EMC Announces VSPEX BLUE Hyper-Converged Appliance

By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc.  February 4, 2015

EMC announced the availability of the new VSPEX BLUE hyper-converged infrastructure appliance that delivers compute, storage, networking and management powered by VMware EVO:RAIL and EMC software. According to the company, VSPEX BLUE enables customers to go from power on to provisioning virtual machines in under 15 minutes, offering impressive time-to-value when compared to other hyper-converged infrastructure offerings.

VSPEX BLUE allows customers to meet rapidly changing computing demands without the burden of advanced IT forecasting, and is ideal for infrastructure consolidations, virtual desktops in large remote or branch offices and managed service providers (MSPs).

In addition, VSPEX BLUE simplifies IT configuration, management, and maintenance. It offers seamless linear scalability from one to four 2U/4-nodes. In addition, EMC is delivering an integrated management experience via the VSPEX BLUE Manager which extends the capabilities of the native VMware EVO:RAIL Deployment, Configuration and Management (DCM) Engine. Customers will also appreciate the platform’s built-in support experience and the VSPEX BLUE Market which offers access to select pre-validated software titles and solutions.

The VSPEX BLUE appliance will initially be available through a group of EMC Business Partner Program distributors, including Arrow, Avnet, Networld, TD Azlan and Tech Data, which have the established global reach, required manufacturing capabilities and the necessary international certifications and capabilities to support the platform. The EMC VSPEX BLUE hyper-converged infrastructure appliance will be generally available February 17, 2015.

The pitch

EMC enters the hyper-converged infrastructure appliance space with its partner-led VSPEX BLUE.

Final analysis

Parsing the strategic goals of EMC’s new hyper-converged infrastructure appliance requires understanding both the company’s VSPEX architecture and strategy and VMware’s EVO:RAIL.

The former is a reference architecture that the company created to help channel partners develop, deliver and profit from converged infrastructure solutions designed for a range of mostly mid-market use cases. The latter is an integrated and scalable VMware solution designed to radically simplify the configuration and deployment of highly virtualized infrastructure solutions.

Put the two together and the result is the VSPEX BLUE appliance, a muscular solution in a compact form factor that can support scores of virtual machines or hundreds of virtual desktops, and scale to meet more robust requirements.

What does this matter and who should care? The converged infrastructure space has been hot for the past couple of years during which market leaders like VCE racked up impressive, consistent year-over-year growth and even following vendors did very well. But many of those solutions are designed to meet the requirements (including the integration of specific applications) of large enterprises, and are priced accordingly.

Plus, some solutions rely mainly on proprietary technologies and platforms. In contrast, EMC’s VSPEX BLUE is designed to leverage commodity hardware components for typically smaller use cases and more general purpose workloads, including infrastructure consolidation projects, supporting virtual desktops in large remote or branch offices and MSP deployments.

Many of these examples overlap considerably with mid-market uses cases per EMC’s original intent with VSPEX, as does the company’s focus on leveraging business partners to develop VSPEX BLUE solutions. Delivering such a powerful solution in so compact and easy to manage a package should also help EMC grow demand for its storage and other offerings.

Overall, we believe that the new VSPEX BLUE hyper-converged infrastructure appliances should benefit both EMC customers and partners, and could further deepen the market penetration of highly integrated, scalable virtualization.

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