by Adam Armstrong

EMC & VMware Introduce HCI VCE VxRail Appliance Family

Today EMC Corp and VMware Inc. announced their jointly engineered hyper-converged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) for VMware environments, the VCE VxRail Appliance family. Billed as the “best of both worlds,” the VxRail brings together the rich data services and leading systems management capabilities of EMC and combines it with VMware’s leading hyper-converged software that includes VMware vSphere, vCenter Server and VMware Virtual SAN. All of these benefits are delivered in a single product family of either hybrid or all-flash VxRail Appliances that delivers key performance and capacity advantages in a simple, turnkey and easily scalable HCIA.

In the next two years 70% of IT plans on investing in HCI according to ESG. 85% of those that plan on investing in HCI also plan on leveraging existing investments in private cloud software. Using a product like VCE VxRail would give IT a way to grow their data center while continuing to use the VMware management tools they are accustom with. The new appliance family also allows organizations to start small, a couple of VMs, and, with what both companies are calling easily and non-disruptively, scale to thousands of VMs with a predictable, “pay-as-you-grow” approach. The VxRail appliances have a broad set of configurations and scale points and the smaller entry-level units start at $60,000 and there will also be more performance oriented models with upwards of 76TB of flash, which is twice as much flash compared to other available HCI appliances. The higher performance model also comes with 112 CPU cores, 2TB of DRAM, and 8 10GbE ports.

As stated above, the VCE VxRail appliance comes with EMC and VMware mission-critical data services including:

  • EMC RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines provides per-VM replication and automated disaster recovery for critical workloads.
  • Virtual SAN active-active stretch clusters provide site level, zero data loss protection.
  • Integrated vSphere Data Protection provides backup and recovery using existing tools and can optionally backup to EMC Data Domain for centralized storage and management.
  • VCE VxRail Manager provides deep hardware awareness with up-to-the-minute holistic notifications about the state of applications, VMs, and appliance leveraging VMware Log Insight capturing events.
  • VxRail Appliances leverage EMC cloud tiering to seamlessly extend to more than 20 public clouds such as VMware vCloud Air, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and very shortly Virtustream, to more securely expand storage capacity without limits, providing an additional 10TB of on-demand cloud storage per appliance.

Not only will IT be familiar with management using vCenter, the VxRail also seamlessly integrates with the broader VMware vSphere ecosystem, including VMware’s cloud management platform, VMware vRealize Operations, and VMware Horizon Air. The instant support of the ecosystem will help simplify IT operations and save costs by avoiding the time it takes to learn and integrate new systems.

The VxRail appliance aren’t just for large data centers either, smaller organizations and edge deployments can benefit form VxRail as well. EMC delivers the only portfolio that natively replicates between core data center infrastructure such as VCE’s Vblock, VxBlock and VxRack Systems, and edge solutions such as the VxRail Appliance for seamless, consistent operations. VCE Vision Intelligent Operations software includes VxRail appliances in a complete view of all VCE resources from the core data center to remote and distributed locations.

The VxRail appliance could possibly be the first of the turnkey appliances that replace the EVO: Rail appliances. While VMware EVO: Rail was a good idea for delivering easy to deploy software-defined infrastructure it was seen by some to be too rigid and not give the flexibility needed by some organizations. Also sales of EVO: Rail could have been lagging as several vendors were also releasing Ready Nodes, which were similar yet more flexible. The VxRail will come in both hybrid configurations:

And All-Flash configurations.

Availability

VxRail appliances can be order today from EMC, VMware, and their channel partners. An all-flash version is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2016.

VCE VxRail

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