Live from VMworld 2015 so far

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    Enterprise software vendor VMware kicked off its big annual VMworld conference in San Francisco today with several news announcements, from new open-source tools to a new “intelligent automation engine” for making the best use of companies’ data center equipment. More than 23,000 people are here at the Moscone Center for the event, and more than 50,000 people were live streaming today’s keynote. This is, after all, one of the biggest events all year in the world of enterprise technology.

    VMware today announced several enhancements to its vCloud Air public cloud at the company’s annual VMworld conference in San Francisco. Companies can test and run plans for disaster recovery in vCloud Air’s new cloud-based Site Recovery Manager Air. And VMware is starting to offer disaster recovery on vCloud Air based on usage, instead of just as part of a monthly or yearly subscription. VMware is also introducing vCloud Air Object Storage powered by Google Cloud Platform, the first new product to come out of VMware’s reseller relationship with Google, announced earlier this year.

    Chipmaker Nvidia today announced the launch of Grid 2.0, the latest version of its desktop virtualization technology that companies can use to deploy graphics-heavy applications remotely to employees who are offsite. Companies can buy servers packing Nvidia Grid boards and then use virtualization software — such as VMware vSphere 6 and Horizon 6 and Citrix’s XenApp, XenDesktop, and XenServer — to share the power of GPUs (graphic processing units) with Grid 2.0. The new release can handle as many as 128 users per server, twice as many as before, according to a statement. And Grid now supports the Linux operating system, not just Windows. Plus the technology can now run on blade servers, not just rack servers.

    VMware today announced the launch of VMware Integrated OpenStack 2.0, the company’s second release of its distribution of the OpenStack open-source cloud software. The new release, based on OpenStack Kilo, which became available in April, will become generally available to customers by Sept. 30.VMware first announced that it would assemble an OpenStack distribution at the company’s VMworld conference in San Francisco last year. It came out in February, based on the open-source OpenStack Icehouse software. “Customers will now be able to upgrade from V1.0 (Icehouse) to V2.0 (Kilo), and even roll back if anything goes wrong, in a more operationally efficient manner,” VMware product line manager Arvind Soni wrote in a blog post on the news.

    VMware today announced technology previews for vSphere Integrated Containers and Photon Platform — two new products that companies can use to build and run applications inside of containers.Containers are an increasingly popular technology that represent an alternative to the more widely used virtual machines, which VMware has turned into a standard in the world of enterprise software.The fascinating thing here is how VMware sees this new technology as underlying a whole bunch of existing technologies from other companies that have been gaining popularity in the past several months. That includes Docker’s Swarm, Google-led Kubernetes, Mesosphere-led Apache Mesos, CoreOS’ Rocket, Cloud Foundry — “all on Photon,” said Kit Colbert, VMware’s vice president and chief technology officer for cloud native applications, in a press conference before today’s general session. All those can integrate with vSphere Integrated Containers.