtual environments.
Price$ 3,145.00 (AUD)
VMware vSphere 4, out today, is a big release, with plenty of new features and changes, but it's not your run-of-the-mill major update. The new features, which range from VM clustering to agentless VM backup, are especially significant in that they may mark the moment when virtualisation shifted from the effort to provide a stable replica of a traditional infrastructure to significantly enhancing the capabilities of a virtual environment.
In short, if you're running a VMware infrastructure, life should get easier. For anyone who's ever tried to provide rock-solid OS-based clustering services, the new VM clustering feature, called Fault Tolerance, should be a vast improvement. Hot Add of CPUs and RAM has never really been an option for most shops, but it suddenly is (with the right OS, of course). These moves show that VMware is still pushing the virtualisation envelope.
Considering the scope of the upgrade, perhaps "VMware Infrastructure" did warrant a new name, but let's hope that VMware stops there. The company has a bad habit of changing the names of its products every few months, and it's getting tiresome trying to explain why VirtualCenter, vCenter, VI3, V3i, ESX, ESXi, and now vSphere are all basically the same product or parts of the same product suite.
Along with new features and improvements, vSphere brings more hardware resources to VMs. You can now add up to eight vCPUs to a single VM; previously, VMs were limited to four. The new RAM limit is 255GB, up from 64GB. The ESX hosts themselves can now support up to 64 cores and 512GB of RAM. Also — though I haven't had a chance to test this — it appears that you can map raw PCI devices to a specific VM.
VMware's also making some noise about performance enhancement for key technologies, such as claims of 20 percent performance improvement in Microsoft SQL Server throughput, and a claim of a 10x performance bump for iSCSI. That last claim may be just a bit exaggerated, as it appears to be based on the support of 10Gig iSCSI interfaces, rather than an improvement in VMware's internal iSCSI software initiator, which has always been a bit sluggish.
Speaking of performance, the performance graphs and data available in vSphere is much improved over the current release, with a more intuitive layout and better overall access to specific information regarding the performance of a VM or a host.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- FCC rolls back net neutrality ISP transparency rules
- Israeli soldiers hit in cyberespionage campaign using Android malware
- Researcher develops ransomware attack that targets water supply
- Analysts peer into Microsoft's rumored Windows 10 Cloud
- AT&T, IBM, Nokia join to make IoT systems safer
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCFullstack .Net DeveloperNSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)Other
- CCIT Senior Business AnalystNSW
- TPSenior Applications Support OfficerQLD
- FTChief Architect - Public SectorACT
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager - Regulatory/Compliance - BankingNSW
- TPIteration ManagerNSW
- FTStorage Solution ArchitectVIC
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTPart Time - IT Service Desk AnalystVIC
- TPProject OfficerNSW
- FTSupport and Operations Team LeadNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerQLD
- TPBusiness Analyst - Technical BackgroundQLD
- TPNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Security Sales SpecialistVIC
- CCSenior Technical Business Analyst - ITMSP - Melbourne CBDVIC
- CCSME in Openstack, AWSNSW
- TPSenior Business Project ManagerNSW
- CCNetwork Engineer/ Network AdministratorQLD
- TPBusiness Analyst - PeopleSoft HR/Payroll ProjectVIC
- FTSenior Systems AdministratorWA
- FTJunior / Entry Level IT role - Recent IT TAFE GraduateNSW