This morning a message from John Troyer popped up on my TwitterFox telling me that on April 20th VMware  announced the general availability of their new flagship product, VMware vSphere 4. Finally after all our time beta testing and filling out reviews vSphere is coming!

PALO ALTO, CA, April 21, 2009 — VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter, today announced VMware vSphere™ 4, the industry’s first operating system for building the internal cloud, enabling the delivery of efficient, flexible and reliable IT as a service. With a wide range of groundbreaking new capabilities, VMware vSphere 4 brings cloud computing to enterprises in an evolutionary, non-disruptive way – delivering uncompromising control with greater efficiency while preserving customer choice.

As the complexity of IT environments has continued to increase over time, customers’ share of IT budgets are increasingly spent on simply trying to “keep the lights on.” With the promise of cloud computing, customers are eager to achieve the benefits, but struggle to see the path to getting there.  Leveraging VMware vSphere 4, customers can take pragmatic steps to achieve cloud computing within their own IT environments.  With these “internal” clouds, IT departments can dramatically simplify how computing is delivered in order to help decrease its cost and increase its flexibility, enabling IT to respond more rapidly to changing business requirements.

vSphere offers improvements, like:

  • VMware vSphere 4 delivers more powerful virtual machines with up to:
    • 2x the number of virtual processors per virtual machine (from 4 to 8)
    • 2.5x more virtual NICs per virtual machine (from 4 to 10)
    • 4x more memory per virtual machine (from 64 GB to 255GB)
    • 3x increase in network throughput (from 9 Gb/s to 30Gb/s)
    • 3x increase in the maximum recorded I/O operations per second (to over 300,000)
    • New maximum recorded number of transactions per second –  8,900 which is 5x the total payment traffic of the VISA network worldwide4
  • Targeted performance improvements for specific applications:
    • Estimated 50 percent improved performance for application development workloads
    • Estimated 30 percent improved performance for Citrix XenApp

And it offer some new features, like:

  • VMware Fault Tolerance
  • Distributed switching
  • Thin provisioning
  • Host profiles
  • Linked vCenter
  • Support for Distributed Power Management
  • Improved Distributed Resource Scheduling
  • And much more
  • and more

VMware vSphere 4 will be available in four editions, Standard, Advanced, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus.

VMware vSphere Standard offers an entry solution for basic consolidation of applications, reducing hardware costs while accelerating application deployment.

VMware vSphere Advanced provides a strategic consolidation solution, protecting business-critical applications against planned and unplanned downtime, providing superior application availability.

VMware vSphere Enterprise includes key features for minimizing downtime, protecting data, and automating resource management.

VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus delivers the full range of VMware vSphere features, transforming datacenters into dramatically simplified environments, offering the next generation of flexible, reliable IT services.


This all will create the industries first Cloud Operating System which sets the new standard for performance.
VMware has demonstrated new record performance results and new performance maximums with VMware vSphere 4 including:

  • Record number of transactions per second. New performance throughput record of 8,900 database transactions per second, as demonstrated on Oracle database with an OLTP workload modeled after TPC-C*.
  • Record low overhead compared to native. New performance efficiencies with resource-intensive SQL Server databases utilizing 8 CPUs per VM and running at 90 percent of native or better as tested by an OLTP workload modeled after TPC-E*.
  • Record I/O throughput. 3x increase in the maximum recorded I/O operations per second. VMware vSphere 4 triples the maximum recorded I/O operations per second to more than 300,000. For comparison purposes, according to data from VMware Capacity Planner, most demanding databases that are on Intel architecture servers usually require a few tens of thousands of I/O operations per second. VMware vSphere 4 also includes a newly rewritten storage stack that demonstrates full wire speed on 10 Gbps iSCSI connections.
  • Record network throughput. Improved virtual machine networking and support for NetQueue that shows up to 100 percent improvement in network throughput and fully saturating hardware bus limits of 30 Gpbs. Estimated 30 percent improved performance for Citrix XenApp

More information can be found here:

General information

vSphere Pricing, Packaging and Licensing

Available editions of vSphere

List of key features