The Cloud Has Landed

Well, today was the big day that all of us with VMware NDAs plastered all over our cube walls have been waiting for: The official launch of VMware vSphere 4 (and the lifting of a heavy gag order).

There has been much going on today between the regular line up of expected blog posts and Twitter feeds going off faster than I can read.  It all started off at about 11:30 pm Central Time last night when Twitter started going crazy and VMware’s site was updated.  The last 24 hours has seen lots of pent up writing and screenshots dumped all over the Internet by people who have spent a lot more time with vSphere betas than I have.  Therefore, I will not only link to the best information, rather than recreate it, but I will rely heavily on linking to link compilations that other trusted bloggers have created.

Condensed version of the press release:

I’m assuming most of the people who are going to find value out of this post will not be perusing the regular blogs, so I’m going to start with the basics:

New licensing and pricing structure

Instead of the old three tier pricing of VI3, vSphere now has six price/feature tiers (two of which are targeted at the SMB market).

The details are here:

Edition comparison chart:

Jason Boche notes some specific observations on the new licensing:

New features

Particular notables from my perspective:

  • FT (Fault Tolerance) – Two VMs in lockstep, executing all the same instructions.  One dies, the other takes over.
  • Storage VMotion – Now in the GUI.
  • Host Profiles – Create an ESX configuration standard and automatically configure new hosts and validate config of existing hosts.
  • vDistributed Switch – Create a switch once and it stretches across all hosts.  Bonus (but not free): Nexus 1000v

What’s new overview:

Extensive listing of features (old and new) and related editions:

Again to Jason Boche for a series of screen shots of some updated and new features:

Duncan Epping started getting some info out well before today’s event in a series of posts: CPU compatibility with FT:

Learn more

Performance notables:

A bit of everything (the relinking links)

Upgrade process

VMware has done a pretty good job providing information to enable customers to upgrade.  I will add that you should immediately go out to VMware’s licensing portal and make sure you can log in.  Then validate the data they have is accurate and complete, including SnS.

Upgrade advisor:

Upgrade prereqs:

Hardware compatibility (note that vSphere is x64 only):

I’m sure there’s more, so I may add to this list, but this will keep you busy for awhile!