Posts Tagged ‘Converged Infrastructure’

EMC announces Sapphire on Rails! Err… I mean VSPEX BLUE a VMware EVO:RAILS Solution!

February 3rd, 2015

For those of you who haven’t gotten the news… OMG EMC IS NOW A HARDWARE MANUFACTURER. Whoa, wait a minute, didn’t they produce storage? Sure, sure they did and sure they do!  However by officially entering the realms of the VMware EVO:RAILS Family with other legitimate server vendors like Dell, and such (not to be confused with the VERY confusing NetApp EVO:RAILS Solution ;))   Well, let’s just say this could be a game changer! Especially as we peel back the layers a bit!   So that said… Let’s get started! :)

EMC VSPEX BLUE Redefined Simplicity

So, what exactly is VSPEX BLUE you might be asking?   I mean you may have a sense of what an EVO:RAIL solution typically is, but let’s get a sense of what we’re getting in this little 2U Appliance…

VMware’s EVO:RAIL solution of VPSEX BLUE contains the following:

  • Software:
    • vSphere Enterprise Plus
    • VMware vCenter Server
    • VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN)
    • vCenter Log Insight
    • EVO:RAIL Intuitive user interface (Dashboard)
  • Hardware:
    • Four ESXi Hosts per appliance
    • Two fully redundant power supplies
    • Redundant 2 x 10 GbE NICs (per node)
    • Enterprise grade boot device
    • HDDs and SSDs (will go into more details on that in a bit!)

I know what you’re thinking … “That sounds a lot like every other EVO:RAILS Solution” Why thank you for recognizing! I like how we’re in-sync on this!

EMC’s Value Add on top of EVO:RAIL

  • Unlimited cloud storage and file services via EMC Cloud Array gateway
  • Operational and Disaster Recovery, Replication and Continuous Data Protection with EMC RecoverPoint for VMs.
  • Centralized Backup and Recovery with VMware Data Protection Advanced that is built on EMC Avamar, with Data Domain as a target.
  • EMC Secure Remote Services (ESRS)—enabling 24×7 secure, remote monitoring, diagnostics and repair.
  • EMC Proven server hardware reliability.
  • EMC award winning Global Support and Logistics, single point of support from EMC, including VMware software.

Wait a minute, that all sounds like marketecture? Why yes, you’re damn straight that it is! Alright let me peel back the REAL covers of this onion for you, so you can see what’s really going on! :)

  • Yes there are benefits with EMC Cloud Array gateway, that itself is actually kind of cool. (Albeit, I’m reading it as 1TB Local Cache and 10TB Cloud Storage, so correct me if THAT is wrong…)
  • Why yes… EMC did recently make RecoverPoint for VMs FREE! But you have to pay for support… In VSPEX BLUE you get 15 VMs for free per appliance! (That’s a benefit, right?)
  • EMC’s VSPEX BLUE has a separate manager over the top of the EVO:RAILS manager which actually provides some really cool benefits above and beyond (Check out manager demos to get the inside scoop on that..)

VSPEX BLUE Manager integration

This should give you a sense of the connection points which VSPEX BLUE Manager has!

VSPEX BLUE is Available ONLY Through Channel Partners!

Yep! You heard it here first (or possibly.. not sure if this is the FIRST Place you’ve heard it! But still… :))

At least that is what we as channel partners are being told as well, That said… Oh, you want to buy VSPEX BLUE? It has to be bought through a channel partner.  In our case, in concert with EMC they’ve provided an interesting ‘storefront’ so to speak which won’t go live until February 16th so I encourage you to keep your eye on (We’re one of the 10 US Based Partners who are part of the VSPEX BLUE Pilot Program!) and once the site is officially published and available (read: 16FEB2015) the link will be made public there!)

!!!UPDATE!!! The Store is now LIVE! So go check it out! :)

I don’t want VSPEX BLUE because Converged Infrastructure is a stupid-head!

This comes up at times, it’s common objections and concerns which are raised. So hopefully I can address a few of those points here with very common objections and challenges which are raised when looking at new technologies.

“I’ve heard Converged Infrastructure is complex, I don’t need more complexity!”

Interestingly, EMC’s VSPLEX BLUE is a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance which incorporates virtualization, compute, storage, networking and data protection into a single box. Additionally it automates the deployment which can help accelerate your ability to function while also reducing risk in your virtual environment.

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure is too risky.

EMC VSPEX BLUE dramatically lowers risk and speeds time to production. As an all-inclusive appliance, EMC VSPEX BLUE eliminates the need for complex integration and streamlines operations with automated deployment, upgrades and patches. EMC VSPEX BLUE integrates both software and hardware resiliency to ensure near zero downtime. Leveraging proven capabilities of vSphere® HA, vMotion, DRS and VMware® Virtual SANTM to ensure high availability at both the compute and storage layers. (A direct EMC Quote :))

Want to scale Storage separately from Compute.

With the EMC Cloud Array gateway, you can scale on-demand to cloud storage as needed for backup, expansion, archive.

Can I re-use existing infrastructure investments?

No, VSPEX BLUE is an all-inclusive hyper-converged appliance. However, it can augment your investments for the purpose of Test/Dev, new departmental requirements or ROBO opportunities. (That’s quoted verbatim from EMC :))

Okay, but what about VALID Objections?

So true. There are a few areas I’ve identified which you ought to know, because I’m not here to pull the wool over your eyes.

  • When you buy an appliance you’re paying for all of the licensing as a single SKU. When you buy a second appliance, even if adding to your EXISTING appliance environment it is still a single SKU. (What this means is even if you’re not using your second vCenter license, or Log Insight instance, VSAN, so on and so forth, you’re paying for it.)  
  • Can you get a discount on licenses you’re not using? Not that I’m aware of.   I asked that question EXPLICITLY because I knew YOU would ask.  So the appliances will end up duplicative with licensing as you scale beyond your first appliance. Don’t shoot the messenger! <3
  • If you want to go direct with this, as far as what EMC is saying, “No you can’t, you must go through a partner” Albeit for what it is worth. *I* (Xiologix) am an EMC Partner who can sell this solution to you ;) But seriously, it’s important to find a trusted partner you can work with on this.   In theory I’m sure some back-alley deals can be done to go direct with EMC on this, but as far as posturing and positioning here for launch… this is “Channel Partner only”
  • Is this a fit for every organization? Absolutely. And no, absolutely not.  That’s one of the values of having this be Channel driven is working with a partner to understand your needs vs having someone pitch something shiny and blue!

I knew you wanted this… so here’s the hardware specs! I did it in an image just to complicate things! :)

VSPEX BLUE Hardware specs

Also it is worth pointing out that one of the added differentiators is visibility into the hardware which may not always be available depending upon EVO:RAIL provider

EMC VSPEX BLUE Hardware Awareness

Other awesome posts about VSPEX BLUE can be found here!

Hopefully you find this information useful.  I’ll eventually be doing a full deep breakdown of ALL of the EVO:RAIL Solutions available on the market, but I was waiting for this announcement first. :)

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Posted in Cloud, emc, vExpert, Virtualization, VMworld | Comments (1)

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