VMware's (VMW -1.4%) EVO: RAIL system, formerly codenamed Project Mystic and Marvin, consists of an integrated server/storage/networking appliance optimized to run VMware's vSphere virtualization platform. VMware won't sell the hardware, but will instead rely on partners such as Dell, Fujitsu, Super Micro (NASDAQ:SMCI), and (of course) EMC.
EVO: RAIL, revealed on the first day of VMware's VMworld conference, can scale to 4 appliances and 16 nodes. VMware promises unmatched deployment times for virtual machines.
VMware suggests the system, which enters a crowded converged hardware market already featuring H-P, Dell, and EMC/Cisco's VCE JV, is meant to handle use cases such as PC virtualization infrastructures and remote/branch offices, rather than act as a high-end server replacement. VCE is more focused on the high-end.
The company is also previewing EVO: RACK, a converged hardware system meant for hyperscale Web/cloud deployments. EVO: RACK is meant to leverage commodity hardware designs, such as those delivered by Facebook's Open Compute Project.