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No slam dunk for vSphere upgrades: News in brief

Package changes complicate VMware upgrades; Cisco says standard to drive FCoE adoption.

IT channel news in brief for June 15, 2009

vSphere upgrades not a no brainer for enterprises

Although upgrading from VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3 (VI3) appears technically straightforward, price and packaging changes mean that it won't be a no-brainer decision for V13 enterprise accounts, according to With vSphere 4, VMware Inc. revised its licensing. In VI3, the Enterprise Edition was the top-level license. VSphere 4 adds another level, Enterprise Plus, which includes advanced features, such as Host Profiles, the distributed virtual switch and support for third-party multipathing. Sitting beneath Enterprise is the new Advanced Edition, which does not include support for Distributed Resource Scheduler and Storage VMotion.

Complicating matters is the fact that VMware plans to stop selling new Enterprise licenses after Dec. 15, 2009. So, while VI3 customers with valid VMware Support & Subscription Service licenses are entitled to upgrade to a vSphere 4 Enterprise license for now, as of the new year, they'll have to choose the more expensive Enterprise Plus or downgrade to the Advanced Edition for new ESX hosts.

Cisco: Ratified standard will drive FCoE adoption

The FC-BB-5 working group of the T11 Technical Committee last week unanimously approved a final standard for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). Now, Cisco Systems Inc., which champions the technology in storage, and some analysts expect the formally approved standard to drive adoption of the fledgling standard, according to

Claudio DeSanti, a Cisco distinguished engineer and the T11 committee chairman, said there were no significant changes to the specification for the standard between establishing "technical stability" with an earlier draft last fall and the final ratification. Four committee members voted no on the earlier version but reversed course on the final standard after resolving communication and clarifying some points about how the spec was written.

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