VMware is pleased to announce a new category of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) deployment options, Global Partner Appliances, to simplify procurement, deployment and maintenance of HCI systems. At announcement, Fujitsu will be the first OEM to have an offer in the category, but others are expected to rapidly release additional options in the coming months.
“VMware is committed to expanding our industry leading ecosystem to offer customers the flexibility and choice to deploy the industry-leading HCI software on their preferred hardware,” said Lee Caswell, VP of Marketing, VMware. “For customers that want to rapidly deploy HCI on standardized building blocks with unified support, the Global Partner Appliance category will offer a compelling solution.”
What are Global Partner Appliances?
Before VMware created the Global Partner Appliance category, customers had two choices to for HCI in their private data centers: vSAN ReadyNodes, or jointly-certified servers, and a jointly engineered solution, Dell EMC VxRail. vSAN ReadyNodes offer customers the greatest deployment option flexibility to build an HCI cluster that meets their specific needs, with over 15 server OEMs offering over 500 ReadyNodes, from hybrid to all-flash to all-NVMe servers with various levels of compute performance. Dell EMC VxRail is jointly engineered by VMware and Dell EMC as a fully integrated, preconfigured and pre-tested hyperconverged infrastructure solution, with end-to-end lifecycle management, single source L1/L2/L3 support and a seamless hybrid cloud experience.
Global Partner Appliances (GPAs) offer customers two core benefits beyond ReadyNodes: simplified lifecycle management and unified support. Each hardware OEM in the category has created their unique lifecycle management tools that integrate with VMware HCI to offer simplified installation, deployment and maintenance of the HCI solution. To start, GPAs
- Pre-installed with VMware HCI: VMware vSphere, vSAN and vCenter Server
- Hardware vendor-built tools for lifecycle management, which can include day zero to day two operations, reducing time for routine activities. Many appliances offer fully validated updates to ensure compatibility for the hardware and software stack.
- Single source support for both hardware and software, with a minimum of Levels 1 and 2 support.
- Additional capabilities. Some vendors may choose to include features beyond lifecycle management and unified support, such as deployment services and proactive support.
Why Introduce Global Partner Appliances?
VMware wanted to clearly shine a spotlight on deployment options that provide operational simplicity beyond standard ReadyNodes. While many HCI customers prefer the flexibility and choice of ReadyNodes, many others prefer a more prescriptive, simplified approach of an appliance. Global Partner Appliance OEMs have dedicated engineering teams to integrate their hardware with VMware HCI, and they’ve invested in training their support staff to
Which Vendors Offer Global Partner Appliances?
The VMware Global Partner Appliance ecosystem is rapidly expanding. VMware has four Global Partner Appliance partners, including some of the industries’ largest vendors, including HPE, Lenovo’s ThinkAgile appliances, Fujitsu’s PRIMEFLEX and Hitachi Vantara’s Unified Compute Platform HC. VMware anticipates more server vendors will join the category over time due to increasing demand.