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VMware’s hybrid cloud shift: A decoder ring of products

1/09/2014 by


As expected, VMworld 2014 has underlined VMware’s ambitions to move away from its hypervisor roots and embed its ecosystem deeper into the enterprise. That much was evident in a string of new product announcements and rebranding efforts on days one and two of the event.

VMware has generated a lot of hype about its new products and partnerships – so much that customers could be forgiven for being swept away by it. With that in mind, Silicon ANGLE brings to you a quick rundown on VMware’s new and repackaged products, and the role they’ll play as it bids to cement its place in the software-defined data center (SDDC).


Perhaps VMware’s most compelling new offering is EVO:RAIL, a solution designed for converged infrastructures that delivers appliances with the help of strategic partnerships. Described by Wikibon’s Dave Vellante as “VMware’s play at mid-market converged infrastructure – simplify deployment and enable SDDC,” the software can be preinstalled on hardware and is designed for customer that want a “hyper-converged” building block for building out virtualized environments.

EVO:RAIL was born out of VMware’s Project Mystic, and combines four servers, direct-attached storage, vSphere, VSAN around a discrete package of commodity hardware from its manufacturing partners. VMware says that a single EVO:RAIL can support up to 250 virtual desktops or 100 server images, and can currently be stacked together with as many as three for a 16-node cluster, although this range will increase with future releases.

EVO:RAIL is a bit like competing hyper-converged solutions offered by Nutanix Inc., and SimpliVity Inc., as individual hardware elements can be treated as a single unit, as opposed to provisioning each unit separately. It’s far simpler than something VCE’s Vblocks, which combines compute, storage and transport capacity into a single box. That VCE is a subsidiary of company EMC might make it seem like VMware wants to compete, but Vblocks consist full racks of servers; VMware’s EVO:RAILs are fractions of racks: four server nodes sliding into the 2U space of a 42-space rack.

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