On april 20th, John Troyer announces the general availability of VMware’s new flagship product, VMware vSphere 4:

Introducing VMware vSphere 4 – The Industry’s First Cloud Operating System

VMware vSphere 4: The Industry's First Cloud Operating System.

VMware Unveils the Industry’s First Operating System for Building the Internal Cloud—VMware vSphere™ 4.

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.

VMware vSphere 4 will aggregate and holistically manage large pools of infrastructure – processors, storage and networking – as a seamless, flexible and dynamic operating environment.  Any application – an existing enterprise application or a next-generation application – runs more efficiently and with guaranteed service levels on VMware vSphere 4.  For enterprises, VMware vSphere 4 will bring the power of cloud computing to the datacenter, slashing IT costs while dramatically increasing IT responsiveness.  For hosting service providers, VMware vSphere 4 will enable a more economic and efficient path to delivering cloud services that are compatible with customers’ internal cloud infrastructures.  Over time, VMware will support dynamic federation between internal and external clouds, enabling “private” cloud environments that span multiple datacenters and/or cloud providers. …

VMware vSphere 4 delivers significant performance and scalability improvements over the previous generation VMware Infrastructure 3 to enable even the most resource intensive applications, such as large databases and Microsoft Exchange, to be deployed on internal clouds. With these performance and scalability improvements, VMware vSphere 4 will enable the 100 percent virtualized internal cloud.

  • 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

VMware vSphere™ 4 Provides ‘Always On IT’ for SMB and Branch Office IT Environments With Low Cost, High Availability Solutions.

VMware will introduce three new VMware vSphere 4 product editions for SMBs that deliver cost-effective server consolidation, high availability and data protection to enable Always On IT. Small businesses can deploy a server consolidation and management solution for only $166 per processor with VMware vSphere 4 Essentials and get higher application uptime with VMware vSphere 4 Essentials Plus (only $499 per processor)—these are features that are otherwise out of reach for most small companies. VMware vSphere 4 Essentials Plus is the only virtualization solution that provides high availability and data protection at this price point.

VMware vSphere™ 4 Sets New Records in Virtualization 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

VMware vSphereTM 4 Launch Supported by Broad Virtualization Ecosystem.

VMware vSphere 4 provides ecosystem partners with numerous integration and co-development programs such as VMware ReadyTM, VMware VMsafeTM and VMware Community Source that enable them to use VMware APIs and interfaces to build advanced technology integrations that deliver value-added solutions. These integrations will plug seamlessly into VMware vSphere 4, which provides simplified integration capabilities, backward compatibility with previous versions of VMware software, and new interfaces that support industry-leading management solutions.

VMware partners of all sizes across the application, channel, cloud, desktop, management, network, security, server and storage segments are offering to support VMware vSphere 4 today or plan to support the product by the end of 2009:

VMware Enables Users to Easily Test-Drive Cloud Computing through the VMware Virtual Appliance Marketplace (VAM) and VMware vCloud™ Service Provider Free Trials.

The VMware VAM is the premier location for finding ISV and developer-generated virtual appliances with more than 1,000 virtual appliances available. The VMware VAM includes new features for ISVs and developers to manage and track information and customer leads about their appliances, community resources such as reviews, whitepapers, and blog postings, and listings for VMware vCloud service providers for running virtual appliances. …

VMware Virtual Appliance Marketplace App on Demand Beta:  Making It Easy to Try Applications in the Cloud
Software vendors and developers use the VMware VAM as a cloud-based service to publish their software. The newest functionality of the VMware VAM is App on Demand, which enables users to run a trial version of an application in the cloud with just a simple login. …

VMware vCloud Partner Free Trials:  Making It Easy to Try Services in the Cloud
VMware vCloud partners, including Hosting.com, iTricity, Tata Communications and Terremark are offering free trials for end customers to experience the simplicity and power of running applications on VMware Infrastructure 3 and VMware vSphere™ 4.

[I think that the first press release up the is one of those press releases that’s worth reading all the way through. But check them all out, and then please join us later today for the live simulcast with VMware President & CEO Paul Maritz or go directly to learn more about VMware vSphere 4. Bloggers and beta testers, please feel free to share with us your vSphere experiences so far. I’ll see everybody at the event. -jtroyer]