Probably the biggest announcement from last week’s VMworld was the unveiling of the Project Marvin/Mystic as EVO:RAIL. Most of the focus on VMware releasing their own OEM distributed hyperconverged solution was to compete head to head with established hyper converged players like Nutanix…however after reading through Duncan Eppings blog post and seeing the UI Demo doing the rounds on YouTube (see below) it occurred to me that possiblely there is more at play here than VMware competing for the SMB/E hyperconverged market.

From a services point of view the battle for the Private Cloud between VMware and Microsoft is well advanced…Hyper-V is certainly an alternative option for companies looking to (wrongly or rightly) “save” money or to try out something different after having VMware as an incumbent technology. The Windows Azure Pack adds Cloud like functionality to a Hyper-V Platform allowing people the ability to use Azure’s pretty interfaces internally. It also offers PaaS functionality like DBaaS and Web Sites Creation…to be honest something that’s been available for years…The WAP is also a direct pathway for consumers to push VMs and Platform servers to Azure which is Microsoft’s ultimate play…everything in Azure.

Enter EVO:RAIL…a scale out hyperconverged platform that offers an pretty new interface on top of vSphere with VSAN thrown in to the mix. For me its got the WAP in its sights and offers a readymade private cloud alternative built on superior vSphere technology. Without doubt one of the complaints I hear often in the services space (outside of Cloud and IaaS) is that vSphere and vCloud don’t have an intuitive enough interface…specially compared with the Azure Pack (lipstick on a pig) but the EVO Interface changes all that.

So VMware have positioned themselves well in the market with EVO:RAIL…if you look beyond the comparisons to Nutanix and other current market players in the space I think there is a play here to keep the on-prem market firmly in the grasp of VMware and offer a superior alternative to WAP.