VMware have just announced that the new version of VMware ESX will be called vSphere.
Some of the announced features are:
- 64bit kernel and console operating system (COS)
- clustered VirtualCenter Servers
- ESX hosts profile management
- cross-hosts virtual networking
- 8-way virtual SMP
- virtual machines fault tolerance across multiple hosts (the famous Continuous Availability presented last year)
- VMs and media library
- alarms on physical hardware faults
- access control on storage resources
- configuration change tracking
- full support for SATA local storage
So it seems VMware are catching up to Xen with some of the features. There will be interesting times ahead in the virtualization space, with the recent release of Citrix XenServer for free.
With an updated kernel and 64bit COS, end users should see more hardware end up on the compatible list which is good news for those who want to use some of the latest and greatest hardware.
Additionally 3rd party vSwitches are going to be supported. Cisco have demoed their Nexus 1000V with vSphere.