As most of you know I’ve been involved in Virtual SAN in some shape or form since the very first release. Reason I was very excited about Virtual SAN is because I felt it would provide anyone the ability to develop a hyper-converged offering. Many VMware partners have already done this, and with the VSAN Ready Node program growing and enhancing every day (more about this soon) customers have an endless list of options to chose from. Today EMC and VMware introduce a new hyper-converged appliance: VxRail.
I am not going to make this an extremely long post, as my friend Chad has already done that of course and there is no point in repeating his blog word for word. I do feel however that VxRail truly is the best both EMC and VMware have to offer. The great thing about VxRail in my opinion is that it can be configured in anyway you like. From 6 all the way up to 28 cores per CPU, from 64GB of memory all the way up to 512GB of memory, from 3.6TB of storage all the way up to 19TB of storage. And yes that was per “node” not per appliance. And considering the roadmap, I can see those numbers increasing fast as well. Also note that we are talking “hybrid” and “all-flash” models here. I have to agree with Chad, I think that all-flash will be preferably to hybrid. The tipping point in terms of economics have definitely been reached, especially when you take the various data services in to account that VSAN has to offer.
These are the models which VCE will offer for All-Flash. Note that you can start with 3 nodes and scale up in 1 node increments.
What I think is great about VxRail is the fact (besides that it comes with vSphere and VSAN) that it comes with additional services like for instance RecoverPoint for VM (15 VMs for free per appliance), which is completely integrated with the Web Client by the way. (For those who don’t know, RecoverPoint provides sync and a-sync replication.) Or for instance S-3 compliant object storage is provided out of the box, 10TB license is included for free per appliance. On top of that there is integration built in with Data Domain.
Must be expensive right? Well actually it isn’t. Smallest configuration starts at $60k list price… Great price point, and I can’t wait for the first boxes to hit the street. Heck I need to talk Chad in to sending me one of those All-Flash models for our lab at some point.
$60k per node och for 4 nodes list?
Duncan Epping says
60k for the full appliance, not sure if that is minimum 3 node appliance or 4 though at this point. Someone at VCE should be able to answer that.
Matheus Aguiar Ribeiro says
Duncan, how about Nutanix? What the benefits that VSAN and EMC (brand new VXRAIL) against the Nutanix solution. The only great advantage that i can see, is the kernel-based VSAN (better performance, right?)
Duncan Epping says
I have about a dozen articles on VSAN and I think Chad’s article and my summary should provide a good idea why VxRail is a great choice.
Och = or
Andrew Mancey says
In response to Fnys, a base VxRAIL appliance with four nodes, including the hybrid disk/flash setup with a modest amount of compute, memory, and the entire VMware software stack costs $60,000
@Mathues, take a look at
Is EVO: RAIL still the installation/mgmt engine for VxRail?
Chad Sakac says
All, thanks for the questions – disclosure, EMCer (Chad) here.
@Fnys – $60K list price for an entry 4 node configuration, that’s all in. Assume discount through your partner/EMC. We will, BTW – be introducing even smaller nodes and 3 node configurations in the future – so will go even lower. It’s very nice because in a VxRail cluster, not all nodes need to be the same, you can mix/match appliances as you scale.
@Matheus – I’m not an expert on Nutanix, but here’s what I think is great about VxRail:
1) All-Flash configs where it can actually leverage that underlying performance (due to VSAN)
2) Performance that is a rock unlike other cases where as the guest VM that is the storage layer is contenting with high CPU WAIT when the vmkernel is busy.
3) Erasure coding that doesn’t have compromises. This is a big deal – as it means getting 33% or higher better utilization.
4) Want high IOPS & tons of capacity – NO PROBLEM. Normally in HCIAs, getting both fast and dense capacity storage is a compromise due to appliance/modular packaging. VxRail can be an all flash config and also comes with 10TB of additional storage that takes up no space in the physical appliance – because it leverages external S3 compliant object storage, and you can add as much as you want (10TB is pre-licensed with each appliance – but you could have 100’s of TB) COOL. Also serves up iSCSI, NFS, CIFS without a fileserver needed.
5) want killer remote replication, or really simple stretched configs? no other HCIA comes close.
6) for customers who have needs beyond VxRail (or any HCIA), VxRail integrates with the VCE Vision management of Vblock and VxRack.
7) single support. Only VxRail has support for everything (including vSphere) from a place.
The list is much, much longer than that – and on my blog that Duncan references.
