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So, Mystic Joe Tucci: Is a hyper-converged tool in EMC's future?

Rumours of appliance still EMC/VMware unconfirmed

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Comment EMC could be getting into hyper-converged systems via VMware and software-defined hardware components, though the storage firm is yet to confirm industry rumours.

So far neither the parent company nor virtualisation juggernaut VMware has substantiated reports by CRN on "Project Mystic", supposedly a more converged appliance than VCE’s vBlocks. The new appliance reportedly uses:

  • industry-standard X86 servers,
  • VMware vSphere to virtualise the servers,
  • VMware VSAN to virtualise the storage, meaning no networked arrays,
  • VMware NSX to virtualise the networking and
  • management software.

This would be a software-defined appliance with EMC/VMware distributors assembling the hardware and software, using EMC/VMware templates, and enable EMC/Vmware to take on products from converged system vendors like Nutanix, Pivot3, Scale Computing and Simplivity.

The latter firms basically sell a one-box-does-it-all approach, saying scaling out their systems is easier than buying separate server, storage and networking components and juggling them all on-premises.

An EMC/VMware appliance could use EMC flash storage hardware.

Such an EMC appliance would be more converged and less powerful than vBlocks from the VMware-Cisco-EMC VCE consortium. It might not use Cisco networking hardware (meaning Ethernet switches we reckon) and we think such appliances might be mini-VSPEX boxes.

The role EMC’s ScaleIO technology could play in this is not clear; it might not have a role at all, although that might seem unlikely.

EMC’s 5 May Las Vegas EMC World juggernaught might spray out more information. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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