The race for the next standard of datacenter automation and the hybrid cloud continues to be a hotly contested battle between Microsoft's Windows Server, Azure, and System Center vs. VMware's vCloud Suite. At this year's recent VMworld Europe 2013 in Barcelona, VMware announced a series of significant enhancements to their virtualization and cloud management products. Some of the highlights of the new VMware releases include:

  • vCloud Automation Center 6.0—Changes to the vCloud Automation Center enables customers to create their own custom IT services. In addition, the 6.0 release introduces support for VMware's vCloud Hybrid Service. VMware's vCloud Automation Center 6.0 is included in the VMware vCloud Suite 5.5.
  • vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.8—The updated vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.8 now provides enhanced performance monitoring for business critical applications including Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server. In addition, vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.8 provides deeper visibility into applications running on Microsoft Hyper-V and Amazon Web Services. The vCenter Operations Management suite is included in the VCloud Suite 5.5
  • vCenter Log Insight 1.5—The new vCenter Log Insight 1.5 product delivers real-time operational insights by monitoring log data from applications and combining it with data analytics of structured and unstructured data for end-to-end operations management. VMware's vCenter Log Insight is priced at $200 per operating system instance.
  • VMware IT Business Management Suite—The new VMware IT Business Management Suite Standard Edition 1.0 is designed to help smaller and medium sized organizations understand the cost and consumption of their virtual infrastructure across private and public cloud environments. In addition, the VMware IT Business Management Suite Advanced and Enterprise Edition 8.0 provides integration with VMware IT Benchmarking, allowing enterprises to compare the cost of their services against industry peers and other similar companies. The VMware IT Business Management Suite Advanced and Enterprise Editions are licensed per user.
  • vSphere Data Protection 5.5 Advanced—Based on EMC's Avamar data protection technology, VMware vSphere Data Protection 5.5 Advanced provides network-efficient backup, data replication, and integration with EMC Data Domain. The 5.5 release includes a new Microsoft SharePoint agent and automated backup verification. VMware vSphere Data Protection Advanced 5.5 is expected to be available in Q4 2013, and is priced at $1,095 per processor

Virtualization and the hypervisor have become commodities. The next datacenter standard will be how businesses implement their private and hybrid clouds. With most companies still on the brink of implementing their internal cloud strategies, the race for the next cloud standard will be a critical step for both VMware and Microsoft. VMware's latest releases right on the heels of the announcements they made at VMworld 2013 in San Francisco show that they are moving forward at a very rapid pace indeed.

Related: Top 10 New Features in vSphere 5.5