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We've very pleased to announce the availability of VMware vSphere 4.1 and several other products today. Here's an initial overview of what's new and what's changed. (Updated 7/13 with press releases, blog posts) 

The Press Releases

At VMware, our press releases are very readable and actually worth checking out. Here are the highlights for the two releases that came out July 13:

  • VMware Advances Foundation for Cloud Computing With VMware vSphere 4.1 and Expanded Virtualization Management Portfolio
    • Introduces the concept that vSphere 4.1 is a platform to build cloud infrastructures
    • Goes over the big new features — see also Steve's blog post (below)
    • Talks about new cloud-based (per-VM) licensing models that we're introducing for several of our vCenter management products
    • Talks about bringing over the Ionix acquisitions to new branding and support from VMware
    • Teases the new Essentials pricing (see the next release)
  • VMware Introduces Enhanced Virtualization Offerings for Small and Midsize Businesses
    • Some background on SMB use of virtualization – contrary to what you might think, small businesses actually often make use of our "enterprise-grade" virtualization feature
    • vMotion in Essentials and Standard
    • Essentials is now list priced at $495/6 processes
    • ESXi (free version) now called "VMware vSphere Hypervisor". We'll now use ESX & ESXi just to refer to the two different architectures.

Blog Posts

Here are some important blog posts we published.

  • VMware vSphere 4.1: Advancing the Platform for Cloud Computing

    from VMware CTO Steve Herrod: "And I thought I’d close with a bit tech-y, but great quotation about this release from one of our more than 800 beta-testing customers… "This release has the stability of a ‘dot-1’ release with the advancements of a ‘dot-0’ release". Indeed!"

  • vSphere and vCenter: The Foundation of VMware's Cloud Strategy

    from VMware Marketing VP Bogomil Balkansky: "VMware is bringing the benefits of cloud computing to internal datacenters by helping customers more efficiently and effectively manage existing applications while building the path to the private and public cloud.  This is what virtualization is all about. By enabling an evolutionary approach to cloud, VMware vSphere and VMware vCenter are the foundation for our cloud strategy"

Steve also contributed this short video introduction to vSphere 4.1:

VMware vSphere 4.1

VMware ESXi

VMware vSphere Hypervisor

The product formerly known as "free ESXi"

VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat 6.3

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 4.1

VMware Studio 2.1

For more information

For the full picture — and it's a big picture, because vSphere 4.1 is a big release, I recommend: