VMware, Inc. today announced VMware vSphere 6, the newest edition of the industry-defining virtualization solution for the hybrid cloud and foundation for the software-defined data center. With more than 650 new features and innovations, VMware vSphere 6 will provide customers with a highly available, resilient, on-demand cloud infrastructure to run, protect and manage any application. VMware vSphere 6 will be complemented by the newest releases of VMware vCloud Suite 6, VMware vSphere with Operations Management 6, and VMware Virtual SAN 6.

VMware today also re-enforced its support of open frameworks for building and managing clouds with its new VMware Integrated OpenStack distribution. This first-ever OpenStack distribution from VMware will empower IT to provide developers with open API access to enterprise-class VMware infrastructure. Additionally, VMware revealed a technology preview that will enable customers to bridge the public and private cloud through the combination of VMware NSX network virtualization and VMware vCloud Air, VMware’s public cloud service, to enable a single, secure network domain.

“As our customers accelerate growth, their IT organizations are expected to drive transformation, enhance efficiency and bring more value to the business than ever before,” said Ben Fathi, chief technology officer, VMware, Inc. “We are helping them achieve these goals through continued innovation in VMware vSphere as the platform for their hybrid cloud strategy. VMware vSphere is the gold standard by which all other virtualization technologies are measured, and vSphere 6 raises the bar even higher.”

In other news today, VMware announced the industry’s first unified platform of virtualized compute, networking and storage for the hybrid cloud (read the news announcement), as well as new innovations for software-defined storage including VMware Virtual SAN 6 and vSphere Virtual Volumes (read the news announcement).

VMware vSphere 6 – The Foundation for Hybrid Cloud

Unveiled today, VMware vSphere 6 will deliver breakthrough new capabilities to address the unique needs of business-critical and cloud-native applications, and drive higher performance, scale and consolidation ratios. VMware vSphere 6 will also re-define infrastructure and application service-levels and availability. New capabilities and features include:
•    Broad Application Support – VMware vSphere 6 will address the specific challenges of cloud-native applications, including agile development cycles and multiple application instances. With VMware vSphere 6, organizations will be able to manage thousands of component instances of a single cloud-native application. New scale, performance and availability capabilities also make vSphere 6 the platform of choice for virtualizing scale-up applications such as SAP HANA, scale-out workloads such as Hadoop, and business-critical applications such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, and SAP ERP.
•    New Long-Distance Live Migration Capabilities – VMware vSphere 6 introduces Long-Distance vMotion, which will enable zero downtime live migration of workloads over long distances such as New York to London. With multi-processor fault tolerance, another industry first, customers will benefit from continuous availability for larger virtual machines up to four virtual-CPUs.
•    Instant Clone Technology – Introduced as Project Fargo, a technology preview at VMworld 2014 San Francisco, VMware’s Instant Clone technology will make it possible to rapidly clone and provision thousands of container instances and virtual machines to make new virtual infrastructure available in sub-second timeframes.
•    3D Graphics for Desktop Virtualization – VMware vSphere 6 will enable enterprises to deliver high-end workstation and graphics-intensive applications to virtual desktops such as VMware Horizon 6 for industries such as engineering, automotive, education and architecture. Using NVIDIA GRID vGPU technology, immersive 3D graphics can be delivered from the cloud enabling greater density, scalable performance and increased cost-savings. Read the NVIDIA and VMware joint announcement.
•    Enterprise-Class Hypervisor-Converged Storage – VMware’s flagship will provide enterprise-class scale, performance and new data services making it the ideal storage platform for virtual machines including business-critical applications. Read more about VMware Virtual SAN 6.
•    Virtual Machine-Awareness for Third-Party Storage – VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes is the industry’s first solution that will enable native virtual machine awareness on a wide range of third-party storage systems, extending VMware’s software-defined storage control plane to the ecosystem. Read more about VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes.

Customers can optimize the performance, capacity and configuration health of VMware vSphere 6 with the newly introduced VMware vSphere with Operations Management 6. An integrated platform and management solution, VMware vSphere with Operations Management 6 simplifies infrastructure management with predictive analytics as well as automated recommendation and remediation capabilities. The solution delivers value from day one by helping customers proactively identify and remediate emerging performance and configuration issues and to reclaim any overprovisioned virtual machines along with associated compute, memory and storage resources.

Also announced today, VMware vCloud Suite 6 will integrate VMware vSphere 6 with the latest releases of its cloud management solutions — VMware vRealize Automation 6.2 and VMware vRealize Operations 6 — to deliver a private cloud based on a software-defined data center architecture. The latest release will also introduce showback/chargeback and budgeting capabilities via the addition of VMware vRealize Business 6 Standard to further empower infrastructure and operations teams to manage private clouds.

VMware Integrated OpenStack – A Simpler Path to OpenStack
VMware Integrated OpenStack is an OpenStack distribution that will enable organizations to quickly and cost-effectively provide developers with open, cloud-style APIs to access VMware’s enterprise-class infrastructure. VMware will package, test and support all components of the distribution, including the open source OpenStack code.

With VMware Integrated OpenStack, even IT shops with little or no OpenStack or Linux experience can be up and running with an OpenStack cloud in minutes. The solution will provide full integration with VMware’s cloud management platform, enabling customers to leverage existing VMware expertise to manage and troubleshoot an OpenStack cloud.

VMware is also announcing set of new professional services that will provide customers ready access to software development best practices to help implement OpenStack and DevOps projects successfully. VMware added a wealth of experience in designing, implementing and auto-deploying any size OpenStack cloud through its acquisition of MomentumSI, which closed in Q4 2014. Read more about what MomentumSI brought to VMware.

Pricing and Availability
VMware vSphere 6, VMware vSphere with Operations Management 6, VMware vCloud Suite 6 and VMware Integrated OpenStack are expected to be available in Q1 2015.
•    Pricing for vSphere 6 starts at $995 per CPU.
•    Pricing for vSphere with Operations Management 6 starts at $1,745 per CPU.
•    Pricing for vCloud Suite 6 starts at $4,995 per CPU.
•    VMware Integrated OpenStack is free for use for vSphere Enterprise Plus, vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus and vCloud Suite customers. Production-level technical support for VMware Integrated OpenStack including the OpenStack open source code is optional and can be purchased separately for $200 per CPU (minimum of 50 CPUs).