Dell EMC makes HCI appliances available on PowerEdge 14th gen servers

In addition to the souped-up servers, Dell EMC has also simplified the ordering process by which partners acquire these HCI appliances.

Dell EMC has ramped up the performance of their hyper-converged infrastructure [HCI] portfolio, by making both their VxRail and XC series appliances available on Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers. It will ramp up their performance significantly.

“This news highlights two things,” said Chad Sakac, president, Converged Platforms and Solutions Division, Dell EMC. “First, our HCI strategy will continue to accelerate for us, as we support twice the performance, 3x more VDI users, and create all kinds of fascinating new use cases. It also provides continued tail winds for us, as things that were already great choices for customers get even better.”

The Dell EMC HCI products have been doing well in the market. While the whole HCI sector is growing rapidly, with worldwide revenue growing 48.5 per cent year over year in Q2 according to IDC, Dell EMC HCI products have posted growth of 149 per cent over the same period. Dell EMC VxRail, which is offered as the first choice for HCI solutions around VMware hypervisors has grown more than 275 per cent in revenue.

had Sakac, president, Converged Platforms and Solutions Division, Dell EMC

“That’s even more significant because VXRail is no longer growing fast in the abstract,” Sakac said. “It’s based on revenues of four billion this year, which is projected to rise to eight billion by 2021.”

The 14th generation of the PowerEdge servers represented a major move forward in innovation, that extended far beyond the new Intel Xeon Processor Scalable Family. The over 150 custom requirements for software-defined storage include improved support for SSDs in scale-out deployments, much faster deployment and initialization, and enhanced iDRAC 9 that provides up to four times better systems management performance. Increased drive cooling improves reliability, and a 19x increase in NDMe flash significantly lowered latency.

“We have double the IOPS and 2x faster response time – that’s 2x more at a 2x lower latency,” Sakac said. “If you could do 150,000 IOPS before, you can now do 300,000. It can now support 50 per cent more GPU power. That’s important for classic HCI use cases like VDI, but also for machine learning use cases. That’s a material leap forward.”

The Dell EMC HCI products have always been popular with channel partners, and Sakac said that with these new 14th generation server ones, changes have been made in how partners will acquire them.

“We have changed our mechanics and ordering processes to make it much easier for partners to transact,” Sakac said. “We have eliminated the processes that required specific deal pricing and handling.”

Sakac also acknowledged the lengthy delay in making the HCI solutions available on the new servers since the availability of the servers themselves in July, and pledged that delay would be reduced in later releases.

“When preparing an integrated offering like this, there is lots of back-end stuff that has to be executed,” he said. “It does take us time to do that. The customer will expect that it all just works, and it should take us between 4-8 weeks to develop a software stack for this.”

The problem of course is that it took over four months.

“I want that to be a much shorter lag going forward,” Sakac said, “The extra time was related to continuing to hone how we come together as a giant company. It will get faster in subsequent releases. The goal is to get it inside the 4-8 week window. That’s the absolute engineering minimum.”

The Dell EMC XC Series models XC640, XC740xd and XC740 on the Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers are generally available now. The Dell EMC VxRail Appliances on Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers are orderable today and will be generally available starting December 12, 2017.