Over the last couple of days the same EVO:RAIL questions keep popping up over and over again. I figured I would do a quick EVO:RAIL Q&A post so that I can point people to that instead of constantly answering them on twitter.

  • Can you explain what EVO:RAIL is?
    • EVO:RAIL is the next evolution of infrastructure building blocks for the SDDC. It delivers compute, storage and networking in a 2U / 4 node package with an intuitive interface that allows for full configuration within 15 minutes. The appliance bundles hardware+software+support/maintenance to simplify both procurement and support in a true “appliance” fashion. EVO:RAIL provides the density of blade with the flexibility of rack. Each appliance comes with 100GHz of compute power, 768GB of memory capacity and 14.4TB of raw storage capacity (plus 1.6TB of flash for IO acceleration purposes). For full details, read my intro post.
  • Where can I find the datasheet?
  • What is the minimum number of EVO:RAIL hosts?
    • Minimum number is 4 hosts. Each appliance comes with 4 independent hosts, which means that 1 appliance is the start. It scales per appliance!
  • What is included with an EVO:RAIL appliance?
    • 4 independent hosts each with the following resources
      • 2 x E5-2620 6 core
      • 192GB Memory
      • 3 x 1.2TB 10K RPM Drive for VSAN
      • 1 x 400Gb eMLC SSD for VSAN
      • 1 x ESXi boot device
      • 1 x dual 10GbE nic port
      • 1 x IPMI port
    • vSphere Enterprise Plus
    • vCenter Server
    • Virtual SAN
    • Log Insight
    • Support and Maintenance for 3 years
  • What is the total available storage capacity?
    • After the VSAN Datastore is formed and vCenter Server is installed / configured there is about 13.1TB left
  • How many VMs can I run on one appliance?
    • That will very much depend on the size of the virtual machine and the workload. We have been able to comfortably run 250 desktops on one appliance. With Server VMs we ended up with around 100. However, again this very much depends on things like workload / capacity etc.
  • If licensing / maintenance / support is three 3 years, what happens after?
    • After 3 years support/maintenance expires. It can be extended, or the appliance can be replaced when desired.
  • Who are the EVO:RAIL qualified partners?
    • The following partners were announced at VMworld: Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Inspur, Net One Systems, Supermicro
  • How much does an EVO:RAIL appliance cost?
    • Pricing will be set by qualified partners
  • Will NSX work with EVO:RAIL?
    • EVO:RAIL uses vSphere 5.5 and Virtual SAN. Anything that works with that will work with EVO:RAIL. NSX has not been explicitly tested but I expect that this should be no problem.
  • Does it use VMware Update Manager (VUM) for updating/patching?
    • No EVO:RAIL does not use VUM for updating and patching. It uses a new mechanism which is built from scratch and comes as part of the EVO:RAIL engine. This to provide a simple updating and patching mechanism, while avoiding the need for a Windows VM (VUM requires Windows).
  • What kind of NIC card is included?
    • 10GbE dual port NIC. Majority of vendors will offer both SFP+ and RJ45
  • Is there a physical switch included?
    • A physical switch is not part of the “recipe” VMware provided to qualified partners, but some may package one with it to simplify green field deployments.
  • What is MARVIN or Mystic then?
    • MARVIN (Modular Automated Rackable Virtual Infrastructure Node) was the codename used by VMware internally for EVO:RAIL. Mystic was the codename used by EMC. Both of them refer to EVO:RAIL

Some great EVO:RAIL links:

If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in comments section and I will do my best to answer them.

VMware EVO:RAIL FAQ” originally appeared on Yellow-Bricks.com. Follow me on twitter – @DuncanYB.

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