Want to play around with VMware VVOLs? Here’s your chance! The Software Defined VNX is here!

VMware now has this great new feature to be more in control of where its data blocks actually land on the storage system: VVOLs. But up until now EMC didn’t have a system capable of actually providing the back end for that. Until now I said. Starting with the VNXe 3200 all storage arrays are made vVOL capable and you can play around with that yourself. FOR FREE!

The Software Defined VNX is now a reality!

The good part is that this VNX to play around with is free and community supported.

You can find the vVNXe (without vVOLs) here: bit.ly/EMCvVNX and the latest and greatest vVOL capable vVNXe here: https://www.emc.com/products-solutions/trial-software-download/vvols.htm.

This virtual VNX is actually a VM based virtual VNXe 3200.

Download the vVNXe

Is it supported in production environments? NO. But it’s a VM and there’s plenty of people who you can reach out to who are willing to share their knowledge on VNXe and the VVOL technology (I hope). The first place I’d look is ECN itself. This forum is a great way to get your questions out to the experts and lots of them are actually EMC people!!

Software Defined VNX

And it looks like EMC means business with this virtual machine. There is already some sort of roadmap available, so what’s keeping you from trying?

vVNX roadmap

vUnisphere is just like the real thing

It looks like the actual Unisphere you’ll get when you are running a physical VNXe 3200, so that means it’s intuitive and therefore easy to use. Why don’t you try the VVOL feature? I know that VMware community is waiting to try it out!! In Q3 the vVNXe with vvol capability will be made available.

VNXe 3200 AFA

Another great new feature of the entry level VNXe 3200 is tha AFA model. AFA stands for All Flash Array and for what EMC says it’s very affordable and available with 3 TiB of FLASH and up for as little as the cost of a small car. Well, in the Netherlands anyway, I know cars are a bad analogy, since the NL is probably the last place you want to buy a car. Anyway. It’s supposed to be able to deliver a stunning 75 k IOps in this 3 TiB configuration and it can go even higher if you expand the machine with more drives. It’s actually tested in a 1:1 R/W environment with 8 KiB blocks.


For me and my fellow VMware colleagues, the Software Defined VNX is probably the best thing so far, since we can now test and play with this new vVOL thing and it’s free as well!

Enjoy your downloads!

  1. Hi Rob,
    The vVNX edition with VVOL’s will come out in Q3 – not there yet – just an FYI.
    VNX Product Marketing

    • Thank you. I think I must have overheard that part in the briefing. I will edit my post to make sure I mention that. The VNX guys, here at EMC World also mentioned Q3 indeed. Thank you again for getting this straightened out.

  2. vVNX is good for testing vVol, but when will VNX2 boxes get vVol support, if ever??

    • I don’t know a date yet. The vVNEe however will have vVOL support in Q3. The initial announcement I made last week proven to be incomplete.

    • It was promised, so I assume it will be part of an MCx upgrade sometime later this year. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

      • So it _was_ promised? Shown on the slides?
        Would be nice to hear more about this, as it hasn’t really been mentioned anywhere, just rumors flying around.. to both directions.

  3. Everyone, check this out: https://www.emc.com/products-solutions/trial-software-download/vvols.htm.
    The fully functional vVOL capable vVNXe has arrived. Check it out, try it and share your thoughts!

  4. EMC Unity: simplicity redefined | 50mu - about storage - pingback on May 2, 2016 at 18:00

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