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VMware Opens Next-gen @VMwarevSphere Beta Testing to Everyone

For the first time that I can recall in the last 15 years that I've been working with or covering VMware, the virtualization giant is opening up the beta testing of its next generation vSphere virtualization platform to the general public.  This is major news for those of us involved with VMware from the outside looking in.  The company has generally maintained a relatively small, private beta period for its vSphere product, keeping features and even version numbers a secret from the general public until revealed on stage during a keynote address at the company's largest virtualization trade show event, VMworld (which incidentally is coming up next month in August). 

VMware officials stated, "The vSphere Beta is open to everyone to sign up and allows participants to help define the direction of the world’s most widely adopted, trusted, and robust virtualization platform. Future releases of vSphere strive to expand vSphere 5.5 with new features and capabilities that improve IT’s efficiency, flexibility and agility to accelerate your journey to the Software Defined Enterprise. Your participation will help us continue to drive towards this goal.

Keep in mind, while the beta program is said to be open to, well, anyone... the beta itself isn't "public" but private and confidential.  So there are going to be some rules and requirements placed around it.  Like fight club, if you join the vSphere beta program, the first rule is not to talk about the vSphere program... well, at least not with anyone outside of the program's circle.  VMware is going to provide a private discussion forum, a webinar discussion, service requests, etc. to enable program members to share feedback. 

With this beta testing, VMware said they are hoping to learn more about how organizations use vSphere under real-world conditions and use cases, enabling the company to better align their vSphere product with its users' business needs.

To lure people in (as if they need to), VMware is pitching this vSphere beta program as a way for people to get a head start on using the next generation product, and provide them with a chance to affect product directions.   

Other reasons why someone might choose to participate in the program include:

  • Receive early access to the vSphere Beta products
  • Gain early knowledge of and visibility into product roadmap
  • Interact with the vSphere Beta team consisting of Product Managers, Engineers, Technical Support, and Technical Writers
  • Provide direct input on product functionality, configurability, usability, and performance
  • Provide feedback influencing future products, training, documentation, and services
  • Collaborate with other participants, learn about their use cases, and share advice and learnings

The vSphere beta program has no end date, but VMware recommends members sending their feedback in the first four to six weeks of the program.

VMware has also made available a set of ground rules to follow in a "VMware Master Software Beta Test Agreement" document that participants will need to sign before they are admitted to the program.  You can read to figure out the do's and don'ts of the program. 

Sign up and join the vSphere Beta Program today, and learn more about the details and requirements here: https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vsphere-beta

Published Thursday, July 03, 2014 7:10 AM by David Marshall
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