It seems very likely VMware will announce a new version of VMware vSphere at VMworld USA.
Several sources confirm that VMware is almost ready with this release. At a VMUG event in Italy Stephen Herrod (CTO of VMware) said the company is “pretty much done” on the next release of vSphere and usually works on three releases at a time. 2013’s version is “pretty far along” and work has commenced on 2014’s edition.
Also someone working for VMware sent a Tweet at march 27 indicating a beta on the new relaease is currently being tested.
What features this new release will have is yet unknown. VMware does not reveal features in to be released products as it has a policy to under promise and over deliver. This contrary to the policy of Microsoft which has a tradition to promise features of which some of them are removed from the final version.
One of the features which are likely to be included is Fault Tolerance support for virtual machines running multiple vCPUs. At VMworld 2011 VMware already gave a demo of a SMP virtual machine using Fault Tolerance.
Another feature could be boot from Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).
Another guess for a new feature is support for virtualized Microsoft Domain Controllers. Windows Server 2012 running as a virtual Domain Controller is virtualization aware. This means a snaphot of the virtual machine can be made and restored if needed without getting issues in AD because of the USN rollback (explained here). This is currently advertised as a feature of Windows Server 2010 Hyper-V.
It leverages an ability that Microsoft has added to Hyper-V called VM-Generation ID . This new feature explained here allows a virtual domain controller to know whether or not it’s the latest version of AD. This same technology also enables administrators to clone virtual domain controllers, making the DC deployment process much easier. Microsoft is working with other hypervisor vendors implement Gen ID in their own products to bring this capability to all users of virtual domain controllers.
Changes in the Path Selection Policy Round Robin are announced by EMC
New feautures in distributed switches
TechTarget has a story about possible new features for vSphere 5.1. The article mentions support for shared nothing migrations. This enables to live migrate virtual machines to other hosts and other storage without the need for storage accessible for source and destination hosts. One of the use cases would be moving VM’s from public to private cloud or reverse.