@Vince – back last year, we decided we needed to go in a different direction (more details on my blog), that EVO RAIL had good ideas, but for various reasons wasn’t working as well as we wanted. The EVO RAIL team merged into the VxRail team (a single product team with VMware and EMC people – not an arms length partner model), along with the EVO RAIL manager engine IP. What’s in VxRail is already quite evolved from that moment, and is already accelerating quickly from there. It has all the great parts from EVO RAIL (super simple install, update, patch), but doesn’t have the weaknesses (narrow single config support, constraining package and licensing).
The 19TB* maximum per node for an all flash configuration — does the asterisk denote after deduplication and compression? If so, what data reduction rate is assumed?
Collin C MacMillan says
You introduce a chart with minimum 3-node but chart’s smallest configuration is 4-node. Wrong chart?
Duncan Epping says
Chart is correct, “3 node” will be out soon!
VSAN + vSphere + NSX , how many bug and corruption should we be expecting for this great product ?
Duncan Epping says
I can’t speak for other products, but we have over 3000 happy VSAN customers. I haven’t met a customer yet who has had data corruption. If data corruption would occur then we have checksumming/diskscrubbers etc to mitigate the problem. Thanks.
For customers that want to buy several of these and use them for their robo locations, but maintain a single vCenter, is that possible?
I’ll update my own comment here since I found the answer. Sadly… No. A baked in vCenter is automatically deployed during the setup wizard. Also, during the wizard you’re unable to join an existing SSO environment which means you can’t use enhanced linked mode with this solution either. I know how painful it can be managing multiple production vCenters first hand. I hope this gets modified in the future becase this is a deal breaker for some of our customers. Here’s a link to the VxRail deployment process which shows exactly what I’m talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEh0ilgyuEQ&feature=youtu.be
Matheus is interesting to say that a lot of the features that they announce will be part of the SOON to have not something you can get now. My understanding is that today you can only get the VxRail 120 and it doesn’t have enterprise features like deduplication or compression that are present with Nutanix today. It is based on EVO:Rail and will have to adhere to what VMWare releases.
A lot of the features are pending on the future release of VSAN6.2. I also thing that the only way you can do the three node appliance is using the all flash config but I could be wrong here.
German Vietri says
VSAN 6.2 have Deduplication and compression and is Native into The VSPHERE. Nutanix need to create a VM to work…
“$60k, all in” price includes the vSphere / vCenter / VSAN software licenses? @Chad Sakac
alam shaikh says
Dear Duncan ,
I will like to understand , that vxrail uses which version of VSAN ?
Also will like know Can we have windows failover clustering configured on VSAN , especially VXRAIL . AS i believe it uses RDM for clustering …
I guess with vsan 6.1 they are supporting WSFC , but could find much resources for the same .
So the VXrail be coming with VSAN 6.1 , and does it suppport ??
Does anyone know about this? I have a customer who just consolidated several vCenters to minimize their administration burden and was interested in VxRail. I’d like to give them a clear answer on their vCenter concerns. Thanks.
For centralized management of all vCenter instances, look into vCenter Enhanced Linked Mode. This isn’t a single vCenter instance, but consolidates all of the vCenters into a single pane of glass, so to speak. Cross vCenter vMotion is possible, as well, if deployed in a manner that allows that capability. More details here http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-60/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.upgrade.doc%2FGUID-6AF21A92-A67E-4DD9-8AC6-46F990118037.html
When VxRail deploys it allows you to connect to an existing sso domain? From my understanding you can’t just “enable” enhanced linked mode against two completely separate vCenters, it has to be done upon the installation of the second vCenter.
will VxRAIL boxes include hardware VTEPs?
Duncan Epping says
by default they will not be shipped with switches, but this of course is an option. This may or may not change in the future.
The all Flash offerings are not available until Q2 so that’s when they will get the benefit of vSAN 6.2, is the dedup,compression & erasure coding that’s mentioned with VxRail because of vSAN 6.2 or is that something that comes with VxRail and not dependant on vSAN 6.2?
Hi, Does this product has self encrypting disks or encryption for the disks.
Abdul Salam says
Hi, We are a customer using VMware with EMC VNX hybrid storage. I am currently evaluating server/storage solutions for a new virtual infrastructure requirement.
This looks interesting. Does this above article mean the VxRail appliance for $60,000 will have 4 x times the spec mentioned per node? ie, 48 cores/ 1 TB RAM/ 8 x 10G ports, What will be the usable capacity? Is this price for All-Flash starting model?