Dell expands Nutanix XC series with two new models

Dell introduces both its first all-flash appliances and a high-density offering in its popular XC hyperconverged series which combine Dell hardware and Nutanix software.

Omer Ansari

Omer Ansari, Nutanix’s Senior Product Manager for the Dell XC platform at Nutanix

AUSTIN – At Dell World, Dell announced an expansion to its software-defined software portfolio with two new XC series hyperconverged offerings, which combine Nutanix software and Dell hardware. Two new series were announced. The Dell XC6320 is the highest-density XC Series appliance to-date. The Dell XC630-10F and XC6320-6F are the first XC Series all-flash appliances.

Dell introduced its first Nutanix-powered appliances, which combine compute, storage and hypervisor resources into a single solution, in 2014. Since then has been regularly expanding that portfolio with new models aimed at specific markets and use cases. The new offerings continue that strategy.

“These are significant upgrades to Dell’s XC series of converged appliances,” said Omer Ansari, Nutanix’s Senior Product Manager who is responsible for the Dell XC platform at Nutanix. “We are bringing converged to the midmarket in a big way.”

The Dell XC6320 high-density offering has four compute nodes that support more than 44 terabytes of storage in a 2U form factor. This substantially reduces datacenter hardware rack space, power and cooling required to run various workloads in service provider, ROBO [remote office/branch office] and large customer datacenters.

“Its very high density lets you get up to 8 Xeon CPUs in 2U of rack space, and is ideal for VDI and server virtualization workloads,” Ansari said.

Travil Vigil Dell

Travis Vigil, Executive Director, Product Management, Dell Storage

“The density the XC6320 provides will be particularly interesting to service providers, and even to ROBO environments that need to save power, cooling and rack space,” said Travis Vigil, Executive Director, Product Management, Dell Storage.

The Dell XC630-10F and XC6320-6F All-Flash Nodes are the first all-flash appliances in the XC series. They provide a cost-for-performance boost, with data tiering between flash drives types based on actual data usage.

“This is the all-flash version of the XC630 model that Dell has been shipping since spring,” Ansari said. It was the first XC to come in a 1U form factor, and provided a lower starting configuration cost compared to the initial Dell-Njutanix offerings.

“Now these All-Flash nodes will be targeted at applications that require higher IOPS and larger working sets, like OLTP kinds of applications,” Ansari said.

“We initially launched the XC series with a bullseye on VDI, and have been expanding past that since to include server virtualization,” Vigil said. “What these all-flash allow you to do is target new applications and workloads. Splunk and databases are examples of use cases that could benefit from that.

The Dell XC6320 high-density appliance is available in Canada and globally now. The Dell XC630-10F and XC6320-6F All-Flash Nodes have planned global availability in November 2015.

In addition, at Dell World Dell CEO Michael Dell addressed speculation that the Dell-Nutanix partnership could be a casualty of Dell’s pending acquisition of EMC, particularly since EMC has taken the VCE offerings, which were originally a joint venture with Cisco and VMware, in house. VCE competes directly with Nutanix.

Dell was more explicit on this issue than many expected, given the usual reticence of executives to comment on roadmap issues before a deal has even closed, let alone before integration issues are dealt with.

“We plan to continue to support and enhance all the product lines we have,” Dell said. “We have a great relationship with Nutanix. We expect to continue to work with Nutanix.”

Dell has managed relationships with many vendor partners who compete with each other as part of its existing software-defined strategy, and maintaining the Nutanix relationship while selling VCE would be consistent with that.