​VMware announces EVO:Rail partners for Asean

Six of the virtualization vendor's EVO:Rail global partners including Fujitsu, HDS, and HP will now begin selling their version of the hyper-converged infrastructure appliance to Asean customers.

BALI, INDONESIA--VMware has announced six EVO:Rail partners to serve the Asean markets, as it looks to build out the whitebox program featuring its compute, networking, and storage software offerings in one server.

Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Hitachi Data Systems, Hewlett-Packard, and NetApp will begin selling the hyper-converged infrastructure appliance "as a single SKU", comprising hardware, software, and support and services, VMware announced this week at its media summit here,

Targeted at mid-market and enterprise segments, the appliance comes integrated with VMware vSphere, Virtual SAN, vRealize Log Sight, and the vendor's new EVO:Rail engine. It is touted to offer standard hyper-converged building blocks for software-defined datacenter environment, enabling enterprises to set up and live the system in as quick as eight minutes. A potential use case for the appliance would be virtual desktop infrastructures or remote and branch office setup.

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Running on vSphere, EVO:Rail also serves as an on-ramp to the vendor's vCloud Air platform. And because of its simplicity, the appliance would be ideal for geographies where companies faced challenges finding the right skillsets, said Paul Strong, VMware's vice president and CTO of global field.

VMware declined to reveal pricing details for the EVO:Rail in the region, which was first unveiled at last year's VMworld conference in San Francisco, saying that it would be difficult to do so since each partner would offer its own value-add features for the appliance.

According to CEO Pat Gelsinger, the product is delivered based on a licensing agreement between VMware and the partners, and will be offered directly by these hardware vendors. So, the appliance will not be available from the virtualization vendor, he said, adding that each partner will customize the appliance based on its own service offerings, such as data backup features.

New $120M facility in Bangalore

Gelsinger had just traveled down from Bangalore, where he opened the company's new facility to develop and showcase its mobile cloud offerings.

The US$120 million facility spans 438,000 square feet and is part of VMware's US$500 million investment in India, through to 2017. The campus includes an Executive Briefing Center in which customers and partners in the Asia-Pacific can visit to view the vendor's entire products and services portfolio.

India already houses one of the company's largest research and operations sites, and is second in size and scale to VMware's global headquarters in Palo Alto. Its Indian R&D efforts support the company's global product development in software-defined data center, hybrid cloud, and end-user computing.

Gelsinger said: "Our R&D teams in India have expanded rapidly in scale and capability to make a significant contribution to our global track record for innovation. This continues to be an important investment area, and we plan to grow the R&D team by 20 percent this year."

Based in Singapore, Eileen Yu reported for ZDNet from VMware Asean Media Summit in Bali, Indonesia, on the invitation of VMware.