I got wind of this release at last month's London VMUG and it got me excited. The problem was though that I couldn't really talk to anyone about it because it was supposed to be hush-hush and NDA etc. However, now that Stephen Herrod (VMware CTO, @herrod) has mentioned it publicly I can at least get excited about it publicly too.
But first a disclaimer. Some of what I say may not be accurate so please don't crucify me if it turns out that I'm talking rubbish.
So, the intention as I understand it, is to bridge the functionality gaps that exist between vCloud Director and vCenter to produce an integrated management software stack that covers everything from managing a single host to managing a cloud deployment.
To do this, VMware have acquired and integrated a number of products and technologies. I believe that some of EMC's Ionix family will be in the mix in the form of Discovery Manager and Configuration Manager. Or perhaps they will stay as separate products. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out.
It's possible that VMware Alive might be bundled into the mix. Alive is an intelligent monitoring and alerting product that VMware acquired late last year.
I don't want to speculate about what might or might not be in the final product much more for now. What really interests me, apart from the technology aspects, is that VMware are gradually filling the functionality gaps that will allow them to claim that they offer a complete infrastructure / platform management software stack. None of the other hypervisor vendors are that far along in my opinion. Certainly there are other hypervisors and other cloud offerings available but how well integrated are they?
UPDATE 16/03/2011: So, vCenter Operations became generally available (GA) on Monday night. I got the name slightly wrong but apparently the Ionix elements are there.