VMware Announces vSphere Big Data Extensions

Big data and virtualization have been two of the biggest trends to hit the IT industry over the last decade or so, and VMware has plans to leverage their leadership position in the virtualization space to help VMware customers use their existing VMware vSphere investments to more easily manage big data projects. VMware will do this by way of their newly-announced VMware vSphere Big Data Extensions offering, which is based on VMware’s earlier work with the Project Serengeti open-source effort.

The Serengeti project was launched by VMware as a way to help IT administrators more easily virtualize their Hadoop clusters. As a result of VMware’s work with Serengeti, vSphere Big Data Extensions becomes a standard feature of VMware vSphere. According to Fausto Ibarra, VMware’s Senior Director of Product Management, the beta version of vSphere Big Data Extensions is available now for trial.

VMware vSphere Big Data Extensions is based on the open-source Project Serengeti initiative

VMware vSphere Big Data Extensions is based on the open-source Project Serengeti initiative.

“This beta release will allow vSphere to natively deploy and run Hadoop workloads,” Ibarra said. “It supports all of the key Hadoop distributions, and allows vSphere customers to manage those workloads through a new management interface.” Ibarra stressed that VMware’s goal was to make the management of virtual Hadoop workloads as seamless and as easy as possible for admins already familiar with vSphere management tools. (Editor’s note: We’ve embedded a video demonstration of the vSphere Big Data Extensions management console GUI below.)

Ibarra also mentioned that the open-source Serengeti project has been updated to version 0.9, and that EMC’s Pivotal HD Hadoop distribution is now fully certified to run on VMware vSphere. In addition, the new extensions will also support use of other Hadoop distributions in a virtual environment, including Cloudera, Hortonworks, and MAPR.

The public beta of VMware vSphere Big Data Extensions is available now and can be downloaded directly from the official Big Data Extensions download page.

Are you a VMware vSphere customer who also has to manage Hadoop clusters? I’d love to hear what you think of VMware’s efforts in this area, so please drop me an email or reach out to me on Google+ or Twitter with your thoughts.