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VMware teases vSphere roadmap at VMworld

In future vSphere releases, VMware will focus on optimizing for the cloud and improving how clusters work.

These changes will further blur the line between a virtual data center and a cloud infrastructure, said Bogomil Balkansky, VMware’s vice president of product marketing. During an interview at VMworld 2011, he explained VMware’s vSphere roadmap in terms of three expanding circles, starting at the host, then moving out to the cluster and ending at the data center/cloud level:

Host-level changes: The ESXi hypervisor will support future types of workloads that require more host resources. These workloads will be different than the client/server applications that a majority of VMware users run today, Balkansky said.

Cluster improvements: VMware will continue to increase the number of hosts a vSphere cluster can support, as well as stretching clusters over longer geographical distances. The company, along with Cisco Systems, is already focusing on this area with the new VXLAN technology, which aims to improve virtual machine (VM) mobility across multiple data centers. Having larger clusters with the ability to live-migrate VMs across longer distances has numerous benefits, including increased flexibility and disaster recovery capabilities.

Data centers and clouds: VMware plans to provide more automation for the movement of workloads among data centers and clouds, Balkansky said. This initiative is closely related to the clustering improvements, but orchestration deals more with the policies that govern which workloads run on which hosts. These rules must account for security and compliance considerations, as well as expected levels of performances, Balkansky said.

VMware will implement these vSphere changes gradually in future releases, Balkansky said. So don’t expect all of this functionality in vSphere 5.1 or even vSphere 6.

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