Dell Technologies has launched four new VxRail hyperconverged appliances in the hope they drive more channel sales.
“We’re really opening up new opportunities for partners in terms of new use cases,” said Chad Dunn, Dell’s vice president of product management for hyper-converged infrastructure in an interview with CRN USA.
“For example, in VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) on VxRail we now have the automated deployment of Kubernetes or PSK (Pivotal Container Service) workload domains. This enables them to go after container as-a-service or platform as-a-service opportunities with VCF on VxRail.”
Dell Technologies unveiled the new VxRail — which is jointly engineered alongside VMware — capabilities at VMworld Europe today. Dell is the market leader in hyper-converged infrastructure, owning nearly 30 percent of the global market.
Here are the four new VxRail products and solutions that Dell and VMware partners need to know.
For the first time ever, Dell is offering a four-socket VxRail platform dubbed VxRail P580N. The new offering features two new all NVMe-based platforms with second generation Intel Xeon Processors that increases performance.
The four-socket platform is ideal for SAP HANA workloads, delivering two-times the CPU and memory per system compared to its prior generation.
“This will be going through SAP HANA certification, we’ve already begun that process. We already have a duel-socket version that’s been very successful,” said Dunn. “This quad-socket allows channel partners to go after mission-critical, memory database kinds of use cases like SAP HANA. There will be others to follow. That’s definitely white space where we didn’t have an offering before and now we will. Those tend to be very high value workloads that our partners will be able to go after.”
Dell’s VxRail P580N will become available for partners to sell from December.
Dell is adding all-NVMe to its VxRail E-Series with the launch of VxRail E560N. The 1U platform is designed for high performance workloads at a competitive price point.
“This allows us to go for higher capacity, higher IO (input/output) workloads at a much lower price point. So high performance and fairly reasonability-priced flash storage means partners can target use cases at lower price points,” said Dunn. “This is the first E-Series where we’ve added GPU capabilities. Previously, that was only in our V-Series that was really optimised around video processing with extra cooling and extra power. But the E-Series is really one of the work horses of our portfolio and adding the NVIDIA T4 GPU to this platform gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of power, cooling, density in the rack, and let’s partners go after AI and ML kinds of workloads.”
Dunn said there is more and more demand for GPUs around artificial intelligence and machine learning workloads, and not just in virtual desktop infrastructure [VDI]. The VxRail E560N will available in December for partners to sell.
VxRail automation at scale with new SmartFabric Services
Dell is expanding VxRail’s network fabric automation by implementing the Dell EMC SmartFabric Services for multi-rack VxRail clusters, aiming to simply multi-rack VxRail deployments. Administrators will only need to enter one command per switch and SmartFabric Services will automate over 99 percent of the configuration steps for multi-rack leaf and spine fabrics, according to Dell.
“Previously we had this integration with Dell Networking called SmartFabric services where VxRail would automatically configure the top of rack switches and the inter-switch links. We’ve now expanded that so it will now auto-deploy multi-rack systems in a data center,” said Dunn.
“So in terms of the level of effort that a partner would need to take on to be able to deploy multi-rack VxRail solutions in a data center, we make that much easier for them. As a partner, that doesn’t mean they have to charge less, it means that it’s actually going to cost them less to do. Services is a sweet spot in terms of overall margins for our channel partners.”
The VxRail SmartFabric Services will become available in December.
Dell’s Analytical Consulting Engineer (ACE) is becoming generally available on VxRail this month for partners to sell. ACE provides the ability to dynamically gather a richer set of data from VxRail clusters, translating that data into a centralised data collection and analytics platform to help customers make better decisions.
“This is going to give our customers a view of their whole VxRail state -- proactive health scoring and predictive analytics in terms of anomaly detection and capacity planning,” said Dunn.
“One of the interesting things we saw when we made this available for early access, is that we saw more partners access this than we saw customers. There’s an opportunity out there for partners who want to be able to understand what the health and capacity initialisation of their customers’ environments are so they can help them make more informed decisions.”
With VxRail ACE, customers get an enhanced management experience with global views of all their clusters, health scores, analytics, anomaly alerts, predictive capacity analysis and upgrade orchestration.
“This gives partners the ability to understand when a customer is going to run out of capacity, where they can achieve better performance, and gives partners greater insight to their customers environments,” said Dunn.