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EMC energizes Star Trek-style matter-phasing warp field coils, emits VxRack Neutrinos

It's just a box that runs cloud and big data apps

As well as the VxRack 1000, EMC has two more VxRack variants coming: SDDC and Neutrino.

VxRack is a hyper-converged, rack-level system for large data centers running scale-out workloads. It slots in EMC VCE's product range underneath Vblocks, which are rack-level converged infrastructure for large data centers running traditional workloads. The VxRacks slot in above VxRail products, which are hyper-converged infrastructure appliances running VSAN and tightly integrated with VMware. (Oh, and VSPEX Blue products are now VxRail products.)

VxRack Flex uses ScaleIO virtual SAN storage, which is open high-performance transactional storage software that scales to thousands of nodes. It contrasts to VSAN 6.2, which is VMware-only and is high-performance transactional storage software that scales to tens of nodes, currently 64, and is aimed at departments, ROBO sites and small/medium business.

Arguably EMC could produce a ScaleIO-based VxRail-type system, but whether it will do so is an open question.


The first expected VxRack variant is VxRack SDDC (software-defined data center), which is VMware-centric, uses VSAN for storage, and so is a perfect data center match for edge VxRail appliances. It's built from modular, disaggregated, composable components which are designed and integrated as a system, and provide infrastructure resilience.

VxRack Neutrino is different. It's targeted at large data centers running cloud-native apps and Big Data analytics workloads. It has a scale-out design, and uses ScaleIO for a virtual SAN with ECS used as an object/HDFS store. The turbo-charging kicker is the use of DSSD scale-out flash storage for blindingly fast data access.

We understand Neutrino's have no or little infrastructure resilience dependency.

The Flex VxRack is built for lots of east-west network traffic between the nodes, which influences the fabric design. SDDC scales at the vSphere cluster level and there is much less east-west network traffic and the network design will reflect that. Neutrino's networking characteristics probably fall between Flex and SDDC.

Expect SDDC and Neutrino VxRack products later this year. SDDC could theoretically come out now, whereas Neutrino has a dependency on DSSD which is unannounced.

Have a look at early EMC VxRack thoughts in this slide deck. ®

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