It’s a lovely time to be back here in San Francisco and sitting in at the super galactic VMWorld 2015 show. Over the next few days I will share my thoughts on the show and how it ties in with Stratus. While this year wasn’t very heavy on tech breakthroughs, VMware offered us a glimpse of something far more interesting – a vision of where all of their stuff begins to hang together in a compelling way. As a company that partners with VMware, this is very interesting to Stratus. It’s also very interesting in that the vision goes a step beyond a “federation” of things that works together. VMware’s vision is more robust than that.
The feeling I am getting is VMware is focusing on making the entire operational experience seamless and simple. This extends to everything they are talking about, and after a while you start to get the feeling that VMware is really trying to leverage approaches associated with consumer technologies and apply them to the data center. This is not necessarily revolutionary thinking and many have suffered in their attempts to do this in the past so we will have to watch and see how this plays out for vmware. But unlike others who have tried before, VMware’s vision is a fully software defined and virtualized vision which seems to have more possibility for success.
So on that note, let’s start with why I came to VMworld in the first place – the evo products (Rail and Rack). Since last year when evo was announced I have been digesting the whole evo strategy and I have to say the message of a simple and easy to deploy converged appliance is compelling. We know that because Stratus has been demonstrating simplicity as a hallmark for all of our products (including our Vsphere products) for years. But some of VMware’s newer angles with respect to storage and networking are pretty forward thinking. It’s impressive.
But like all things great, it is not perfect – when you look at the cost to acquire this type of solution for example some of the shine comes off the story. The net is that evo is a strategic purchase completed at the executive level and it’s selection cements a company as a “VMware” shop. Therefore, it seemed a bit strange when what we at Stratus call Edge solutions were highlighted as a possible use case. Yes, it make sense on paper as you would likely see the greatest benefits from deploying at the Edge. However, the payoff for evo would require a semi significant consolidation of existing resources. Over time, I am guessing this will happen since we have seen VM density increasing at the Edge as it has in the data center (albeit at a slower rate). So, while technically exciting it may need some more time to reach critical mass.
That said, if you want a solid, very simple to deploy and manage Edge based solution you don’t need to go full on evo. You can take a peek at our very own ftServer. It’s deployed in thousands of sites already and hits the very same marks. And of course, it fully supports vSphere and we have a new version of it coming later this year.