As is typical with many software updates that follow a stable product, there are still a lot of VMware customers delaying the upgrade to vSphere 5. In many cases, it’s just a matter of customers waiting to see how the new product shapes up. Better to let others run the gauntlet and then stroll in quietly after the bugs have been worked out, right?
Users may be more wary of bugs today. But, in the case of vSphere 5, the delay may have as much to do with the lack of a major feature or driving need to make the switch, said Tim Antonowicz, a senior sales engineer with Mosaic Technology, an IT infrastructure consulting company based in Salem, N.H.
“In most cases that I’ve come across, people didn’t see a compelling reason to upgrade. If they had a vSphere 4.0 or 4.1 infrastructure, they could keep it patched and updated without doing a major upgrade. In their minds, why introduce something new into what is a stable environment right now, when there’s no confirmed need?” Antonowicz said.
In fact, it wasn’t the new features included in vSphere 5 that garnered most of the attention after the July 2011 launch, it was the change in the licensing model. While there have been some reported bugs with vSphere 5, more recently Antonowicz has seen customers deciding that it is safe enough to make the move. Instead of one keystone feature that might have pushed faster adoption, it has been a variety of smaller improvements driving this new wave of upgrades.
- With vSphere 5, you can have bigger file systems that allow you to put more of your data together in a consistent format. Admins can also now thin provision the data they don’t need, allowing for the proper interaction between the software and the array.
- “VMware finally got around to building a totally new high-availability system from the ground up. So High Availability, is much more robust and better supported in vSphere 5,” Antonowicz said.
- Storage optimization is now more efficient. The Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler helps automate storage management. Administrators can set the storage policy of their virtual machines (VMs) and automatically manage the balancing and placing of the VMs across storage resources.
“Taken individually, none of those changes are a compelling reason to upgrade,” Antonowicz said.
But taken together, along with the calming of fears over bugs, and we should start to see more organizations take the vSphere 5 plunge in the next few months.