PART I: EVO:RAIL – EMC


EVO-Illustration-1024x475

We are starting to see a lot of content in the Blogosphere  and other Social Media like Twitter on Hyperconverged solutions and how they stack up against each other. There are many articles comparing Nutanix, SimpliVity to EVO:RAIL but what I couldn’t find was an EVO:RAIL comparison article. While System Integrators “prescribe” to VMware’s EVO program which provides the required foundation of the solution, some System Integrators have chosen to add value to the base solution.  These value adds could sway you from making your decision on one System Integrator’s solution over another.  I stress “could’ here because at the end of the day, the functionality and services provided by the core product may be enough to meet your needs, however, I think it’s an exercise everyone should take when considering an EVO:RAIL solution as you may be surprised at what some System Integrators are providing.  Another thing to consider is a single support model as some vendors can provide the ToR 10Gb switch infrastructure which may appeal to some as it truly provides a single support number for an entire solution.  Contrary to the marketecture out there, 10Gb ToR is required and EVO:RAIL does not provide that in the total solution even though you may see marketing claiming its a complete converged appliance including Networking. Let’s not fool ourselves here, VMware has been providing core networking services within vSphere for a long time, however, that’s not the complete picture.

In Part 1 of this series, I will cover the EMC offering and as I continue to research the others to find all pertinent information to provide to you, I will release additional information with the final part of the series laying out all the Partner EVO:RAIL Solutions for easy comparison.

PART I: EMC

PART II: DELL

PART III: HP

PART IV: NetApp

PART V: SUPERMICRO

PART VI: Hitachi Data Systems

PART VII: FUJITSU

PART VIII: net one

PART IX: inspur

PART X: Final wrap up and consolidated comparison chart

As of writing this article, there are a total of nine partners that prescribe to the EVO:RAIL program which I have called out in the illustration below.  Let’s begin with EMC’s EVO:RAIL offering.

EVOParnters

  • EMC VSPEX Blue  

EMC Provides the most unique solution of the grouping, in my view. They have taken EVO:RAIL and raised the bar with their value adds. First and foremost, EMC has integrated their EVO:RAIL offering as part of VSPEX and branded their EVO:RAIL solution VSPEX Blue. VSPEX is all about choice and while VSPEX Blue still provides the core EVO:RAIL functionality in their solution (EVO Engine, VMware goodies), they have created an ecosystem around it while integrating additional key functionality that other integrators have not provided.

There is a ton of information I can provide to you here but i’ll I also want to point out, briefly, that others have provided in-depth information like Chad Sakac on his blog here.  Chad provides insight on the what and why on the direction EMC has taken with EVO:RAIL and the innovation here is nothing short of impressive.

EMC is the only EVO:RAIL System Integrator to provide two models, Standard and Performance Models.  The differentiation between the two options is memory capacity.

EMCEVO1

EMC did integrated VSPEX Blue Management into the EVO:RAIL Software Management engine which goes to show that they didn’t skimp here.  VSPEX Blue Manager is integrated through the same interface that you use to manage the VMware components of the appliance, however, it adds full appliance visibility by:

1. Providing EMC Support through online chat and Customer forums/knowledge base,

2. Integration with VMware Log Insight for Health/Event Monitoring and Hardware, Application and VM alerts

3. Access to the EMC VSPEX Blue  Marketplace to access qualified software

4. Complete Automated patches and software updates/upgrades

5. Remote access through ESRS

vspexbluemgr1

vspexbluemgr2

EMC provides additional value adds that are available through the VSPEX Blue Marketplace:

EMCEVO

Along with the integrated VSPEX Blue Manager and ESRS Support, the appliance also ships with additional software for Backup/Recovery with Dedupe, Journal Based local and remote Replication and access to Cloud Storage through EMC’s CloudArray for File & Block.

– EMC Recoverpoint for VM’s (15VM License, can purchase additional licenses via the Marketplace within the Appliance): RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines provides local and remote hypervisor- based replication and continuous protection for per-VM recovery to point in time along with build-in DR Orchestration

recoverpointforvms

– VMware Data Protection – Advanced with optional Data Domain Appliance (Effective March 1, 2015, VMware customers are entitled to VDP-A at no additional cost): VDP-A is based on EMC’s Deduplication Backup & Recovery Software, Avamar.  With VDP-A you will decrease recovery times by leveraging disk. Only unique data is backed up which lowers your backup capacity requirements.  By adding Data Domain, data is deduplicated prior to being sent which is ideal for remote locations.

vdpa_dd_replication

– EMC CloudArray (10TB’s along with 1TB Cache, additional capacity can be purchased at any time): Along with the VSAN capacity that’s included with EVO:RAIL, EMC allows you to expand your storage capacity beyond what VSAN is delivering with EMC CloudArray.  EMC CloudArray software provides scaleable cloud based storage with your CHOICE of many leading cloud providers enabling limitless File/Block storage which could be leveraged for offsite backup and disaster recovery.  CloudArray provides a simple solution to cloud storage by providing a bandwidth scheduler and data reduction technology that minimizes network impact.

cloudarrayblog1

As you can see EMC has really provided additional value to the core EVO:RAIL offering and have done so by integrating within the Appliance.  They understand that building outside of this model makes it less of an appliance and more of a converged solution with separate mgmt points which, in the end, would defeat the purpose.  Integration is key in the Hyper-Converged market and EMC has done a great job here.

Stay tuned for Part II of my EVO:RAIL Comparison blog series when I tackle the Dell offering based on their C6220 Cloud Integrated Systems platform.

Blog Series Links

PART I: EMC

PART II: DELL

PART III: HP

PART IV: NetApp

PART V: SUPERMICRO

PART VI: Hitachi Data Systems

PART VII: FUJITSU

PART VIII: net one

PART IX: inspur

PART X: Final wrap up and consolidated comparison chart

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