EVO: RAIL represents a new range of Hyper-Converged Infrastructure offerings from VMware.  This is different from converged architectures (vBlock/Flexpod) as there isn’t a storage array involved, instead there is VMware Virtual SAN.  However, it is working with a variety of hardware partners to develop a line of hyper converged appliances that will run the EVO:RAIL software.

What is Hyper converged Infrastructure?
Hyper converged infrastructure takes the concept of convergence to another level. In converged infrastructure, distinct components are designed to work in synchronisation whereas, hyper-converged infrastructure are modular systems designed to scale out by adding additional modules. These systems are designed around storage and compute on a single x86 server chassis interconnected by 10GbE network ports.

Born out of the hyper converged system concept, The EVO:RAIL software stack starts with the ESXi hypervisor, which is the heart of the vSphere stack. It includes vCenter Log Insight, which is a log management tool with a log analysis tool that leverages machine-learning algorithms to offer proactive maintenance of virtual server clusters.
A new piece of software, called the EVO:RAIL engine, orchestrates and automates the hyperconverged software, and its interface is written in HTML5 .The stack includes the Linux variant of the vCenter console for ESXi management, and vCenter runs on all of the nodes in the appliance. One key unlocks all of the software in the EVO: RAIL stack, and as nodes are added to a cluster, they are automatically discovered and added to the virtual server and storage pool.
(Source: Enterprise Tech)

Benefits of EVO: RAIL are:
Software defined: It’s a SDDC building block that provides large compute, storage, networking, and management capacity to private/hybrid-cloud, test/dev, and branch office environments.
Trusted Foundation: Having proven its metal in technology with VMware vSphere®, vCenter Server™, and VMware Virtual SAN™, VMware EVO: RAIL™ too oozes quality and innovation.
Highly Resilient by Design: Resilient appliance design starting with four independent hosts and a distributed Virtual SAN datastore ensures zero application downtime during planned maintenance or during disk, network, or host failures.
Freedom of Choice: EVO: RAIL is delivered as a complete appliance solution with hardware, software, and support through leading systems vendors; Customers have choices for hardware and support provided by the qualified EVO:RAIL Partners.
(Source: VMware EVO:RAIL Datasheet)

Envisioning VMware EVO:RAIL™
The future of this nascent technology looks very bright as VMware definitely plans to add new features to EVO:RAIL to integrate all the resources running in remote or branch offices. One of the aspects to look forward to in the near future is that of the integration of EVO:RAIL with VMware’s Horizon View VDI broker. It would be fair to state that EVO:RAIL is a revolutionary innovation in the datacentre space and will bring about exceptional ease of work and compute in the coming era.

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