Stress Test: How Dell EMC Puts VxBLock, VMAX And XtremIO Components Through Their Paces

Inside Dell EMC's massive storage manufacturing facility in Franklin, Mass., are several large environmental stress screening chambers that make sure there are no faulty components inside products like VxBlock, VMAX, VPLEX, XtremIO and VxRack.

"What we're doing here is testing all of our new service processor boards and I/O modules that go into those boards, including our solid state disk drives. So any type of circuit board, we do testing here," said Malcolm Osborne, director of operations for the Dell EMC facility, who has been with Dell EMC and EMC before that for more than two decades.

The manufacturing facility contains 300,000 square feet of testing, labs and assembly areas that house technicians, production associates and software engineers.

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In one portion of the facility Dell EMC puts hardware components through a rigorous environmental stress testing that exposes them to vibration, voltage changes and extreme temperature shifts ranging from 14 degrees to 130 degrees. "That temperature will actually fluctuate every three hours. It will go from 14 [degrees] up to the top temperature," said Osborne.

The testing aims to weed out any components that contain latent defects that might impact operation down the road after a customer purchases the Dell EMC equipment.

"What we found through the process of environmental stress screening, is we're able to actually pull those failures out early on in the process and fairly quickly instead of something possibly failing multiple years or a year down the road," said Osborne.