VMware hasn’t specified a shipping time for EVO:RACK, the larger version of the hyper-converged infrastructure that was announced Monday, but considering the thing is up and running and being shown off at VMworld, you have to guess it won’t be long.
Quanta is showing off a VMware EVO:RACK prototype on the exhibit floor this week. It’s built on Quanta’s Open Compute Project-certified hardware, as Quanta’s staff was more than happy to point out to anyone passing by, and the pieces are all available in Quanta’s catalog: Rackgo X F03A server systems, Rackgo X JBR disk-drive units, and the like.
Of course, the EVO:RACK also needs VMware’s software — VMware considers that to be kind of important. And while VMware doesn’t need to provide anything exotic, there’s a lot more software in EVO:RACK than in EVO:RAIL. Both incorporate vSphere and the vSAN storage-virtualization software, but EVO:RACK adds rack management and fabric management software. The “fabric” in the latter case consists of just top-of-rack (ToR) switches today, but it will expand to include spine-and-leaf architectures later, CTO Ben Fathi said during Tuesday’s VMworld keynote.
The point is: All that integration work has been accomplished. Fathi noted that 20 percent of the hands-on sessions at this week’s VMworld are being powered by EVO:RACK gear.
So, I found myself wondering why EVO:RACK has to sit in the wings for a while while the smaller EVO:RAIL, a 2-rack-unit appliance, is set for general availability in the third quarter. (In a press conference Monday, CEO Pat Gelsinger made one passing reference to the EVO:RACK arriving next year, but that’s the only hint we’ve gotten so far.)
I would guess that EVO:RACK is too new to be considered production-ready; you wouldn’t blame VMware for wanting to put the architecture through its paces. It’s also possible that VMware, which just joined the Open Compute Project, wants to make sure the rack gets OCP-certified before sending it out to the market. I get the feeling VMware wants EVO:RACK to really showcase that white box model of systems design.
On a separate, amusing note, Quanta isn’t on the initial list of EVO hardware partners, even though that shiny bright EVO:RACK box was out in plain sight with “Quanta” written all over it. Maybe they’re trying to keep it a secret.
Check out more VMworld 2014 news SDNCentral covered this week:
- VMware’s EVO Doesn’t Scare Nutanix
- VMworld Newswire: NSX, Storage, and a Touch of DevOps
- Nutanix Raises the Stakes by Raising $140M More
- Dell & F5 Strike Partnerships With VMware NSX
- VMworld: VMware Gets Its Hands Dirty in Hardware, OpenStack, and Containers
- VMware NSX Puts the Spotlight on Security
- VMware Declares Docker Containers Are Friends, Not Foes
To keep up with news about white-box hardware and bare-metal switching, be sure to visit our white box topic page.