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Programming Inside VMware Software-Defined Datacenters


VMware refuses to accept the global convention for referring to the "datacenter" as one word and has ploughed on with updates to its Software-Defined Data Center (hence the four-letter acronym SDDC) model as part of the VMworld symposium and convention.

Regardless of corporate obstinacy, the company is sure that developers may now look to new (well, they're a year old now) architectures providing advanced virtualization for networking, security, storage, management, and automation.

The 10th annual VMworld in San Francisco this week sees 21,000 attendees introduced to new technologies including VMware NSX, VMware Virtual SAN, VMware vCloud Suite 5.5, and VMware vSphere with Operations Management 5.5 for those that want it.

Executive VP of cloud infrastructure and management Raghu Raghuram says that by extending the virtualization capabilities of abstraction, pooling, and automation across all datacenter resources and services, the SDDC architecture "simplifies and speeds" the provisioning and management of compute, storage, and networking resources through policy-driven automation.

VMware NSX is a new network virtualization platform that delivers the "entire networking and security model" in software; i.e., decoupled from networking hardware.

"VMware's approach to network virtualization enables [users] to treat the physical datacenter network as a pool of transport capacity that can be consumed and repurposed on-demand. Virtual networks are programmatically created, provisioned, and managed, utilizing the underlying physical network for simple IP connectivity," said the firm.

The good news here is that the VMware NSX virtual networks support existing applications, unchanged, on any physical network infrastructure. Also new is VMware Virtual SAN — a policy-driven control plane that automates storage consumption and management via virtual machine-centric policies.

VMware also introduced VMware vCloud Suite 5.5, which enables users to build and operate a vSphere-based private cloud using the SDDC architecture, providing virtualized infrastructure services with built-in intelligence. For developers, this means the ability to automate on-demand provisioning, placement, configuration, and control of applications based on policies.

To improve the response time of latency-sensitive applications, VMware vSphere 5.5 also introduces a low-latency sensitivity feature. VMware vSphere 5.5 enables configurations 2x the previous physical CPU, memory, and NUMA node limits.

"With VMware vSphere Big Data Extensions, developers can now run Apache Hadoop and Big Data workloads on VMware vSphere 5.5, alongside other applications, to achieve greater resource utilization, reliability, and agility," said the company.


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