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Taneja Blog / Data Center Systems / Software Defined/Virtualized Infrastructure

EMC dramatically expands HyperConverged offerings with VxRack

With its VCE VxRack announcement this week at EMC World, EMC is fully validating and expanding the HyperConverged category of infrastructure. EMC through its VCE group is supporting a massively scaled-out version of hyper-convergence by using their ScaleIO software-defined storage (SDS) technology which supports a system size of up to 1000 nodes. EMC VxRack promises to dramatically increase the HyperConverged market adoption in the coming years by offering customers the same design and support experience as their industry leading VCE VBlock family.

Bringing the VCE group back in house has enabled EMC to rapidly engineer and produce new instances of converged and hyper-converged products without requiring both VMware and Cisco to sign-off on the design approach. VxRack for instance supports multiple hypervisors and uses compute not delivered by Cisco. However, VxRack is still currently using Cisco networking and in the future is promising to build another VxRack version based on VMware EVO:RACK that will rely on VMware NSX for networking and VSAN SDS technology. 

This new push by EMC to rapidly produce multiple converged infrastructure systems with flexible architectural choice should help EMC keep and even extend their leadership in the converged system market place. I believe VxRack is going to add even more fuel to the red hot HyperConverged market.

As a side note, EMC did position VxRack for Tier-2 workloads while still positioning all Tier-1 applications for VBlock to handle. However, when I talked to a fairly large service provider using a similar hyper-converged ScaleIO architecture approach, they indicating they were experiencing an enterprise level of reliability and performance while also hosting multiple Tier 1 applications. It will be interesting to see how quickly customers of VxRack might attempt to put their Tier-1 application on this infrastructure.


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