VMware Teaser Gets Tweeted: 'Marvin' Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance


VMware appears ready to launch its new, and now not-so-secret hyper-converged infrastructure appliance soon, possibly at August's VMworld conference.

Fletcher Cocquyt, a sharp-eyed VMware-certified professional and principal engineer at Stanford University, according to LinkedIn, on June 6 tweeted a photo of what appears to be a poster announcing VMware's "Marvin" during a visit to the VMware campus.

The poster appears to be a teaser for a hyper-converged appliance. The text at the top reads, "Introducing the worlds first 100% vmware powered hyper converged infrastructure appliance (sic)."

VMware Project Marvin
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Marvin is "arriving Summer 2014," according to the poster.

Marvin likely is a new name for "Project Mystic," which is a joint project of VMware and parent company EMC to develop a hyper-converged infrastructure offering that would compete with similar hardware appliances from startups such as Nutanix and SimpliVity.

Hyper-converged infrastructure technology combines server, storage, networking and virtualization technology in a software-defined stack running on a single commodity server rather than being deployed as separate hardware components.

News of the tweet was first reported June 8 by Christian Mohn, chief consultant at EVRY Norge AS on his vNinja blog, where he noted that VMware also has a registered trademark on the name "Marvin."

The trademark notification for Marvin, which was filed in January, describes it as " Computer hardware for virtualization; computer hardware enabling users to manage virtual computing resources that include networking and data storage."

VMware declined to comment specifically on Marvin or on the poster. A VMware spokesperson told CRN via email that whatever was seen in Cocquyt's photo can no longer be seen on the VMware campus.

The spokesperson also provided a statement which reads, "Per VMware corporate policy, we don’t comment on rumor or speculation. That said, VMware is not in the hardware business, we are a software company. In this model, we have a long history of working closely with our OEM partners to deliver the best hardware/software combination to our customers. Separately, in the case of VMware Virtual SAN, we have solid relationships with our OEM partners and early uptake has been strong."

Given that the trademark notification for Marvin uses the phrase "computer hardware," and that VMware is a software company working with OEM partners, it is possible that Marvin may be a software stack that can be added to industry-standard hardware, and/or will be available for OEM hardware vendors to use.

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