Sometimes we get queries from partners and customers about why we are not on the latest versions of vendor software. From the outside I can certainly see how this must frustrate those who want to leverage the newest features that have been released. A good example is vCloud Director 8.x which is still Flash based and has quite a few interesting quirks like plugins not working in new browsers.
I wish the upgrade path was as straight forward as I have on my Macbook but the continually shifting compatibility matrix of VMware, Veeam and Zerto is one of the most complex moving targets I've ever seen. It gets more interesting when you have 5 zones and many thousands of VMs. There has also been a great shift by software vendors in the past 3-4 years to expand API access to service providers which has dramatically shifted the integration options available to us.
We are also a victim of our own success. Between 2013 and 2017 we heavily invested in automating missing elements for things like vCloud Director and NSX. Some of these are now integrated. That's cool, we always expect goalposts to move and so the team change tack and automate where we can provide customer value.
So that is the background. What is the future?
Our goal is to get these upgrades out because we want you to have the latest access to features and it also means that and we've been moving furiously in the background since October 2018 to get every zone to a new platform to enable a whole bunch of features.
To get specific around what the future looks like with upgrades you will soon see that vCloud Director 9.x (probably 9.5) will be the basis of our Virtual Data Centre product. We will move to integrate NSX into the VDC and also look to leverage the extensibility of the new VMware Clarity interface to embed Veeam and Zerto functions into a single pane of glass. We will also enable customer access to advanced vROPS reporting and vCloud Extender. It all sounds complicated but the goal is to make the whole experience much simpler.
As I write this, the team is completing the upgrade of our Zerto environment and is working on getting the underlying VMware environment to vSphere, vCentre and ESXi to 6.5. This will then enable us to release the new vCloud Director 9.x portal and say goodbye to the old Flash version.
So there have been lots of background upgrades over the last few months and there are several more months to go but in the end of this cycle we will be in a position to release platform updates much more frequently. This will mean you will get access to more features..faster. :)