Dell is claiming to be the first enterprise vendor to offer a version of VMware's EVO:RAIL hyper-converged infrastructure platform configured for operating virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), greatly simplifying the process of getting up and running with a VDI deployment.
Available immediately, the Dell Engineered Solutions for VMware EVO:RAIL Horizon Edition is aimed at organisations of all sizes, according to Dell. It is designed to let them quickly and easily deploy and scale out infrastructure to deliver virtual desktops to end users based on business demand.
"Our VDI appliances make it simpler than ever to plan, deploy and run virtual desktops by bundling all the necessary components for VDI from the servers, to the endpoints, to support and services," said Jeff McNaught, chief strategy officer for Dell Cloud Client Computing, writing on the firm's Dell4Enterprise blog.
Unveiled last year, the EVO:RAIL platform was conceived by VMware as an easy way for customers to deploy converged infrastructure for operating virtual machines.
Each EVO:RAIL "appliance" is based on four x86 server nodes plus networking and storage resources, running a VMware software stack comprising vSphere and vCenter Server along with the firm's Virtual SAN software and vCenter Log Insight, plus an EVO:RAIL management tool that enables rapid deployment and configuration of the system.
In Dell's case, its EVO:RAIL appliance is based on the PowerEdge C6105, a 2U enclosure that can be fitted with up to four 2-socket servers, each with 192GB of memory and a total 48TB of storage.
Dell claims that its EVO:RAIL with VMware's Horizon VDI platform can shrink implementation times from multiple weeks to hours, and reduce the number of steps required to deploy by up to 92 percent compared to a do-it-yourself solution.
Each appliance can support up to about 250 virtual desktop instances, with a cluster of eight appliances allowing for approximately 2,000 persistent virtual desktops.
This ability to scale up to a cluster of eight EVO:RAIL appliances is actually a feature of VMware EVO:RAIL 1.2 edition, an updated version of VMware's software platform. Previously, EVO:RAIL deployments could only scale up to four appliances.
Version 1.2 also provides greater automation. In the event of a failed drive, for example, a customer can now replace it with a simple click of a button which automates the backend tasks to add the host back to the cluster after replacement.
Dell said it has updated its existing Dell Engineered Solutions for VMware EVO:RAIL Infrastructure Edition with the new version, adding greater capacity for future growth.
With each appliance of this type designed to handle approximately 100 general purpose virtual machines, the new maximum cluster size is increased from 16 to 32 nodes, supporting up to about 800 virtual machines.
"These new features allow our customers to spend their time thinking about growing their business knowing that their infrastructure will grow with them," said McNaught.
Earlier this month, VMware introduced a VMware EVO:RAIL vSphere Loyalty Programme, which allows customers with existing vSphere licences to apply them to the purchase of compatible EVO:RAIL solutions from vendors, including Dell.
This can reduce the overall purchase cost by up to 30 percent, according to Dell, preserves the customer's existing investment in VMware software while reducing the overall cost of an appliance purchase.
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