VMware on 21 April will release the highly anticipated vSphere software, the next generation of its flagship virtualisation engine, according to VMware business partner Unisys.

VMware has promised to reveal "significant product news" on that date and is holding a Webcast in which it will explain how "virtualisation is about to take another giant leap."

VMware has not specified the details of the product announcement, but Unisys has revealed that it will unveil Intel Nehalem-based servers with the vSphere hypervisor embedded.

"On Tuesday, April 21, Unisys will roll out enhancements to its line of enterprise servers that reduce the total-cost-of-ownership gap between scale-out and scale-up virtualisation," company officials said in an email.

"Unisys will announce that it is making vSphere, the new version of the VMware virtualization platform - also being announced April 21 - available across the entire line of Unisys Enterprise Servers."

VSphere is the follow-up to VMware Infrastructure 3, the current version of its virtualisation platform. VSphere is expected to include major components of the Virtual Datacenter Operating System, a software layer that aggregates virtualised servers, storage and network resources into one big computing pool. Rather than being one product by itself, VMware has said the Datacenter Operating System will have various components that will be released throughout the calendar year.

VMware has positioned the operating system as a crucial tool in the world of cloud computing because it will connect private data centers to those of external cloud providers, letting enterprises manage internal and external resources from within the same software console.

VMware officials revealed the name change to vSphere a few months ago, abandoning the moniker "VMware Infrastructure 4.0" that industry watchers had been using informally to describe the next major release.
VMware and parent company EMC are on a big marketing push for virtualisation this month. EMC just announced a new Symmetrix storage array designed for data centers with hundreds of thousands of virtual servers.