VMware EVO:RAIL [EOL] Review

We've just gotten started with it. We've seen that the single interface makes it easy to manage and the expandability makes it flexible for us.

Video Review:
Watch the full video review here.

Valuable Features

One of the more valuable features of EVO:RAIL for us is the fact that it's a hyper-converged appliance. So, we're using it in a data center; a remote data center as a disaster recovery device and we like the idea of having a single device, doesn’t take up a lot of space, doesn't require a lot of, peripherals, power supplies, extra UPS’s and things like that. So it's very easy to manage.

Improvements to My Organization

Well we've just gotten started with it so it's hard to say. What we have seen as benefits but I think that going forward, I think that the expandability is going to be absolutely crucial for us. Eventually we want to make our disaster recovery site into more of just a barebones continuity facility. We'd like to really kind of have a, full data center there that we can replicate everything and the EVO:RAIL is just I think a great way for us to get started on that path.

Combination of the VMware, SRM and vSphere, makes it very manageable. I think that we're again looking forward to exploring more of the capabilities, of the box itself. It's established a kind of a really strong base for us going forward as our clients’ needs change, as our IT infrastructure requirements change, this is going to be kind of a basis for us going forward.

It is easy to manage because we have a single sort of interface to it being just a hyper-converged, box I guess the real advantage would be having a single interface to manage the box.

Room for Improvement

The ability to expand the box is both inside the box or stack more EVO:RAIL in the enclosure for us really kind of gives us the, you know the flexibility, the expandability that we're looking for.

Future features, can't really say if we have any preferences on that yet. It's kind of early for us.

Stability Issues

Our impression so far is that it's absolutely, stable, bulletproof really. Everything contained to one box and everything is very easily managed. We're running SRM, too basically you know protect critical servers and, we're seeing it's pretty easy to operate and maintain.

Scalability Issues

Well, it's very scalable from what we've seen. We think that, again being able to expand, inside the box and then, you know, outside of the box itself with additional units, is really attractive. It's managing basically a single environment like that it's going to be able to expand is something that's attractive to us.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Our technical support has been, very good. We had professional services, come in and help us set up the box, from VMware and the-the services were delivered beyond our expectations. We were finished ahead of schedule and accomplished more than what we had expected to during the during the implementation period. So, it went very well. The set-up went very well.

Previous Solutions

Our IT strategy has been leading us to disaster recovery capability. We’re a very distributed small government in El Dorado County, it's a very rural county, and we recognize that our data center even though it's one of the larger towns in the county is still vulnerable to natural disasters. Last year we had one of the biggest wildfires in California was in El Dorado County, so we are fully aware of the need to protect our infrastructure.

We have a very small space for a disaster recovery site that became available, about 60 miles away from our main data center. It's in a relatively unattended space inside of another facility and the EVO:RAIL was just the perfect match for that. Being one box to manage and easily managed remotely, it was very attractive to us.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

It actually came out priced significantly less than a traditional data center solution of similar size for us. So that’s a benefit right away for a budget constrained organization like a small government.

Other Solutions Considered

Well acquired the EVO:RAIL through a partnership between Dell and VMware, and we've dealt extensively with Dell in the past and VMware, and having this offer come to us as a partnership, just made it that much easier for us to move ahead.

We didn't really consider other vendors. We had been looking at several other options from Dell and again, when the partnership, offering came through, it seemed like it would work best for us.

Other Advice

On a scale from one to ten right now I would have to put it on the high end of that because again, we've just gotten started with it. But what we've experienced so far is very positive so I'm going to put it at an eight or a nine and I'm sure over time as we become more familiar with it we can confidently say it's a ten.

I would recommend to any of our peers that are looking at this to consider the ease of management and the physical support required to support a hyper-converged box like the EVO:RAIL compared to a traditional datacenter configuration. I think that with less power supply, less switching, less everything to worry about it's all in one box, especially for our situation using it at a remote site, it's a great solution

I'd say that peer reviews are very important. It's difficult to find, third-party reviews of things, of complex solutions that are very accurate so any ability to sort of extract an honest, third-party review of some product line, peer-reviewed and endorsed, by other organizations of a similar size is very important to us.

Full Video:
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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