VMware's MARVIN emerges as 'EVO' for branch offices and web-scale rigs

Converged infrastructure appliance made by Dell, Fujitsu and EMC. Yes, EMC

VMworld 2014 VMware has confirmed its long-suspected move into converged infrastructure hardware by announcing “EVO:RAIL”, a new “ hyper-converged infrastructure appliance” the company says “is the first solution in a family” of such offerings.

EVO:RAIL will be a 2U, four-node, bundle of compute and storage hardware, plus vSphere, VSAN, vCenter Log Insight and something new called the “EVO: RAIL engine”. It's not clear exactly what the engine does, but The Reg understands it's a super-simple configuration and management tool. VMware is certainly talking up speed of implementation as EVO:RAIL's chief virtue, asserting that with its partners it is “bringing the simplicity of consumer appliances to the world of enterprise infrastructure.”

The interface for VMware's new EVO RAIL appliance

EVO:RAIL's HTML 5 interface. VMware's not calling it a wizard,
is happier describing it as a preference-setting panel

The partner list is fascinating because the second one mentioned is EMC, which is of course a storage company and lacks an obvious piece of hardware capable of fitting the 2U/4 node recipe. We're working from a pre-release canned statement for this yarn, so will update as and when EMC tells us about its contribution to EVO:RAIL.

Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Inspur, NetOne and Supermicro are also aboard. All, plus EMC, will offer something with at least the following specs:

  • Two Intel E5-2620 v2 six-core CPUs
  • 192GB of memory
  • One SLC SATADOM or SAS HDD as the ESXi boot device
  • Three SAS 10K RPM 1.2TB HDD for the VMware Virtual SAN datastore
  • One 400GB MLC enterprise-grade SSD for read/write cache
  • One Virtual SAN-certified pass-through disk controller
  • Two 10GbE NIC ports (configured for either 10GBase-T or SFP connections)
  • One 1GbE IPMI port for remote (out-of-band) management

The appliance is being pitched at mid-market and branch office environments and is said to be capable of delivering about 250 virtual desktops or 100 virtual machines. Management comes from the on-board vSphere or a bigger vSphere rig in a data centre somewhere. The appliance can also be hooked up to VMware's Air public cloud to make a hybrid rig.

VMware says this version of EVO:RAIL can scale to 16 nodes and that new appliances will automatically be discovered and integrated into the rig. There's mention of future versions of the product scaling higher.

One extra version already revealed is EVO:RACK, a cut of the product that runs on Open Compute hardware designs and therefore seemingly destined for web-scale operators. VMware has announced it has joined the Open Compute Foundation as a gold member, so is clearly serious about getting into the web-scale caper.

Partners will price their own EVO:RAIL boxen and The Reg's virtualization desk expects announcements about just what's inside a node, and what they cost, to flow not long after the VMworld 2014 keynote concludes at about 11:00 Pacific Time on August 25th. ®

Other stories you might like

  • Verizon: Ransomware sees biggest jump in five years
    We're only here for DBIRs

    The cybersecurity landscape continues to expand and evolve rapidly, fueled in large part by the cat-and-mouse game between miscreants trying to get into corporate IT environments and those hired by enterprises and security vendors to keep them out.

    Despite all that, Verizon's annual security breach report is again showing that there are constants in the field, including that ransomware continues to be a fast-growing threat and that the "human element" still plays a central role in most security breaches, whether it's through social engineering, bad decisions, or similar.

    According to the US carrier's 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) released this week [PDF], ransomware accounted for 25 percent of the observed security incidents that occurred between November 1, 2020, and October 31, 2021, and was present in 70 percent of all malware infections. Ransomware outbreaks increased 13 percent year-over-year, a larger increase than the previous five years combined.

    Continue reading
  • Slack-for-engineers Mattermost on open source and data sovereignty
    Control and access are becoming a hot button for orgs

    Interview "It's our data, it's our intellectual property. Being able to migrate it out those systems is near impossible... It was a real frustration for us."

    These were the words of communication and collaboration platform Mattermost's founder and CTO, Corey Hulen, speaking to The Register about open source, sovereignty and audio bridges.

    "Some of the history of Mattermost is exactly that problem," says Hulen of the issue of closed source software. "We were using proprietary tools – we were not a collaboration platform before, we were a games company before – [and] we were extremely frustrated because we couldn't get our intellectual property out of those systems..."

    Continue reading
  • UK government having hard time complying with its own IR35 tax rules
    This shouldn't come as much of a surprise if you've been reading the headlines at all

    Government departments are guilty of high levels of non-compliance with the UK's off-payroll tax regime, according to a report by MPs.

    Difficulties meeting the IR35 rules, which apply to many IT contractors, in central government reflect poor implementation by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and other government bodies, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said.

    "Central government is spending hundreds of millions of pounds to cover tax owed for individuals wrongly assessed as self-employed. Government departments and agencies owed, or expected to owe, HMRC £263 million in 2020–21 due to incorrect administration of the rules," the report said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022