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HP goes off VMware's EVO:RAIL, stops selling sole appliance

'Customers want more open and flexible approach', namely StoreVirtual with vCenter

Hewlett Packard has stopped selling its ConvergedSystem 200-HC, the hyperconverged rig based on VMware's EVO:RAIL system architecture.

VMware launched EVO:RAIL at VMworld 2014, pitching its combination of compute, storage, core VMware server virtualisation products and a simplified GUI as ideal for smaller businesses or branch offices. At launch, Dell, Fujitsu and EMC signed up to build systems based on the VMware software. HP followed suit in October 2014. The company has now walked away from EVO: RAIL, as explained in a the following statement sent to The Register, :

“As of July 15, 2015, HP has discontinued sales of the ConvergedSystem 200-HC EVO-RAIL product within our ConvergedSystem portfolio. Since entering the hyper-converged market, HP has seen this market evolve very quickly. Our customers have told us they are looking for a more open and flexible approach in order to keep up with unpredictable rates of change.

With this move, we will continue our investments on growing our CS 200 StoreVirtual line of hyper-converged appliances. HP’s interoperable portfolio of StoreVirtual based solutions uniquely span hyper-converged systems, virtual storage appliances, bare-metal appliances and private cloud software including support for every major hypervisor – providing the open approach and flexibility customers are looking for. This breadth is unmatched in the IT industry today and is one reason we are winning in the marketplace.

The decision to discontinue sales of the ConvergedSystem 200-HC EVO-RAIL product reflects no change in HP’s continued commitment to our strategic, 15-year partnership with VMware or HP’s commitment to drive a leadership position in hyper-convergence. VMware remains a critical part of many HP solutions, and HP will continue partnering with VMware on many other fronts.”

Losing HP as a partner is not great proof of concept for EVO:RAIL, although VMware can console itself by recognising that HP's CS 200 line are still sold as a fine platform on which to run vCenter.

The likes of Nutanix, SimpliVity, Maxta and Scale Computing will feast on news that HP has walked away from EVO:RAIl. Rumours are also reaching the virtualisation desk at El Reg to the effect that EVO:RAIL sales are not exactly happening at a brisk pace.

That's in part because EVO:RAIL did not have a happy genesis. First, VMware had to change the licensing conditions for the product because a requirement to buy entirely new vSphere licenses made EVO:RAIL too expensive for those who already owned licences. Rumblings about appliances being underpowered saw configuration changes to handle more VMs. With those kinks ironed out, we're told customers are looking upon the product more favourably.

There's certainly no sign of retreat by VMware: at the time of writing, 13 EVO:RAIl jobs are open at the company and patents for the software powering the appliances recently emerged. ®

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