by Adam Armstrong

EMC Announces VSPEX BLUE Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance

Today EMC Corporation announced its new hyper-converged infrastructure appliance (HCIA), the EMC VSPEX BLUE. VSPEX BLUE delivers compute, storage, networking, and management all in a 2U/4-node form factor and is powered by VMware EVO: RAIL and EMC software. VSPEX BLUE offers a simple to use solution for customers that are looking to consume infrastructure in a hyper-converged manner.

EMC VSPEX BLUE hyper-converged infrastructure appliance is aimed at simplifying IT configuration, management, and maintenance. EMC says that customers can “go from power on to provisioning virtual machines in under 15 minutes.” The new hyper-converged appliance simplifies and automates deployment, operations, management, and upgrades. The entire process is geared for simplicity from its ease to order through one SKU, to its wizard-driven configuration, to its simple management, to its ability to scale by adding addition appliances. VSPEX BLUE is ideal for infrastructure consolidation, test and development, managed SP on premises, and VDI in remote and brand offices.

VSPEX BLUE Manager

VSPEX BLUE Manager embodies the simplicity of the HCIA. With its unique system dashboard, VSPEX BLUE Manager seamlessly integrates EMC and VMware User interfaces and provides a tight integration with VMware Log Insight. Users can monitor the health of the appliance, have access to EMC knowledge based articles, grants access to non-disruptive update and patch information, and be given access to VSPEX BLUE Market.

VSPEX BLUE Market

VSPEX BLUE Market is the first and only HCIA market that grants customers access to pre-validated technologies for VSPEX BLUE that are developed by EMC and technology partners. Customers would have access to programs such as CloudArray for unlimited  cloud storage, VDP for disk-based deduplication backup and recovery, and RecoverPoint providing disaster recovery protection and replication for VMware cloud environments. Each appliance includes 15 RecoverPoint licenses. Customers may also purchase eco-system partner offerings and cloud service such as vCloud Air.

EMC Secure Remote Support (ESRS)

EMC Secure Remote Support is built into the interface and provides end-to-end support through chat, community, or through phone. ESRS gives a single point of accountability for all hardware and software. ESRS also allows EMC to periodically monitor the VSPEX BLUE in order to take preventative measures to avoid downtime. 

EMC VSPEX BLUE specifications:

  • From factor: 2U
  • Nodes: 4 hot-swappable
  • Processors per node: Intel Ivy Bridge (up to 130W) dual processors
  • Memory per node: four channels of Native DDR3 (1333)
  • Memory configurations: 128GB or 192GB
  • Drives: up to 16 (four per node)
  • Drives per node: 1 x 2.5” SSD, 3 x 2.5” HDD
  • Drive capacities
    • HDD: 1.2TB (max total 14.4TB)
    • SSD for caching: 400GB (max total 1.6TB)
  • Power supply: 2 x 1200W (80 + CS Platoinum) redundant hot-swappable
  • Dimensions: 17.24”x30.35”x3.46”
  • I/Os per node:
    • Dual GbE ports
    • Optional IB QDR/FDR or 10GbE integrated
    • 1 x 8 PCIe Gen3 I/O Mezz Option (Quad GbE or 10GbE)
    • 1 x 16 PCIe Gen3HBA slots
    • Integrated BMC with RMM4 support

Interestingly, VSPEX BLUE is the first EVO: RAIL solution to be offered in two RAM configurations, the lower being a little less expensive and designed for scenarios where less performance is required. From a storage perspective, currently the EMC VSPEX BLUE HCIA is a combination of HDDs and SSDs (the SSDs being used for caching) with a single 14.4TB capacity SKU. There is room for an all-flash version in the future however, an all-flash HCIA would offer the above benefits at greater overall performance. 

Availability and pricing

EMC VSPEX BLUE hyper-converged infrastructure appliance will be generally available February 17, 2015. Customers can discuss pricing with an EMC channel partner.

EMC VSPEX Page

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