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VMware Expands ‘Cross-Cloud’ Hybrid Strategy With vSphere 6.5 Update

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VMWORLD 2016: CEO Pat Gelsinger outlines the latest advance in VMware’s hybrid cloud vision with vSphere 6.5

VMware has announced a raft of product updates to support what it calls its Cross-Cloud Architecture, enabling companies to run, manage and secure public, private and hybrid cloud deployments.

At the company’s VMworld Europe 2016 event being held in Barcelona, CEO Pat Gelsinger announced the introduction of vSphere 6.5, as well as updates to Virtual SAN and vRealize Automation.

vSphere 6.5 adds support for new application types, including containers. VMware said this will offer customers a universal application platform, one that can support traditional and modern applications and run them from any location.

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VMworld 2016

VMware VMworld 2014 (7) (1000x750)Within vSphere is the vCenter Server Appliance, which VMware says will enable simpler building of vSphere environments, with reduced complexity for patching, upgrading, backup and recovery and high availability. REST-based APIs have also been introduced to help with the control and automation of the virtual infrastructure.

VMware has also improved security with vSphere 6.5, by adding virtual machine-level encryption and a new Secure Boot feature that prevents tampering of images and the loading of unauthorised components.

Also updated at VMworld Barcelona is Virtual SAN (vSAN). Version 6.5 adds support for containers and physical workloads and iSCSI. Additionally, vSAN 6.5 features two-node direct connect – this eliminates the need for routers and switches between vSAN systems in remote or branch office locations. VMware says this can reduce infrastructure costs by 15-20% per site.

The company’s cloud management platform, vRealize Automation, has also been updated with out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Azure and the introduction of Admiral, a highly scalable and lightweight container management portal.

These announcements build on what the company spoke about at the US leg of VMworld, held in Las Vegas in September. Here in Barcelona, VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger said the combination of compute, storage, network, management and automation offered within these updates is what underpins the company’s software-defined data centre strategy.

But while that applies to private clouds and on-premises deployments many companies are also running public clouds or hybrid environments. VMware’s strategy, via its Cross-Cloud Architecture, is to enable IT to run, manage and secure workloads on any platform.

“This begins with the software-defined data centre. vSphere 6.5 is the latest version of our core, franchise product,” Gelsinger said at VMworld. “There are over 100 new features in it, including comprehensive and built-in security, a simplified customer experience, and the universal application platform, making it the platform for traditional and next-gen apps.”

“Cross-Cloud Architecture enables you to run, manage, connect and secure your applications across any cloud and any device, using a common operating environment. At its core, Cross-Cloud Architecture is about providing freedom and control.”

Quiz: What do you know about the cloud in 2016?