VMware Expands EVO:RAIL Compute, Server, Storage Portfolio

Offering expanded storage and compute options on EVO:RAIL will provide higher-capacity platforms so customers can run greater numbers of virtual machines.


VMware is expanding its EVO:RAIL converged compute, server and storage appliance portfolio with new hardware and software options.

VMware's customers can now choose EVO:RAIL appliances that include dual 6-, 8-, 10- or 12-core Intel Haswell or Ivy Bridge CPUs, with up to 512GB of memory available per node. Storage is a big focus in the new EVO:RAIL rollout, with two virtual storage area network (SAN) configurations. The VMware Virtual SAN configuration Option One can now enable up to 14.4TB of raw storage capacity per appliance, while Option Two can deliver up to 24TB of raw storage.

Offering expanded storage and compute options on EVO:RAIL will provide higher-capacity platforms so VMware customers can run larger numbers of virtual machines, the company said.

VMware has seen strong interest and demand from customers for EVO:RAIL since its release in August 2014, said Mornay Van Der Walt, vice president of VMWare's EVO:Rail Group. "Adoption is picking up as more of our Qualified EVO:RAIL Partners (QEPs) are now able to take orders and ship appliances," Van Der Walt told eWEEK.

The scale out to eight appliances or 32 nodes from the initial four appliances and 16 nodes that VMware supported with EVO:RAIL 1.0 was driven by customer feedback, he said.

Hardware isn't the only piece of the EVO:RAIL platform that has evolved since August. Van Der Walt noted that VMware has had two minor releases since the EVO:RAIL 1.0 release.

"Version 1.1 and version 1.2 provided bug fixes as well as support for the vSphere Loyalty Program and support for scale out to eight appliances or 32 nodes," Van Der Walt said.

One area that EVO:RAIL has not yet expanded into is that of direct support for Docker containers. Although VMware has embraced Docker containers as a virtualization technology that can run inside a traditional VMware hypervisor, that doesn't mean every VMware product is aligned with Docker.

"In 2015, our focus is on core virtualization use cases that require virtualized compute, network, storage and management in a hyperconverged infrastructure appliance,"Van Der Walt said. "In 2016, we will revisit and reassess if we need to consider the support of Docker on EVO:RAIL."

Today, 65 percent of use cases for EVO:RAIL are associated with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), Van Der Walt said, adding that VMware will continue to build out new capabilities for EVO:RAIL.

"We will be looking to add support for vSphere 6 and VSAN 6, scale-out to support more than eight appliances and have tighter integration with other VMware technologies and products," Van Der Walt said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.