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VSPEX Blue – First Thoughts !


VSPEX Blue is EMC’s EVO:RAIL. They have made enough modifications to warrant a special mention but they haven’t tried to include any storage ‘appliance’ unlike NetApp so the base EVO architecture remains unchanged. Sorry this isn’t a dig at NetApp but stating the obvious.  Duncan Epping has a lot of useful information about EVO:RAIL and Cormac Hogan has an excellent blog series about VMware VSAN. So I am not going to explain what EVO:RAIL architecture is and how VMware VSAN works.

What VSPEX:Blue can do to your infrastructure is add simplicity because it integrates the EMC offerings like RecoverPoint and EMC Remote Support Services. These will help the small remote offices maintain the ‘compliance’ aspect of having regular backups, this I found is the achilles heel of a lot of remote / branch offices. They either need separate backup infrastructure and usually become more cumbersome than required or they backup without dedup etc over the wire consuming a lot of bandwidth.

VSPEX:Blue is probably geared towards the small businesses and medium business segments which want to operate a simpler ROBO (remote office / Branch Office) systems. Typically in a medium sized organisation there is central IT support but there is rarely enough IT staff to cover remote and branch offices. This is where the deployment of EVO:RAIL or in this case VSPEX:BLUE is easier. All you need to do is connect the network cables, give the management IP and viola you’re set. Now the Central IT support can do everything for the remote offices. Yep its that simple. I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet so can’t comment on either the interface or the advanced configuration features, although I will blog about it when I do.

Hyper Converged Infrastructure

What about the VCE and vBlock? 

VCE is also going to offer this under the new federation. The central data centre will still be targeted for VCE vBlocks and VSPEX:Blue will definitely provide another weapon in the armoury for VCE. CI still has its place in the market (I believe), vBlocks and reference architectures like FlexPod will also continue to evolve with vVols, bigger, cheaper SSD, AFA etc. The proof of this is the recently announced Pure Storage + Cisco and Hitachi CI system.  VCE are undoubtedly the market leaders when it comes to Converged Infrastructure and they’ve got Nutanix hot on their heels with their awesome offerings. So for VCE this has the potential to become a two pronged approach to combat the current HCI leaders like Nutanix and SimpliVity.

Nutanix have an awesome technology as I’ve previously stated with ‘Shared Nothing’ native Distributed file system. SimpliVity also have their custom software and Fusion-IO like cards. VSPEX:Blue has VMware VSAN 6.0.  I am not saying one technology is better than others, but merely mentioning the facts about the market.

First of a kind with 2 Specifications:

2 kinds of VSPEX:Blue

As you can see the only difference is the amount of RAM in the nodes. I am not sure if the RAM will be user upgradeable so can’t comment on that. In addition to all that, you can download other EMC virtualised products such as RecoverPoint or use CloudArray/VE to backup to public cloud (use vCloud Air) . Not entirely sure of the product offerings on this side so I am not going to say anything that might be incorrect.


VPSEX:Blue is definitely a good product from EMC. Yet to see if they release another product running VMware VSAN with all flash disks which was recently announced. May be it will be called VPSEX:Red, we all know red cars go faster so same might apply to this as well 🙂 .

Have fun !!

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