VMware EVO:RAIL : SDDC in a box

Rumours of the VMware hyper-converged appliance have been riding high for some months under the guise of “Project Marvin”, now official, the details are out about EVO:RAIL

VMware EVO:RAlL landing page is here.

From the release;

VMware EVO: RAIL™ combines compute, networking, and storage resources into a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance to create a simple, easy to deploy, all-in-one solution offered by VMware qualified partners

The initial hardware partners are some of the heaviest hitters: EMC, DELL, Fujitsu, SuperMicro, Net One and Inspur with more to follow.

How they differentiate will be interesting, as the hardware platforms are all the same;

  • 2U, 4 node hardware platform
  • 4 independent nodes for compute network and storage
  • Each node has dual processors & 192 GB of memory
  • Total of 16TB of Flash and HDD storage via Virtual SAN [This is made up of 1.6TB SSD for R/W write cache, and 14.4TB of HDD space, which will be ~13TB usable.
  • Phone and in-field HW & SW Support & Services

Per Node;

  • Two Intel E5-2620 v2 six-core CPUs;
  • 192GB of memory;
  • One SLC SATADOM or SAS HDD as the ESXi boot device;
  • Three SAS 10K RPM 1.2TB HDD for the VMware Virtual SAN;
  • One 400GB MLC enterprise-grade SSD for read/write cache;
  • One Virtual SAN-certified pass-through disk controller;
  • Two 10GbE NIC ports;
  • One 1GbE IPMI port.

EMC may choose to integrate Avamar and Recoverpoint for powerful backup and DR capabilities. Dell may get AppAssure into the platform also. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Pricing has not been announced, but this represents an opportunity for VMware to take this growing segment by storm.  With the inclusion of vSphere Enterprise +, vCSA, VSAN and vCenter Log Insight, the 100% VMware software stack is enticing.

Curiously though, expansion is only possible by purchasing another 4 node “block”, which may be cost prohibitive. Other platforms allow expansion at a relatively low cost by adding a single node at a time.

The EVO:RAIL resources page is an excellent place to find videos, Datasheets and other technical info.


Watch this space.




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