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VMware vSphere 4.1: Special report

VMware vSphere 4.1 is out. Get full news coverage of the release, reaction from users and analysis from our experts.

VMware released vSphere 4.1 on June 13. It is the first updated version of the VMware vSphere platform, which debuted last year and replaced the VMware Virtual Infrastructure platform.

VMware vSphere 4.1 offers several technical improvements, including new I/O control and memory compression capabilities. In addition, VMware added its vMotion live migration technology to the Standard and Enterprise Plus editions of vSphere 4.1 -- and raised prices on those two editions.

Alongside the vSphere 4.1 announcement, VMware also changed pricing and licensing for most of its vCenter management portfolio to a per-VM model. And the company rebranded the Ionix management products it purchased from parent company EMC earlier this year.

This VMware vSphere 4.1 special report covers all angles of the new release. Get users' reactions to the new features, analysis of the new vCenter pricing and licensing model, and expert Mike Laverick's in-depth look at the latest version.



VMware vSphere 4.1 news
VMware vSphere 4.1 analysis



VMware throws bone to enterprises, SMBs with vSphere 4.1
VMware vSphere 4.1 offers new features targeted at enterprises and licensing changes aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. But users say the new features don't address their biggest challenges: management and availability. And the new licensing doesn't do much to help VMware compete with Microsoft's free Live Migration feature.

VMware adopts per-VM licensing, pricing
Along with the VMware vSphere 4.1 announcement, the company also unveiled a new per-VM licensing and pricing model for most of its vCenter management products. VMware said the new model would give customers more flexibility, but in practice, per-VM licensing can make things more complicated for IT administrators.

CommVault, Veeam support vSphere 4.1
No major product announcement comes without related support announcements from third-party vendors, and the VMware vSphere 4.1 release was no exception. CommVault and Veeam were among the first to announce vSphere 4.1 support, CommVault with its Simpana software and Veeam with its Monitor 5.0 product.



VMware boosts performance with vSphere 4.1
Our VMware expert Mike Laverick got an advance look at vSphere 4.1 before its release. Now that it's out, he can share all that he learned. In this in-depth technology review, he takes a look at the new I/O control and memory compression features -- as well as improvements to vMotion -- and how they affect vSphere performance.

What's new in ESXi 4.1?
ESXi 4.1 is the hypervisor that powers the VMware vSphere 4.1 platform. In this latest version, ESXi is gearing up to replace ESX -- vSphere 4.1 will be the last release to support both hypervisors -- by adding several new features. They include the ability to boot from a SAN, support for Microsoft Active Directory and new commands in the Virtual Command Line Interface.

VMware vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS improvements
The new version of vCenter is 64-bit, which means more scalability for your highly available vSphere infrastructure. VMware also made several improvements to its High Availability and Distributed Resource Scheduler features, but the most important changes are in their underlying algorithms, so you sadly won't see them in the graphical interface.

VMware VAAI pros and cons
In vSphere 4.1, the vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) contains three components that improve performance. But VMware's relationships with its partners prevent a fourth component, which would really shake things up, from becoming a reality. Get the inside story on the dark side of VMware VAAI.

Test ESXi 4.1 today, migrate smoothly from ESX tomorrow
VMware vSphere 4.1 will be the last version to support the ESX hypervisor, so now is the time to start planning your ESX-to-ESXi migration. Some ESX features are missing from ESXi, but ESXi has some advantages as well. And VMware is making more and more information available to help customers make the leap as easily as possible.

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