Dell Redefines Converged Server Economics

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    How the Data Center Will Grow Up in Three Years

    Dell today unveiled an innovative new server architecture that maximizes density in the data center while still preserving an IT organization’s ability to scale out compute resources as needed.

    Announced at the Dell World 2014 conference, the Dell PowerEdge FX chassis offers a 2u enclosure that supports six modules each. Each server can be configured with up 16 Intel Xeon E5-2600 V3 processors or Intel Atom C2000 processors. Within the PowerEdge server, Dell takes advantage of a new network IOA integrator technology that Dell developed and the PCIe bus to reduce the number of top-of-rack switch ports needed to integrate those modules by a factor of eight.

    Based on the PowerEdge 13th generation servers that Dell introduced earlier this year, the PowerEdge FX servers can be configured with as much as 768GB of memory and are managed using Dell OpenManage and Active System Manager software, which automates much of the management of the PowerEdge FX server environment.

    Dell PowerEdge FX2

    Brian Payne, vice president of platform marketing for Dell, says rather than forcing customers to make a tradeoff between deploying blade servers that provide more server density and rack servers that make it easier to scale out compute capacity, the PowerEdge FX can be configured with up to 40 two-socket servers in 10u of rack space, which Dell says provides more processing power per rack than any other platform.

    Furthermore, Payne says the network IOA reduces total costs by eliminating the need to rely on networking professionals to configure physical switches in the data center.

    Dell also introduced today a new Dell Storage SC4020 Entry-Level All-Flash primary storage array priced at $25,000; a new Dell Storage PS4210 Series iSCSI array capable of providing 48TB of storage as part of the Dell EqualLogic series; and the Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances based on a distributed file system from Nutanix, which Dell resells.

    Finally, Dell also announced that it is working with Intel and Brocade to create a platform that is optimized for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) software. Based on an Open Network Platform for servers architecture and a Data Plane Developer Kit from Intel and Brocade Vyatta vRouter software, the goal is to replace many of the appliances that today clutter the data center environment with software that runs on commodity processors rather than proprietary ASICs.

    Dell has identified that when it comes to managing scale in the data center, the network is the primary bottleneck. By taking a new approach to that problem, Dell is redefining data center economics in a way that allows IT organizations to more flexibly pack more compute power in a finite amount of physical data center space.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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