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Many big announcements were made during the first General Session today at VMworld, and we wanted to provide a quick recap of highlights so that our readers can stay up to date with the latest product announcements, releases and updates.

VMware vCloud Suite 5.1 – Delivering the Software-Defined Datacenter

Perhaps one of the more exciting announcements made today at VMworld, Paul Maritz, Pat Gelsinger and Steve Herrod announced the new vCloud Suite 5.1 – the first solution to deliver the software-defined datacenter. The vCloud suite integrates VMware virtualization, cloud infrastructure and management portfolio into a single SKU, in order to simplify the adoption of cloud era technologies.

Paul Maritz shared during VMworld, “VMware and its partners are taking a bold step toward simplifying IT, offering customers everything they need to build, operate and manage their cloud environments. The VMware vCloud Suite delivers the software-defined datacenter – the architecture for implementing cloud computing.”

vSphere 5.1 for SMBs

VMware has also announced vSphere 5.1 solutions to help SMBs simplify and protect IT – with industry-leading virtualization, business continuity and automated management. With the release of vSphere 5.1, VMware will also significantly extend the capabilities of vSphere Essentials Plus to include:

T-Systems Becomes the Latest VMware vCloud Datacenter Partner

T-Systems has joined forces with VMware to provide customers with easier, quicker and more manageable access to the cloud, with AutoScout24 and Actum/G2 already reaping the benefits of this strategic partnership.

According to Mathew Lodge, “T-Systems will broaden its VMware expertise by adding this cloud service offering to its existing and highly capable VMware consulting and integration practice, giving customers outstanding options for their cloud deployments.”

New Cloud Ops Education, Transformation and Advisory Services 

The new Cloud Ops Intellectual Property (IP) and advisory, transformation and education services was designed to help transition IT to a new operating model for cloud computing – to accelerate the delivery of new business value and innovation. Cloud Ops and the Cloud Ops Forum (also announced today) address how to build, operate, staff and measure a cloud environment to maximize business innovation and efficiency.

EMC and VMware Partner to Deliver vSphere Data Protection

Built on EMC Avamar deduplication backup software technology, the new VMware vSphere Data Protection solution is now available in place of vSphere Data Recovery – providing a more cost-effective, reliable and easy-to-use solution to protect VMware environments.

Cisco and VMware Expand Partnership to Help Deliver the Software-Defined Datacenter

This partnership will involve an investment in dedicated engineering teams, whose work will involve deepening integrations across the VMware cloud infrastructure and management stacks and Cisco’s Data Center Networking and Fabric Computing platforms.

More announcements are sure to come – follow us @vCloud and @VMwareSP on Twitter and fan us on Facebook for to-the-minute updates!