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VMware EVO:RAIL is a set of hyper-converged infrastructure appliances VMware sold with hardware partners from 2014 to 2016. EVO:RAIL appliances combined storage, compute and hypervisors designed to create virtual machines (VMs) faster and provision storage more quickly.
The EVO:RAIL program was one of several ways VMware sold vSAN software, but the EVO:RAIL appliances never caught on. VMware ended the program after the release of vSAN 6.2 in 2016.
EVO:RAIL featured VMware software -- vSphere, VSAN, vCenter Log Insight and the RAIL engine, the software designed to configure, administer and speed the deployment of VMs -- and hardware from various VMware partners.
According to VMware, EVO was short for "evolution" and was the first of VMware's hyper-converged infrastructure offerings. RAIL referred to the rail mount on the 2U, 4-node server platform.
Each node contained 192 GB of memory, three 1.2 TB serial-attached SCSI 10,000 rpm hard disk drives, dual Ivy Bridge processors and a 400 GB solid-state drive. For networking, each node had two 10 Gb Ethernet NIC ports.
The original VMware EVO:RAIL hardware partner list announced at VMworld 2014 in San Francisco included Dell, EMC, Inspur, NetOne, Fujitsu and SuperMicro. At VMworld Europe 2014, VMware announced the addition of Hewlett-Packard and Hitachi Data Systems to the list.
Before the VMworld announcement, there were rumors of EVO:RAIL under the names MARVIN and Project Mystic.