EMC was one of the first companies to roll out a converged infrastructure when they created VCE, a turnkey solution that combined VMware, CISCO server/networking technology and EMC storage called “vBlock”. VCE and others like it significantly reduced the time it took to deploy a fully operational infrastructure. But in recent years converged infrastructures have evolved to hyper-converged infrastructures (HCI). EMC already has an entry in this market with its VSPEX BLUE HCI appliances. These easy-to-use and cost-effective appliances are ideal for the mid-sized market. Now, at EMC World 2015 EMC has announced VCE VxRack which combines the scale of vBlock with the simplicity of VSPEX BLUE.
VCE VxRack combines EMC’s ScaleIO software with a hypervisor of the customer’s choosing onto a preconfigured set of nodes, all with their own internal storage which the software aggregates into a virtual pool. EMC claims it will also deliver a VMware optimized version based on EMC EVO:RACK in the late summer (a.k.a VMworld). The VxRack can start as small as a quarter of a rack and scale to a full rack and even out to dozens of racks. In all the VxRack can scale to 1,000 nodes.
One thing is clear, EMC has coverage when it comes to converged and hyper-converged infrastructures. vBlock targets the traditional scale up tier 1 applications like enterprise resource planning (ERP) and financial applications. At the opposite end of the spectrum is VSPEX BLUE, which is a hyper-converged architecture based on EVO:RAIL. It is limited to 8 nodes and about 100 virtual machines. In there is VxRack. EMC is targeting it at tier 2 applications and next generation applications. As a result, if your organization sees value in a more turnkey approach to infrastructure then EMC can deliver that value in the method you want to consume it.