Virtual mirror on the wall, what will happen at VMware's ball?

We reckon virtual storage for containers, lots of hybrid cloud and a new vSphere release


VMware saves its biggest announcements of the year for its late August VMworld conference. The company of course keeps its cards close to its chest, but the content catalog for the conference generally offers some clues about what we can expect.

The Register's virtualisation desk has long predicted that the current vSphere beta will emerge at VMworld, probably as vSphere 6.5.

VMware's beta testers respect the company's non-disclosure agreements, so very little has leaked. vSphere releases nearly always improve scale, so let's assume CPU and RAM limits rise to match the capabilities of Intel's most recent Xeons. We think there will be some noise around vMotion, with better support for NVMe. One session at the show, Getting the Most out of vMotion: Architecture, Features, Performance and Debugging, also mentions “a sneak peek into the future directions for vMotion, including encrypted vMotion and migration to public clouds.”

El Reg suspects we'll hear a fair bit about new ways to use vSphere in public clouds at the show, as VMware fleshes out its cloud strategy and explains just how vCloud Air, delivered by it or by partners, is going to work. Virtzilla's deepening partnership with IBM should feature. So should NSX, which feels ripe for a major revision and is well-suited to tightening integration between on-premises bit barns and clouds, or vSphere in different clouds. Perhaps we'll also see versions of NSX for specific use cases, advancing the recent decomposition of the product into less capable and cheaper editions.

The content catalog mentions several sessions that mention “true” hybrid clouds. There's also one titled Rapidly Deploy Flexible, Enterprise-Grade, and Consistent vSphere-Based Data Centers in the Public Cloud that promises the chance to learn about “... a VMware solution under technology preview that enables enterprise customers to consume modern public cloud capabilities to deploy and run VMware workloads, maximizing their existing investments in applications, skill sets, and tooling.”

VMware needs to throw some punches in hybrid cloud because Windows Server 2016 and Azure Stack are going to offer a terrific hybrid cloud story.

On the storage front, VMware's previously revealed a “technology direction around investigation into a Virtual SAN for VMware Photon solution that could provide a scalable, high-performance storage platform for containers and cloud native applications.”

We're predicting that plan will emerge as “Virtual SAN for VMware Photon” if only because there's a session at VMworld titled “Introducing Virtual SAN for VMware Photon: The Best HCI Platform for Containers and Cloud-Native Applications.” Expect other containerised news as VMware tries to point out that it is silly to build automation and orchestration stacks for VMs and containers, given that its Project Photon lets containers run inside VMs.

Also on the storage front, a couple of sessions hint at Virtual SAN (which doesn't seem to be called VSAN any more) will get the predictive analytics capabilities hinted at last March.

The content catalog also features lots of noise about new features for Power CLI, so some news there seems likely. VMware's making big bets on end-user computing, so there should be some new noise around Workspace One and its various components.

Anything we've missed, vAdmins? Let us know if you're aware of any likely news. And feel free to seek out your correspondent at VMworld! ®

Bootnote: Perhaps we'll also see some unusual wheeled vehicles, or shorts worn during a keynote.


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