VMware EVO and Its Market Impact

In a recent ESG Research Brief, Integrated Computing Platform Trends, 33% of the respondents indicated that are already using an ICP and there are no signs of lifting the foot off the accelerator pedal.

At VMworld 2014, VMware announced its EVO hyper-converged infrastructures. EVO comes in two flavors, EVO Rail and EVO Rack. Let’s start with EVO Rail since EVO Rack is still in tech preview, but promises to have an impact on the market.

EVO Rail is simply a VMware recipe that includes these ingredients: vSphere, vSan, vCenter Log Insight, and the EVO UI. VMware hardware partners take the recipe and deliver it to the customer as a single sku easy to consume appliance. It’s currently sized up for 150 VMs or 250 virtual desktops for a VDI deployment. I share a few more thoughts in this recap evo-thoughts-from-vmworld-day-one/index.html" target="_blank">blog on EVO from VMworld 2014.

ESG has a rich set of research in this area on the drivers, benefits, economic value, etc., for this consumption model, but I wanted to jump into the potential impact this has in the market that include:

  • It’s good for VMware customers. They get to stick with the company they trust and that has helped transform their careers. Now they can layer this relationship into the hardware.
  • it raises some questions about market participants Simplivity and Nutanix. True, both these companies have had a product in the market longer and yes, they are feature rich compared to the current instantiation of EVO, but it sure does question their long term viability. Nutantix could become the de facto standard through the Dell OEM relationship for Microsoft deployments and I suppose Cisco could crank up the execution through the UCS channel, but both scenarios are TBD for the moment.
  • It raises awareness for alternative, but similar solutions like NimBoxx and Scale Computing. The simple story here is that EVO helps justify the consumption model and shed some light on the VMware licensing delta between vSphere and these KVM-based alternatives. I couldn’t get exact numbers, but licensing alone for the EVO systems looks like they will bump up into the six figure range.

Perhaps one of the more interesting and missed dynamics is the business barometer EVO can provide for EMC. EVO highlights the fact that hardware decisions are changing and that not all applications require a complex and costly storage infrastructure. If in fact this was intentional on VMware and EMC’s part, it is a brilliant move to capture firsthand knowledge of how EVO will lay out in the market and what it takes for a successful execution. And this brings up my next point about EVO Rack.

EVO Rack is the same concept at rack scale and while there seem to be more questions than answers here, the fact that VMware has joined OCP further rotates towards the future of IT infrastructure and does in fact raise some eyebrows regarding existing solutions in the market that include VCE and FlexPod. It also raises the question about where Microsoft is participating. I blogged about a Surface Server and I am still left wondering why they have not been able to plant some hardware in the data center like VMware is about to do with EVO.

EVO also brings up go-to-market questions with VMware’s sales channel. ESG’s channel acceleration leader, Kevin Rhone, highlights some of these concerns in our vmworld-2014-esgs-event-video-insights/index.html" target="_blank">ESG wrap up video on VMworld.

The market impact, consumption accelerants and future of IT infrastructure are heating up fast. Please stay tuned in as we research and track the market. In the meantime here are some links to additional ESG content on the topic.

Why ICP? A Practical Guide to Integrated Computing Platforms

ESG Video Capsule: Virtualization's Impact on IT Infrastructure

Integrated Computing Platform Trends

Topics: VMworld Cloud Services & Orchestration