imgresVMware has just announced a new version of its virtualization platform vSphere. It may not be too surprising that the new version 4.1 is introduced with a focus on cloud computing abilities and benefits, but it is remarkable nevertheless. VMware says vSphere 4.1 comes with new memory management and expanded resource pooling capabilities to “accelerate the evolution of datacenters and service providers into cloud computing environments.”

According to the company, vSphere 4.1 doubles the size of its resource pools, and triples the management power to 10,000 concurrently powered on VMs. The company also says that the new version runs 25% faster and reduces the cost per application as a result. Virtual machine applications are accelerated by a factor of 5x. The bottom line: VMware is confident enough to claim that vSphere 4.1 and the VMware vCenter product family are now “cornerstone solutions for customers and service providers building private and public cloud environments.”

It is also worth noting that, in line with its cloud computing message, VMware is changing the licensing model for its vCenter management solutions. The new model aligns licensing costs to the number of virtual machines being managed, rather than to the physical hardware. The new licensing model will be in effect on September 1, 2010 for VMware vCenter products only.

The entire product announcement is something you would expect to read from VMware, but if we remember announcements in the past, the shift in the company’s vocabulary is dramatic. I may be a bit picky here, but if I recall products of the past correctly, then they were introduced with a strong focus on virtualization. That focus is still there, but VMware is supporting the virtualization pitch with the trend of cloud computing. It is yet one more sign just how important cloud computing has become and how much traction it has. Check out ELC’s cloud projects here.

VMware Embraces Cloud Computing

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