vSphere 5.5 Availability and VSAN Public Beta

As Eric Siebert has pointed out, the VMware vSphere release cycles are shortening.

While vSphere 5.1 could be seen as a bit rushed, especially in regards to SSO, when it was released, the shorter release cycles seem to work out pretty well.

This does make me think though; vSphere 5.5 is pretty much ready to be released to the general public, and the new VSAN component will be in a public beta at the same time.

Does this indicate that VMware might actually be moving to a more modular approach, with different release cycles for different components?

I can see how this works for “add-on” products like Horizon View, VDP and so on, but for “core” components like a new the local storage layer this is a new one.

Is this a new modular approach or is due to the fact that the release cycle this time around was too short to get VSAN included?

Or, perhaps is it as simple as Jason A Linden just suggested on Twitter; VSAN will be included in vSphere 5.5 Update 1?


  1. Have you heard anything on the 5.5 release? Ive seen it hinted it would be this week and then I’ve seen others saying first quarter of 2014?!?!?

  2. It’s an interesting post from Eric, as my gut feel is that the release cycles are getting longer – the latest vSphere release is the third v5.x release (over three years) whereas major versions were released every two years previously. VMware’s version numbering has often been a bit random (.1 or .5, or both?) and I haven’t looked at the number of significant features per release so a fair ‘apples to apples’ comparison is tricky.

    The last two releases certainly feel a bit more rushed and I’m sure that’s down to increased competition. In the earlier years features like vMotion, DRS etc were ground breaking and innovative whereas features like VSAN, vFRC are competing with third party products that have been available for a while (such as Nutanix, Simplivity, FlashSoft). NSX is the potential ground breaker (ok Nicira) but it isn’t actually available yet. My memory might be deceiving me but I recall features being announced and available almost instantly whereas now they get announced (often to great fanfare) quite a way in advance of actual availability.

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