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‘Incredible’ Innovation Road Map Ahead For VxRail, Dell EMC’s Hyper-Converged Star

Dell partners are reaping the benefits of the company’s roaring hyper-converged infrastructure innovation engine.

The worldwide leader in hyper-converged infrastructure doesn’t plan on slowing down the innovation engine in 2019. In fact, Dell EMC’s road map includes working with VMware to take offerings like VxRail to levels not yet seen in the industry.

Dell EMC’s hyper-converged infrastructure leader, Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, said Dell EMC has an “incredible road map” in store for 2019 that “no other company” will be able to compete with. “There’s one company that’s automating the entire stack. There’s one company that’s building a scalable control plane for the entire stack,” said Gorakhpurwalla, president and general manager of Dell EMC’s Server and Infrastructure Systems. “You really could start small with VxRail, scale up very quickly and what you have is essentially a scalable, flexible managed service capability internally at your company. You can start to integrate into multiple clouds. This is very, very powerful.”

On the docket to be released this year is Dell and VMware’s highly anticipated Project Dimension for on-premises and edge deployments. Currently in beta, Project Dimension extends VMware Cloud to deliver software-defined data center infrastructure and hardware as a service to the on-premises world alongside Dell with built-in technologies including vSAN and NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud.

“We’ll be able to not only start with VxRail and then put [VMware] Cloud Foundation on it, in which case you’ll have [everything] managed all the way through NSX, vRealize—the entire suite is managed for you. Project Dimension will bring a little of what VMware Cloud on AWS brings, but to the data center and to the edge on VxRail so that it is delivered to you as a managed service,” said Gorakhpurwalla. “It’s exciting because nothing exists like this on the edge. Imagine in a simple remote or branch office where you might have a small cluster, you likely do not have the same level of IT resources to extend that management to that branch office, which may be in a closet. Now we’ll have the ability to manage all the way out to those edge devices, the entire experience. That is where we see incredible levels of excitement.”

Also on tap for this year are new capabilities around better utilizing VxRail customer use data to provide further insight and management to end users through artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Gorakhpurwalla, a 19-year Dell veteran, also is investing in building an integrated hyper-converged infrastructure device that automates the networking within VMware clusters. VxRail contains fully automated network configuration through Dell EMC’s Networking SmartFabric Services.

“We’ll be able to provide the last difficult portion of HCI [hyper-converged infrastructure] for customers—getting the networking right,” he said. “Now they don’t have to worry about that because we’ll manage it, automate it and deploy it.”

The road map also includes VMware Cloud Foundation becoming available on Dell x86 server platforms. “It will be an amazing experience, but we can also deeply integrate it into the VxRail products such that the native experience will be differentiated from any other installation,” he said.

The company’s flagship turnkey appliance, VxRail, is a key reason why both Dell EMC and VMware were named Leaders in Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for Hyper-Converged Infrastructure.

Quarter after quarter in 2018, Dell EMC took the No. 1 spot in hyper-converged infrastructure market share, according to research firm IDC. Looking at the third-quarter 2018 figures, Dell EMC was the largest supplier of hyper-converged infrastructure systems with nearly $500 million in sales, up 67 percent year over year, winning approximately 30 percent of the global market.

Dell partners are reaping the benefits of the company’s roaring hyper-converged infrastructure innovation engine.

“Without a doubt, VxRail has jumped to a level above all the fringe players that have been out there for three, four, five years,” said Andy Sontag, sales manager at IPM, a New Yorkbased Dell Technologies partner. “We have just an amazing amount of opportunity around VxRail. It’s leading to garnering more customer spend for a partner like IPM that had not traditionally been in the server market. VxRail has absolutely been added to our overall strategy.”

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