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VMware tools up for software-defined datacentres

IntroVMware CEO Pat Gelsinger (pictured) used his keynote presentation at VMworld Europe in Barcelona to unveil how the virtualisation company would build software-defined datacentres using IT management and automation tools. “We need to make all aspects of infrastructure flexible,” he said. According to Gelsinger, while virtual machines can be provisioned in days, software-defined datacentres should be able to provision them in minutes. The premise behind a software-defined datacentre is that all infrastructure, including networking, storage and security, is virtualised and can be delivered and managed entirely by software.. A software-defined datacentre would enable IT departments to support both private and public cloud systems using the same management tools. However, Gelsinger admitted that VMware had not delivered the full suite of IT management tools needed to achieve this, saying it was “the least sexy piece”. But he said that through effective IT management tools, IT departments could become brokers of services for the cloud. The company is aiming to tackle IT management with a new version of vCloud Suite, based on vSphere virtualisation, to ensure applications such as SAP, Oracle and Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange run well on VMware systems. Chief technology officer Steve Herrod discussed how VMware would address network and storage virtualisation, such as enabling Hadoop to run on virtual machines by providing a virtual storage area network (SAN) capability in VMware, where local server storage is treated like a SAN. This is something he said benefits Hadoop, which needs local storage to run effectively. Other areas of IT management include managing Microsoft HyperV from the VMware vCloud Director tool and vFabric Application Director. With vFabric Application Director, IT administrators use blueprints to deploy applications on VMware-based infrastructure. Herrod said VMware has created a blueprint marketplace called the Application Management Marketplace, which is now in beta, to enable third-party software providers to add their own blueprints.
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