VCE are known for their converged solutions for large businesses and big applications but what happens if you need all of the advantages of a turnkey hands-off boxed solution in a location that doesn’t warrant a large VxBlock or VxRack? The answer is the new VxRail family of devices, which have been designed to fit use-cases such as small/midsize data centres, branch- office environments and as departmental solutions.
The pre-configured 2U rack devices are designed to stand alone or be stacked into groups of up to 16 and incorporate software from EMC/VCE and VMware including VMware’s hyper-converged software. Initially delivered as hybrid disk and flash based solutions starting at $60,000 (£42,000), with options including solutions for high performance-intensive workloads with more than 76 TB of flash memory available – over 2X more flash than any other hyper-converged appliance. The systems will be augmented in June with all-flash options.
Speaking to CCi VCE’s EMEA CTO Nigel Moulton explained that the appeal of the new VxRail appliance was a solution that, "used tools that the IT managers were already familiar with, in a single relatively simple device, rather than multiple boxes, and that could be easily deployed in branch offices to deliver applications such as VDI and data analytics in the field.”
As well as using tools that are familiar to the business the appliances are also designed to be a fit-and-forget solution that can be largely managed and configured remotely or managed in-place by semi-skilled staff using the VCE management tools. Moulton is also keen to point out that while the devices are small and simple to use they are also powerful, offering “very high performance” solutions with between 120-200 cores in each appliance depending on the model.
The VxRail Appliance is also cloud-ready and comes with EMC cloud tiering which gives the ability to extend seamlessly to more than 20 public clouds such as VMware vCloud Air, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and very shortly Virtustream, and adds an additional 10TB of on-demand cloud storage per appliance. VxRail Appliance also integrates with VMware’s cloud management platform and end-user computing solutions, including VMware, vRealize Operations and VMware Horizon Air.
The pre-configured software includes EMC data service and systems management capabilities with VMware’s vSphere, vCentre Server and Virtual SAN as well as a number of integrated EMC mission-critical data services, including; EMC RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines which provides per-VM replication and automated disaster recovery for critical workloads, vSphere Data Protection for backup and recovery using existing tools and with the option to backup to Data Domain for centralised storage and management.
The combined virtualisation, compute and storage solution will come in three different configurations at launch, with 120, 160 and 200 cores supported, and can be mixed and matched with VCE’s other VxRail devices or their VxBlock or VxRack devices.
Colm Keegan, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group thinks the new solution “could make for a very compelling offering to for those looking to implement a highly flexible and highly scalable hyper-converged infrastructure appliance, with private and hybrid cloud computing capabilities, while still leveraging the same VMware management tools that they have been using for years.”
Moulton says the first appliances will be available in March with the all-flash VxRail Appliances aimed for June time frame. The devices will also be joined by a baby brother solution in June the VxRail 60 which will be aimed at “50-100 users solutions,” which again can be extended by adding additional units.