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It is a big day here at VMware with the release of vSphere 4.1. I can’t believe this day is finally here! First, let me thank everyone at VMware that has spent countless hours on this release.

What do I think is compelling and significant about vSphere 4.1?

In addition to the key or highlighted features in our release (which you can read about here), I think there are some smaller or more subtle changes to the product offering that can impact users in a big way. You may not be that aware of these so let's take a quick look at a few of them:

1. The Cloud – In just about one year’s time we have gone from discussing vSphere as the best platform for building cloud infrastructures to the now the best platform for cloud infrastructures. This small change is really a big deal because it highlights our continuing efforts to not only enable the cloud but really drive it and truly deliver benefits to users. We believe vSphere 4.1 puts those additional elements to make that step into place. Each of the highlighted features is positioning us for the cloud.

2. VAAI – The new vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) are fundamentally going to change the way vSphere common activities (Storage vMotion, provisioning a VM, Thin Provisioning) happen from a performance and efficiency perspective. Any opportunity to increase performance from 5x to 20x (depending on workload, environment, and a few other factors) is a real plus.

3. Active Directory Integration at the vSphere Host – Every customer I have talked to is a big fan here. The ability to authenticate at a more granular level means enhanced security and also a better way to leverage an existing model.

4. DRS Host Affinity Rules – Got a VM you don't want to move to a certain vSphere host due to availability, performance, licensing, or other concerns? No problem. Add a hard or preferential rule in DRS to make this happen. I would definitely make sure though you think about how these rules impact your ability to be flexible and add them where they make the most sense.

vSphere 4.1 Additional Resources

Read VMware CTO Steve Herrod’s blog on VMware vSphere 4.1

Read VMware VP of Marketing Bogomil Balkansky’s blog on today’s news

Learn more about VMware vSphere 4.1

Come see vSphere 4.1 in action at VMworld 2010