VMware announced yesterday their new hyper-converged platform named EVO:RAIL. This wasn’t a surprise for those who tightly follow the news and developments in the virtualization world, as we had come to believe thanks to info gathered here and there (see various posts and tweets about Mystic Marvin project) that with the availability of VMware Virtual SAN (vSAN), VMware and EMC would look for ways to capitalize and build on top of this awesome software-defined storage solution.
Despite the fact that this means competition for SimpliVity and Nutanix, this also means for the market (and more importantly, for the customers) that VMware (and therefore EMC) acknowledge that hyper-converged platforms are not a mere niche but a fully functional and efficient way to deploy and scale architectures. Those who already believed in Nutanix and SimpliVity innovations will be comforted in their choice and eventual investments, those who didn’t believe in it may see it as a sign, that hyper-converged platforms and the conception of software-defined data centers are here to stay.
- Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCIA)
- Software defined infrastructure
- Easy deployment, configuration and management
- Delivers compute, storage, network and management in a single platform
- Linear scalability
- Integration with VMware Virtual SAN
- Usable for a variety of workloads
- Offered as a single SKU
VMware will initially team with the following partners:
The hardware platform seems to follow the Nutanix approach of one appliance containing four x86 nodes in a 2U form factor, as per VMware specs EVO:RAIL initially scales-out at up to 4 appliances and 16 nodes.
One thing I like very much is the dedicated management with looks beautiful and very intuitive to use. I hope this is the way forward for vSphere and vCenter. Besides the great management interface, it should be stated that EVO:RAIL is bundled with the following software from VMware:
- EVO:RAIL Rapid Deployment, Configuration, and Management
- vSphere Enterprise Plus
- vCenter Server
- VMware Virtual SAN
- vCenter Log Insight
I will be following with interest how VMware and the competition will fight on this battlefield, especially in regard to coopetition situations (see DELL+Nutanix vs DELL+EVO:RAIL). An advantage over current hyper-converged infrastructure competitors is the choice of various partners for the hardware layer, but competition isn’t sleeping either, besides DELL and Nutanix partnership, SimpliVity is now teaming with Cisco and their UCS platform).
One last note, we should be thankful to companies such as Nutanix and SimpliVity who paved the way and have invested in highly skilled talents.
Find out more about EVO:RAIL here.