VMware doubles node count for EVO:RAIL hyperconvergenceware

Two THOUSAND desktops a cluster, baby. Uh huh

the EVO:RAIL value prop

VMware has released a new version 1.2 of its EVO:RAIL software that turns servers from third parties into hyperconverged screamers.

The headline change is a doubling in scale. Version 1.0 of EVO:RAIL could handle four appliances in a cluster and 16 nodes overall. That's now eight appliances in a cluster and 32 nodes overall. Each appliance, in VMware speak, is a 2U, four-server (or node) affair. At 32 servers/nodes, assuming one packs in multi-core Xeons, EVO:RAIL now represents a pretty sizable rig, one that VMware says can handle “800 general purpose virtual machines or 2,000 virtual desktop virtual machines per cluster.”

VMware says it has also “enhanced the management interface to provide users with greater detail into the hardware health status” and “automated the hardware replacement process for components.” The upshot of the latter inclusion is that disks of all flavours and 10GbE NICs are now easier to add.

The “vSphere loyalty program” also works in the new version, although as we've previously noted this program is less to do with loyalty and more about making vSphere licences portable to keep the price of EVO:RAIL palatable.

Dell's jumped first with kit running version 1.2 with one for EVO:RAIL and an Horizon Edition for those who like their end-user computing stacks pre-rolled and linked to the Wyse range of thin clients. Horizon Edition looks like it isn't running Project Enzo, VMware's effort to do for end-user computing what EVO:RAIL does for standing up some virtual machines, namely give it a simpler interface and take away complexity by insisting on known hardware configurations. Enzo will presumably get hardware partners once it debuts later this year.

VMware's veep of EVO:RAIL, Mornay van der Walt, says the changes to scale and new admin features were added in response to customer requests.

The Reg's virtualisation desk hears plenty of enthusiasm for EVO:RAIL, but little by way of actual sales. VMware tends to start revealing numbers about product adoption when they are impressive enough to give its senior execs something nice to say during earnings calls. EVO:RAIL hasn't earned that distinction yet.

Rivals hyperconverged players like SimpliVity and Nutanix aren't so shy. The former says it has shipped 2,000 systems. Nutanix is so confident it gives away its software for free in a Community Edition that scales to the same heights as the original EVO:RAIL.

Perhaps the recent announcement of that software helped to move VMware towards an embiggened EVO:RAIL? ®

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