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VMworld 2011: Paul Maritz Updates VMware Strategy, Touts vSphere 5.0

VMware CEO Paul Maritz welcomed close to 19,000 attendees during his late afternoon keynote at VMworld 2011 here in Las Vegas. Preceded by several minutes of TRON-like 3D animation depicting virtualization and the cloud, Maritz used the 90-minute keynote to explain VMware's vision towards "IT as a service" and to introduce a number of new products, including vCloud Data Director and updated versions of several existing products, including the formal roll-out of VMware vSphere 5.0.

According to Maritz, vFabric Data Director is a new application that will work with VMware vSphere to make it easier for IT administrators to manage and automate databases from a variety of different vendors, doing what Maritz calls "extending the benefits of virtualization to the database tier." In a prepared statement released to coincide with the Maritz keynote, Tod Nielsen, co-president for VMware's application platform, stressed the benefits that vFabric Data Director brings to the cloud. "Enterprises are increasingly challenged to manage the significant growth of data needed for modern applications while supporting critical application development initiatives," Nielsen said. "Today, VMware is advancing its ongoing cloud application platform strategy by delivering innovative data access and management services that more efficiently serve today’s applications and establish a foundation for next generation, cloud era applications."

Maritz also touted the release of VMware vSphere 5.0, the latest version of the market-leading virtualization platform. According to Maritz, vSphere 5.0 was the result of more than one million engineering man-hours, two million quality assurance man-hours, includes more than 200 new features and 2,000 partner certifications. Maritz didn't mention Microsoft's competing Hyper-V virtualization technology by name, but he did stress the six primary feature areas that VMware chose to focus on. "[We will] lead with performance and scale, storage load balancing, automatic storage tiering, virtual storage, automated host provisioning, and enabling very large VMs."

We'll be posting more VMworld coverage over the next few days, so look for more detail on some of the updated products that VMware announced at the show.

Attending what one VMware employee called the "biggest VMworld ever"? Let us know what you think of the show by adding a comment to this blog post or starting up the discussion on Twitter.

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