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China to get its very own cut-price cut-down cut of vSphere

HPC and Big Data types get one too, and you're all getting non-disruptive upgrades soon

By Simon Sharwood

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VMworld 2017 VMware's created a special cut of vSphere just for mainland China, and another for scale-out applications.

The mainland-China-only* product is called “vSphere Basic” and offers just a hypervisor, vMotion and high availability features, all sold with a single CPU licence. Data protection, vShield endpoint security, fault tolerance and storage vMotion, all found in vSphere Standard, are all absent.

Mike Adams, VMware's director of vSphere product marketing, said the special cut of vSphere has been cooked up to make the product affordable and simple enough for smaller organisations to implement. He added that VMware has created this version of vSphere because “we want to unlock China”, a market in which it has hitherto struggled to win customers. Dell, Lenovo, Inspur and Sugon have signed up to ship vSphere Basic in their servers, as have other local server-makers. Only OEMs will be able to sell vSphere Basic.

Virtzilla's also created a version of vSphere for scale-out applications like big data and high-performance computing.

“vSphere Scale-Out” offers a hypervisor, vMotion, DRS, storage APIs, a distributed switch, I/O controls and auto-deploy tools powered by host profiles, and offers an eight-CPU licence.

Adams said this cut eschews plenty of features found in other cuts of vSphere in order to make it easy to implement and lightweight, rather than burdening users with features they won't need.

Both of the new versions are trials: VMware will push them until the end of the year and check to see if they're hitting the mark. If not, they'll be snuffed.

Adams also shared some news of vSphere's roadmap, telling The Register that VMware plans non-disruptive ESX upgrades in the near future. The company's plan is to create hosts running new versions of ESX alongside hosts running older versions, then vMotion VMs from the old to the new, all without any downtime.

VMware is also working to have vSphere take advantage of GPUs for workloads other than virtual desktops, and wants the software to be aware of field programable gate arrays and non-volatile memory. There's no timeline on when those features will arrive.

Adams also hinted at future enhancements to the new VMware-on-AWS service, saying that tiered storage and more instance types have been discussed as future enhancements. Users of the service will also, he said, see new features appear each quarter. ®

* The software won't be sold in Hong Kong.

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