VMCI – revisited (a.k.a. Project Marvin)

You all know what VMCI stands for – don’t you? Well if you ever looked at VMware solutions – then you would recognize it - VMCI Overview.

The Virtual Machine Communication Interface (VMCI) is an infrastructure that provides fast and efficient communication between a virtual machine and the host operating system and between two or more virtual machines on the same host. The VMCI SDK facilitates development of applications that use the VMCI infrastructure. Without VMCI, virtual machines communicate with the host using the network layer. Using the network layer adds overhead to the communication. With VMCI communication overhead is minimal and different tasks that require that communication can be optimized. An internal network can transmit an average of slightly over 2Gbit/s using vmxnet3, VMCI can go up to nearly 10Gbit/s with 128k sized Queue pairs.

In my 10 years (I think it has been 10) of using VMware products – I personally have never seen any public implementation of VMCI, even though it is in theory an interesting concept.

It seems though that VMware are looking to re-brand the acronym into something else, which is connected with something that a number of rumors have been flying around about a converged infrastructure offering to be announced by VMware.

The rumors started a while back and the whole story became apparent in these articles.

Project Mystic's Potential Competitors To VMware: Bring It On

So, Mystic Joe Tucci: Is a hyper-converged tool in EMC's future?

VMware Teaser Gets Tweeted: 'Marvin' Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance

VMware to offer converged compute and storage hardware

What is VMware’s Mystic Marvin Project?

Pure Speculation Post: Some more Marvin Speculation

I was going over the Content catalog for VMworld and noticed something.
*(by the way if you ever want to find out what is going to happen at VMworld – then I can assure you that you will find it in the content catalog)

I am talking about the following VMworld session.

SDDC1767 - Simplify / Automate IaaS Workload Deployment with VMware-Powered Converged Infrastructure (VMCI)

  • Thirumalesh Reddy - Sr Director, SDDC R&D, VMware Inc
  • Raj Yavatkar - Chief Achitect, Converged Infrastructure, Vmware

    As data center operators struggle to make many pieces of the infrastructure (storage, computing, and networking) work together to offer cost-effective and agile service, Converged Infrastructure (CI) solutions promise to eliminate the challenges by offering customers a set of products that work together easily with minimal installation and operations overhead.
    The CI products include a pre-integrated and optimized bundle of hardware and software across networking, compute servers, and storage typically combined with virtualization, management, and other software (DR, load balancing, etc). However, integration of different components from different vendors (across compute, storage, and networking) leads a complex environment consisting of disparate tools for management, provisioning, and deployment.
    The session will outline the VMware view of the CI requirements and an architecture inspired by the SDDC suite augmented by software components.

    One way to simplify the CI environments is via a VMware-powered Converged Infrastructure solution (VMCI) that ties together hardware and software components under a single virtualization umbrella to offer a single point of-entry for a Software Define Data Center (SDDC). We will tie together VMware (and partner) assets spanning virtualization (compute/storage/networking), management (vCenter, VCAC), and operations/analytics (vCOPS, vCAC, etc) with hardware management, to offer a single point of SDDC entry with a tightly integrated automation for SDDC.
    (The highlighting was added by me)

    We will offer benefits of reduced cost, faster time-to-value, and operational ease when it comes to SDDC instantiation, workload provisioning, deployment, and operations. This session focuses on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and provides an in-depth description of a simplified, automated approach to IaaS workload provisioning and deployment using VMCI.

    Attached below id the screenshot of the session.


    So ladies and gents – there you have it - VMCI – VMware-Powered Converged Infrastructure. This will open up a whole new market for VMware – and of course a number of new co-opetition relationships with VMware’s current partners as well.

    I expect that this will be one of the major announcements at VMworld.

    Stay tuned.


    This is based on public information that is currently available on the links above – and has not yet been confirmed by VMware (I doubt it ever will be).