EMC today unveiled a “hyper-converged system” based on Intel processors and VMware EVO:RAIL software to create a software-defined data center (SDDC) platform that the company said has been built specifically to be sold on through the channel.

Chad Dunn, senior director of VSPEX operations at EMC, said the EMC VSPEX BLUE systems are appliances that take 15 minutes to provision. As such, they are ideally suited for IT environments that can benefit from scale-out deployments of integrated compute and storage platforms.

Available exclusively through Arrow (ARW), Avnet (AVT), Networld, TD Azlan and Tech Data (TECD), the EMC VSPEX Blue is the latest in a series of SDDC offerings that take advantage of the EVO:RAIL software to enable server vendors to deliver a more turnkey virtualization platform based on VMware virtual machine software. The end goal, according to EMC, is to accelerate the transition to SDDC environments that are less costly for end customers to deploy, manage and update.

EMC is extending EVO:RAIL via the addition of VSPEX BLUE software that not only integrates EMC storage, it also provides access to VSPEX BLUE MARKET, an online store through which EMC partners can offer customers additional software that has been validated to run on EMC VSPEX BLUE systems.

Via VSPEX BLUE MARKET, EMC is also making available EMC RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines, a data de-duplication backup and recovery offering that works with EMC CloudArray Gateway, the cloud storage gateway appliance that EMC gained with its acquisition of TwinStrata last year.

In addition, EMC is providing EMC Secure Remote Support (ESRS), which provides access to EMC support via support via chat, community or phone via the VSPEX BLUE users interface. EMC is also providing remote monitoring capabilities that will automatically notify EMC partners and their customers when a failure has occurred.

Dunn said that unlike other converged systems that scale up, EMC VSPEX BLUE systems are designed to scale out by adding appliances to handle additional workloads when necessary. In general, Dunn said IT organizations will favor one approach over another depending on the attributes of the data center environment. It may, for example, make more sense to deploy rack-based servers that share common infrastructure components such as power supplies versus appliances that each have their own components. In a remote office, however, an appliance that doesn’t need as much IT support may be the preferable approach, said Dunn.

Via the VMware EVO:RAIL SDDC platform, VMware, in conjunction with its system vendor and channel partners, is trying to reduce the complexity associated with configuring virtual machine platforms as part of an effort to reduce the amount of time it takes for customers to make the transition to an SDDC environment. It remains to be seen how long the transition to SDDC environments will take. But for solution providers, transforming the way data centers are managed will clearly create major new infrastructure opportunities all through the rest of the decade.