Dell unveils next-gen PowerEdge FX2 converged architecture

CEO Michael Dell described this as a really revolutionary product, the ultimate in converged infrastructure for the data centre, and the most ultra-dense architecture in the world.


Brian Payne, Executive Director, Server Platform Planning, at Dell

AUSTIN – At their annual Dell World event, Dell announced the new Dell PowerEdge FX2 converged architecture, which the company is touting as a revolutionary next-generation achievement that has the optimal modularity and scalability to bridge the cap from the traditional data centre to the modern one of the new IT. It is the next generation of a modular and scalable platform with servers, storage and networking integrated to help customers better manage, scale and budget for infrastructure to meet business needs.

“This is a really revolutionary product” said Michael Dell, Dell’s CEO. “This is the most highly integrated systems including compute, network and systems management, and we have it right now. This is the ultimate in converged infrastructure for the data centre, the most ultra-dense architecture in the world.”

“This is the next generation of workload-defined infrastructure, and is unlike any platform architecture in the market today,” said Brian Payne, Executive Director, Server Platform Planning, at Dell.

“In the modern data centre, the next step is a software defined world on top of x86 infrastructure,” Payne said. “That represents a pretty big change, and the infrastructure today is not well suited to support that future ready enterprise environment. Rack servers aren’t well suited to modularity. Blades are, but are suboptimized for DAS and network attached storage. There’s a better way to deliver the benefits of modularity and also work well in the DAS and network storage environment.”

Payne said the new architecture has three core design principles: optimizing workloads, with design that provides the right compute, storage, caching, and connectivity to meet specific workload needs; maximizing efficiency to easily scale infrastructure with an extremely high level of density; and simplifying complexity.

“In the modern data centre, you have to eliminate complex tasks like an initial deployment of a server where you can require 200 clicks to configure, and replace that with zero touch deployment,” Payne said.

PowerEdge FX2 is a 2U converged enclosure designed to accomplish these things, sharing power, cooling, management and PCI connectivity, and capable of integrating a mix of server, storage and networking solutions.

“The PowerEdge FX2 is not a blade and it’s not a rack, and you are able to put in modules,” Payne said. “It cuts down the consumption size so it fits better with IT buying patterns, and it gives the flexibility to combine compute and storage to suit their workload needs.” It contains six new PowerEdge server, storage and network IOA sleds built specifically to fit into the FX2 chassis and support varying workloads, and the FX architecture makes it easy for customers to configure, manage and add capacity to complete workload-specific blocks of IT resources.

“It seamlessly fits into a management solution, and can be managed at the server level or aggregated at a chassis level,” Payne said. It does this by taking advantage of the advanced system management capabilities in Dell’s new PowerEdge 13th generation server portfolio.

“The key thing in all this is that data centres are migrating to a software-defined world, and relations between server, storage and networking will radically change over time,” Payne said. “No single architecture has had the flexibility that IT organizations need to build a bridge to the future, and we are delivering that with FX2.”