VMware vSphere 5 preview

During the Partner Exchange conference, several improvements to vSphere were presented including Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler, host-based replication and several other new features. vSphere 5 will be out in the second half of this year, but the release will be before VMworld, according to VMware product managers who led the roadmap session. That puts the vSphere 5 release date in July or August. The subsequent vSphere release, due in 2012, is expected to add a service-level agreement (SLA) framework and long-distance vMotion.

Storage DRS
Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) will use Storage vMotion to perform automatic load balancing if a disk becomes overloaded. Storage DRS users will be able to define groups of data stores, called “storage pods,” that will automatically load-balance based on capacity. Users can then provision virtual machines (VMs) to specific storage pods rather than to specific data stores

Host-based replication in vSphere 5
The vSphere 5 roadmap also includes host-based replication for Site Recovery Manager (SRM). This feature is designed for organizations that don’t use array-based storage replication, or use different types of storage at different sites. The replication will be asynchronous and be able to protect individual VMs, he said.

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