[Updated - 10/29/15] This blog post has generated interesting dialog, both internal and external. I’ve also seen some articles in the press that have gotten important things wrong and I want to add a couple comments for readers. In this post, I was very emphatic, the ScaleIO is not a "Hyper-converged Infrastructure thing”, and many people have asked for a clarification. Is that tap dancing, or does it reflect an important, real technical point?
To make this really clear:
1) if you want a Hyper-Converged rack-scale integrated system (DEFINED: designed to scale big, think about the domain of rack-scale management, ToR switch and SDN, and the full M&O for that whole domain) - we have one and only one offer only: VxRack. VxRack comes with different “software personalities" - some that are open (bring anything - bare metal), some that are vSphere only (EVO SDDC), some that are focused on pure cloud native application stacks.
2) If you want a simple, turn-key hyper-converged appliance (DEFINED: designed to start small, focus on simplicity) - we have one and only one offer: VSPEX Blue.
We’ve realized that people confused what was a “storage thing” (ScaleIO node) - which bundles SDS + server with a hyper-converged infrastructure thing - so to make it clear - you can no longer get the compute-dense configurations and “DIY”. If you want DIY - buy ScaleIO software. If you want a hyper converged rack-scale infrastructure - buy VxRack.
If you’re here for the first time, read the blog and come back - if you’re here for the second time, this is clarification.
ScaleIO is software-defined transactional storage that can be deployed in:
- a two tier fashion (general compute/applications workloads run on separate nodes that access a pool of storage via separate SDS nodes over some form of network - common with dense blades for compute, dense rack-mount for storage pools)
- a hyper-converged fashion (general compute/application workload runs on the same nodes that the SDS stack pools the storage).
- They want a management and orchestration stack that spans the domains of compute/storage/virtualization (in appliances), and this extends to the top-of-rack network and spine/leaf network (in rack-scale systems that must scale to and beyond rack boundaries operationally). This needs to do configuration, fault, telemetry and more.
- They want the operational and support model to fully include up to the application workload - and customers think the lifecycle, reporting, support are all part of that design. HINT: anyone who has an appliance that doesn’t engineer/manage the top of rack switch and SDN layer ain’t designed to scale big.
- They want it to be fully packaged/priced with that “all in” model in appliances - which are more fixed hardware variations and leave the network domain out of thinking. Likewise, they want it to be fully packaged/priced/engineered (in rack scale systems - which require consideration for the network design based on plans for horizontal scaling, and more variant disaggregated hardware types) likewise “all in”.
- ScaleIO = SDS Software.
- ScaleIO Node = SDS bundled with Servers (awesome), which is != Hyper-Converged Appliance/Rack Scale System.
- VSPEX Blue = Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance;
- VxRack = Hyper-Converged Rack Scale System (that can have different IaaS stacks and other workloads) on it.
Today is the launch (directed availability - general availability in Q1) of the ScaleIO Node - the ScaleIO software, bundled with a range of of server hardware, and if needed a ToR switch - delivered as an appliance with a single clear support model: EMC supports the SDS software and the hardware it runs on.
- So - is this thing a hyper-converged appliance? NO.
- So - does this compete with VSPEX Blue? NO.
- So - does this compete with VxRack? NO.
What do I mean? Why have we created the ScaleIO Node - and what’s it used for? Read on!