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What you need to know about VMware EVO:RAIL

Users had high hopes when VMware announced their new hyper-converged infrastructure offering, EVO:RAIL. But questions still linger about its hardware partners.

VMworld 2014 has come and gone and, as usual, unloaded a lot of new products and information. One release that is still garnering buzz and interest is VMware's first step into the hyper-converged infrastructure family, EVO:RAIL. RAIL is the first release of the EVO family and aims to simplify deployment for users.

Users have high hopes, questions for EVO:RAIL

When VMware announced EVO:RAIL at VMworld 2014, users were excited that the company was taking a step into the world of hyper-converged infrastructure products. The simplicity of EVO:RAIL is something that users have high hopes for. But on the flip side, they are questioning the absence of some big-name hardware companies on the partner list.

Breaking down the details of EVO:RAIL

Leading up to VMworld, there were rumors about a new product called Marvin. Then that turned into Mystic and then finally at the conference was announced as EVO:RAIL. VMware explained that "EVO" is short for "evolution" and that "RAIL" stands for the rail mount in the server platform. Here's a look at the design of EVO:RAIL, which is aimed at simplifying installation and deployment.

Figuring out where EVO:RAIL fits in

The goals of EVO:RAIL are to lessen the burden on the IT staff and to simplify operations, but it still has similar limits to those of vSphere, such as sizing limits. Bob Plankers, an IT architect, noted that this is still a 1.0 product and that VMware will learn from it going forward. Listen to what else he had to say about VMware's new hyper-converged infrastructure offering.

Examining the inclusion of EMC, Dell on EVO:RAIL's partner list

The spotlight was focused on which hardware companies weren't on VMware's EVO:RAIL partner list, but what about the ones that were? HP was absent from the list, but EMC and Dell weren't, which turned some heads. EVO:RAIL will be competition to products that EMC sells, while Dell is a partner with Nutanix, a direct competitor of VSAN.

How does EVO:RAIL stack up to the competition?

Leading up to VMworld 2014, there were rumors that VMware would make a move regarding hardware and the hyper-converged infrastructure. But now that EVO:RAIL is official, how does it stack up? Nutanix and Simplivity are two main players in the hyper-converged infrastructure market, but does EVO:RAIL have an advantage already?

This was last published in September 2014

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