Eric Gales has been in this position before with Microsoft and he returns this year, now running VMware Canada mainly thanks to EVO: Rail.
In a nutshell, EVO:Rail combines the vendor’s compute products, networking, and storage resources into a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance. It’s an all-in-one solution but more importantly it’s a total channel play for VMware.
Another important factor is EVO:Rail is sort of the channel’s train ticket to the highly lucrative software-defined data centre because of its scalability features and management tools for private and hybrid cloud environments.
With EVO:Rail VMware now has a converged systems solution that is affordable for the mid-market. VMware provides the software stack, while OEM hardware makers provide the physical parts. And, there were plenty of vendors lining up to partner with VMware on EVO:Rail led by Dell and also EMC, Fujitsu, Inspur, Net One Systems Co. and Supermicro.
EVO:Rail is being billed by the company as a cornerstone to creating a software-defined data centre. It will include VMware vSphere, Virtual SAN, and vendor Log Insight. The appliance also includes a user interface for the purpose of created virtual machines, marrying them with the required associated networks and storage vaults.
What also makes EVO:Rail interesting is VMware’s go-to-market strategy. EVO:Rail has a franchise model instead of an OEM model. And, this is strategy Gales is introducing to the Canadian market.
VMware says the benefits of the appliance as a quick way to build virtual machines, being able to scale up and add more virtual machines as needed, requiring zero downtime for VMware software updates, and simple virtual machine lifecycle management.
While different partners are involved in selling the EVO:Rail hardware, all of them will be sticking to VMware’s recipe for the appliance. It will run dual six-core Intel Xeon E5 CPUs, up to 192 GB of memory, offer a mix of SSD and spinning disc storage, a dual power supply, and will offer 24 hot-swappable 2.5-inch drives.
EVO:Rail was a significant development, but it wasn’t VMware’s only announcement. The company started the year with the AirWatch acquisition, they partnered with Google on a desktop-as-a-service solution, and released a cloud-based disaster recovery solution.
As for the channel, one of the biggest moves was working more with distributors for the software-defined enterprise opportunity.
“We see distribution as a key conduit as you can see they are investing in VMware and support the channel ecosystem we have,” Gales said, in a previous interview.
Gales added that VMware is now providing channel opportunities to every partner type. “They are asking us how to help them realize the market potential and it’s great to see that in distribution. They can advance it and we all benefit from the vendor down to the channel. I have not seen that level of focus in a long while and it’s going to provide a seismic opportunity in the market,” he said.