EMC hyper-converged storage options grow

LAS VEGAS -- EMC proved that the hype in hyper-convergence would continue in 2015 with the launch of VxRack at the annual EMC World conference. VxRack is now the third EMC hyper-converged storage platform.

"One of the big challenges is that EMC guys will say, 'We think a hole is a problem. We'd rather have an overlap.' And they definitely have overlap in this offering," said George Crump, founder of analyst firm Storage Switzerland.

Prior to the conference, EMC already offered VCE Vblocks, a converged architecture that makes use of Cisco networking and VMware's hypervisor. In February EMC also announced Vspex Blue, a hyper-converged appliance based on VMware's EVO: RAIL architecture.

According to Crump, Vblocks will be popular with users who are looking for a more traditional scale-out architecture. On the other hand, Vspex Blue will appeal to mid-market and remote offices, but it is somewhat limited in scalability. That left an opening for the launch of VxRack at EMC World 2015. VxRack is a hyper-converged system that's on the other end of the spectrum -- it can scale to thousands of nodes, making it a good fit for cloud providers and large data centers.

"There's definitely a gap in the middle and there are clearly environments where you need to have hundreds of nodes available and so having that option is probably pretty important," Crump said.

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