On paper EVO:RAIL was a great idea – VMware provides the Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI) software (vSphere and Virtual SAN) and the major server and storage vendors provide the hardware, but one of the biggest problems was that it was 100% designed by VMware therefore how could the likes of EMC, NetApp, Dell, HP, HDS, etc. innovate? The answer of course was they couldn’t and the product was therefore not a great success – something therefore had to change.
The good news is that EVO:RAIL has become VxRail and it will be sold exclusively by VCE (a VMware and EMC company). Also with EVO:RAIL there was a very limited choice of hardware, you had to start with four nodes, scale in four node increments and use vSphere Enterprise Plus licences – VxRail on the other hand:
- Has a wide choice of hybrid-flash and all-flash configurations
- Will be able to start with just two nodes and scale in one node increments
- Includes vSphere Standard and vCenter licenses
This is exactly what most customers are looking for and I believe will enable VxRail to be the huge success that EVO:RAIL could never be.
Most organisations could run their entire vSphere environment in just 2U on all-flash
… and large organisations can scale to meet their exact needs
So what are the extra bits of software from VCE?
- CloudArray Virtual Edition – acts as a local storage target, with support for iSCSI, CIFS and NFS, that replicates the data to most S3 compliant public cloud object storage platforms (15 VMs per appliance)
- RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines – vSphere Web Client managed VM-level replication with support for consistency groups, up to 90% bandwidth savings and synchronous/asynchronous/continuous RPOs (10 TB cloud storage licence per appliance)
- Data Domain integration with VDP – the included vSphere Data Protection (powered by EMC Avamar) has optimised integration with the EMC de-duplication appliance
The importance of a single point of support
The fact that VxRail comes with a single point of support for all hardware and software (vSphere, Virtual SAN and the VCE components) is in many ways the number one reason to invest in the product – anyone who has worked in IT for a long-time knows that reducing the number of contact points for support will save a considerable amount of time and significantly reduce the Time-to-Resolution – no other HCI product can provide support on the entire stack, including vSphere.
- VMware Virtual SAN is now ready for mainstream adoption
- An introduction to VMware Virtual SAN Software-Defined Storage technology
- EMC RecoverPoint is now storage agnostic
- EMC Data Domain backup and archive storage – now compelling for organisations of all sizes