For the first time ever VMware opens a beta program of vSphere available for the public. So far participating in the beta was only available for VMware partners, vExperts and other selected groups.
Now everyone can participate and have a look into the future of vSphere. The next release will most likely be vSphere 6.0 although VMware never communicates over version numbers before product announcement.
Joining is very simple by filling in name, role, company and country. Then digital sign and you are in the beta within minutes.
Please remember that this vSphere Beta is private even though it is open to everyone. Do not share information from this Beta Program with those not in the Beta Program. What you learn and see in this Beta is meant to be kept confidential per the Master Software Beta Test Agreement and Program Rules.
The ground rules of the program are here.
This is an interesting change in policy of VMware. Microsoft always has been very open about new versions of for example Hyper-V and enabling the public to download beta’s. VMware preferred to keep features and even the release number of vSphere secret tilll unveiled at VMworld.
I am not sure about the reason for this change in policy. Likely VMware made the beta open to public for quality reasons to make sure as many scenario’s are tested and teething problems are resolved before the product reaches GA. VMware Virtual SAN has been running the beta for a relative long time for the same reason.
Another , less likely, reason could be VMware wants to be more open on the future of products for marketing reasons.
The VMware blog announcing the beta is here
Join the beta here.