Yesterday Fletcher Cocquyt posted a rather interesting photo on his Twitter account:
This is, as far as I know, the first public sighting confirming the existence of the “mystic” project Marvin that VMware is working on. The text reads “Introducing the worlds first 100% VMware powered hyper converged infrastructure appliance.” I guess some of the VMware engineers forgot that the VMware campus get external visitors from time to time…
So what is it? Well, there aren’t many details available but Marvin is indeed a registered trademark, by VMware. According to the trademark registration, it’s purpose is pretty clear:
Computer hardware for virtualization; computer hardware enabling users to manage virtual computing resources that include networking and data storage.
It has previously been speculated that VMware was building a hyper converged solution with EMC, but I doubt that EMC is the only OEM player here. VMware has a history of working with several vendors, and not just the mothership. I guess we’ll have to wait until VMworld US to get the full stack shimmies, but I don’t think there is any doubt that this will be based on vSphere and VSAN and perhaps even a scaled down version of NSX.
I like the idea of “roll your own hyper converged stack”, based on an appliance model. After all, and I’m paraphrasing Joe Baguley here:
Is your solution really software defined, if it requires specific bits of tin to work?
Bring on VMworld, I really want to meet Marvin, but lets hope he’s a bit more upbeat than the original from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:
Marvin is a severely depressed robot. He’s regularly so depressed that, when he gets bored and talks to other computers, they commit suicide and die.
I guess we all should bring our own towels to this one.
For more speculation have a look at http://vninja.net/vmware-2/marvin-speculation/