VMware And EMC Unveil HyperConverged VxRail Appliance

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VCE’s hyperconverged appliance family targeting branch offices and the mid-market

EMC’s converged infrastructure vendor VCE has unveiled its much-anticipated new hyperconverged appliance today: VxRail.

The appliance family, which comes in three variants (with a fourth ‘all-flash’ version due later this year), is being aimed right at the heart of small and midsize data centres, IT departments, and edge environments.

VxRail appliances will use EMC cloud tiering to give users tha ability to hit public clouds such as VMware vCloud Air, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and very shortly Virtustream.


Nigel Moulton, VCE’s EMEA CTO, told TechWeekEurope that he sees three solid use cases for the appliance.

“The first use case is definitely in the remote or branch office of a large enterprise,” said Moulton.

“If you think about the IT estate that’s in these environments, it’s legacy storage, network devices. They might be quite old, and the management of them is not the easiest. We think there’s a use case in replacing legacy IT systems in branch offices of enterprises with a simple to install, small, powerful appliance like VxRail.”

Moulton said that the appliance can be up and running in 15 minutes, and will be especially suited for VDI.

vmwareBut the biggest market for VxRail, VCE is hoping, will be in the mid-market. “From VCE, the [mid-market] might have ignored us in the past because we didn’t have the technology that fit that market, but we absolutely think we do know.

“As we go to market with this, the price will be $60k, and we think it’s pretty keenly priced for the market we intend to position it in,” he said.

A third target, albeit with a slower burn according to Moulton, will be the service provider. Coming pre-packaged with minimal maintenance needed is perfect for the service provider, thinks Moulton.


The VxRail Appliance family brings together EMC and VMware offerings, including EMC rich data services and systems management capabilities with VMware’s hyper-converged software that includes VMware vSphere, vCentre Server and VMware vSAN – all in a single product family.

“The new VCE VxRail Appliance family puts IT organisations on a path to eliminating complexity and collapsing cost structures with hyper-converged infrastructure while leveraging their existing VMware investments,” said said Chad Sakac, President, VCE, the Converged Platforms Division of EMC.

“The VxRail Appliance completes our broad portfolio of Vblock, VxBlock and VxRack Systems to provide customers with a converged infrastructure that meets nearly every workload from the edge to the core regardless of size.”

As the below marketing image succinctly shows, the VxRail is the embodiment of EMC’s buy versus build opinion for converged infrastructure.

“You just reap the benefits of having a system up and ready to go,” said Moulton. “I think we’re winning the buy versus build argument in the data centre, and I think we will win it in the enterprise.”


Moulton also explained how he think VxRail is better than appliances from hyper-converged competitors like Nutanix.

The Nutanix approach is obviously proven, they’ve been doing this a while. But one of the things they’re guilty of is having multiple management interfaces to actually control their appliances,” he told TechWeekEurope.

“If you are looking to centrally manage their appliance, you have to go to multiple management interfaces, with VxRail you don’t. Secondly, certainly in the enterprise world, standards matter. Your ability to cookie cut and reference a simple appliance design, and copy and paste it multiple times into your organisation, the few things you have to mess with the better it is to deliver an experience. If you look at where Nutanix and others are, they’re just not that tightly integrated. You don’t have time to go about messing with different engineering standards,” he said.

VxRail appliances will be sold in a range of configurations and scale points. Entry systems for small and medium businesses and remote offices start at a list price of $60,000 (£42,000) and options for performance intensive workloads will have 76 TB of flash.

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