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By: Matt Sarrel

Last week, VMware CEO Paul Maritz announced VMware vSphere 5 and a full set of cloud infrastructure technologies designed to help customers create and maintain efficient and agile virtual infrastructures.  

With nearly 200 new and enhanced capabilities, VMware vSphere 5 will continue to set the standard in virtualization, delivering better application performance and availability for all business-critical applications while automating the management of an increasingly broad pool of datacenter resources. Rounding out the virtualization offering are VMware vShield™ 5, VMware vCenter™ Site Recovery Manager 5, and VMware vCloud® Director 1.5, products that together with VMware vSphere 5, will amplify the value customers can realize from virtualized resources by enabling cloud-scale operations.
 
Security is always important to me, and VMware is evolving their security from a physical model to a virtual software model, driven and managed by policy, enabling customers to trust in the security of their applications and data regardless of where they reside or how frequently they move across various private, public and hybrid cloud environments.  To me, more security is usually a good thing, especially regarding applications and data.
 
vSphere has been beefed up to support VMs that are up to four times more powerful than previous versions, with up to 1 terabyte of memory and 32 virtual CPUs.  High availability features have been enhanced to increase scalability.  Great performance and higher availability means that more business-critical applications can be virtualized.
 
Equally important is the ability of VMware vCloud Director 1.5 to create and maintain Linked Clones. Now administrators can build and patch Linked Clones instead of individual VM’s, which will yield a dramatic time saving. According to VMware, this can reduce provisioning time to as few as 5 seconds while also reducing storage costs by as much as 60 percent.  
 
In a separate announcement VMware introduced the VMware vSphere Storage Appliance™, a new software product that transforms server internal storage into shared pools of storage.  This product is primarily focused on enabling SMB customers to take full advantage of the unique business continuity and automation capabilities of VMware vSphere, including High Availability, vMotion®, and Distributed Resource Scheduler™.  It’s good to see enterprise features filtering down to the SMB market.

Stay tuned for more updates on these products, and follow us on @vCloud.

Matthew D. Sarrel (or Matt Sarrel) is executive director of Sarrel Group, a technology product testing, editorial services, and technical marketing consulting company.  He also holds editorial positions at pcmag.com, eweek, GigaOM, and Allbusiness.com, and blogs at TopTechDog.