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EVO: Rail Anyone? EMC Plans VSPEX Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance

Joseph F. Kovar


EMC is planning to unveil its first VMware EVO: Rail-based hyper-converged infrastructure appliance along with a VSPEX configuration based on that appliance, channel sources told CRN.

Such a hyper-converged appliance would likely be the first fruits of EMC's new converged infrastructure organization formed from the combination of EMC's VCE, VSPEX, Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and EMC Global Solutions businesses.

The appliance is expected to be introduced at next week's VMware Partner Exchange conference in San Francisco.

[Related: EMC Combines VCE, VSPEX Into New $1B-plus Converged Infrastructure Business]

EMC, while not directly confirming such a plan, recently has used its website to promote an event Feb. 3 with the tagline, "To radically simplify IT, all you need is EMC VSPEX Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance."

Channel sources said EMC's EVO: Rail appliance will likely be built using servers from Lenovo combined with EMC storage. That would be similar to rival NetApp's EVO: Rail appliance, which combines a white-box server running the VMware software with NetApp storage.

One channel source told CRN that EMC is likely to offer a VSPEX reference architecture for its EVO: Rail-based appliance.

"EMC will be taking it a step further than VMware has done with their reference architecture," the solution provider said.

EMC is one of the last major system and storage vendors to embrace VMware's EVO: Rail software stack. Others, which like NetApp are rivals to VMware parent company EMC, include Dell, Hitachi Data Systems and Hewlett-Packard.

Another solution provider questioned why EMC would want to develop an EVO: Rail offering.

"I'm confused," the solution provider said. "This is real commoditization of the hardware. Maybe EMC will provide some differentiation with its software. And it will be interesting to see how VMware will add features to make its solution more competitive. The market really wants hyper-converged infrastructure. Maybe EMC will add a version pre-built with VMware's Horizon VDI technology."

EMC was unable to respond by press time to a request from CRN for more information.

PUBLISHED JAN. 29, 2015

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