As a virtualization consultant, part of my job is to stay on top of new technology and see how this technology can solve some of the challenges that my customers face on a daily basis. If you’re in the virtualization industry, I am sure you’ve heard about HCI (Hyper-Converged Infrastructure). Basically, it’s an all-in one box that is controlled by a piece of software to handle day to day tasks a lot quicker and more efficiently. Some might say the selling point of HCI might be it’s simplicity in how we manage these blocks, others might say that these blocks help improve performance for higher end applications that generate high IO workloads such as VDI, database applications, and so on. The truth is, we’re seeing a shift in the standard traditional datacenter model where we have people dedicated to either Storage, Network, Servers, Virtualization, Applications, Security….. Just today I had a customer ask about hyper-converged infrastructure and how it would help them improve their performance. While the customer’s interest in HCI is great, we, as Consultants, Solution Architects, and Account Executives need to help the customer obtain a better grasp of their requirements and see if HCI is truly a good choice for them.
So now that you’ve kind have figured out what this post is about, I want to focus more on EVO:RAIL, VMware’s HCI product. For those that don’t know what EVO:RAIL is (shame on you!), but essentially it is also software, combined with Virtual SAN (VSAN) and vSphere to help IT professionals be more efficient in the way that they manage their infrastructure.
VMware Hands-On-Labs has a free lab where you can play with EVO:RAIL and see for yourself if this is something that would interest your organization or perhaps be a good fit for some of your customers. The lab covers the following topics:
- EVO:RAIL Configuration
- EVO:RAIL Management
- EVO:RAIL Auto Discovery and Scale Out
- EVO:RAIL Software Updates
- EVO:RAIL Node Replacement
Now the lab in itself is not very technical, I believe the objective is to test drive the product to experience it’s simplicity and really give the user a good perspective into EVO:RAIL. If you haven’t had the chance yet, make sure to free up some time and check it out.