VMware PEX 2015: The Big Announcements

As expected, several announcements were made at VMware Partner Exchange 2015. The most anticipated announcements involved vSphere 6, VSAN 6 and EVO:RAIL. As an old dog I’ve become fairly jaded in reaction to many of these announcements. However there are some significant features in vSphere 6 and VSAN 6. There are’s also some interesting things surrounding EVO:RAIL.The message from VMware to its 4000 attending Partners was  “One Cloud, Any application, Any Device.” Oh, and no more PEX in the future. The plan is to have all technical sessions available at VMworld, which is a horrible idea. EMC does this at EMC World and all of the technical people are shuffling back and forth between SE-focused sessions and customer-focused sessions.

New Stuff With vSphere 6

There are many expected enhancements to vSphere 6, like 64 nodes per cluster, 8000 VMs, 480 vCPUs, and 12 TB vRAM. Here are the items that I think are significant:

  • Big data extensions claim to increase Hadoop performance by 12%
  • Live migration across Data centers
  • Fault tolerance for VMs with up to 4 vCPUs
  • Enhancements to the vCenter Server Appliance
  • Support for Virtual Volumes (VVOLS)
  • vSphere Data Protection Advanced features included

Click here for more information

New Stuff With VSAN 6

Although it is really a 2.0 release, VMware decided to call the latest version VSAN 6.0 to align itself with vSphere 6.0. You see how well that worked with SRM. Here are the VSAN items that I think are significant:

  • All-flash capability (for a fee)
  • Double the scale to 64 nodes
  • More snapshots
  • Up to 62TB Virtual Disk size
  • Rack awareness

 Click here for more information

VMware Integrated Openstack (VIO)

Touted as “free” with vSphere Enterprise Plus, VIO is a nice way to provision VMs via the Openstack APIs, but unless a datacenter is fully implemented with Openstack, this may have limited use. If you want support, you need to start with a minimum of 50 CPUs and “only $200 each.”


Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliances (HCIA) have become quite the buzzword. Almost enough to qualify it for the coveted center square on the Bullshit Bingo card. Announced at VMworld, the EVO:RAIL is more of a reference architecture that is pre-built by the manufacturers to provide VMware with an easy button.Most of the expected server vendors are introducing their versions of EVO:RAIL. Except Cisco. And I really can’t blame them. Obviously, SuperMicro participated, with it’s servers since they have the most experience in the HCIA game, being the original supplier to Nutanix. Other of note are EMC and NetApp. Neither have really been in the “traditional” server space, although both have provided servers with specific functions. Their entries into the HCIA market have raised my eyebrows, so to speak. All of the others are just ho-hum for now.More to come! I will be breaking each one of these subjects down in future posts.