Dell EMC Relaunches VxRail, VxRack Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Using Dell Servers

Dell EMC is taking advantage of its server hardware and VMware software to refresh its hyper-converged infrastructure portfolio.

Going forward, all Dell EMC hyper-converged infrastructure offerings, including the VxRail appliances and the VxRack rackscale lines, will be based on Dell's latest server hardware, said Chad Sakac, president of the converged platforms and solutions division.

Previously they were based on ODM server hardware. The move to Dell PowerEdge servers will provide partners and customers with improved cost efficiencies and more flexible configurations, he told CRN.

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"This enables us to have smaller configurations," he said. "Today, a four-node VxRail solution starts at about $60,000. By using Dell's R630 servers, we can bring it down to a starting price of under $45,000. This opens a lot of new use cases, especially in remote and branch offices."

Dell EMC is not the first to see the advantage of using Dell servers as the base for hyper-converged infrastructure, Sakac said. "It's no coincidence that a big part of Nutanix's path to market is its Dell XC partnership," he said. "You want to have the best hardware, the most reliable and cost-effective. It's hard to do with ODM servers. In the long run, to win with hyper-converged infrastructure, you'll need a good x86 platform."

Dell EMC will also find it easier to serve its VxRail and VxRack customers in remote locations where the company is more likely to have replacement Dell hardware available, Sakac said. The company now also supports Nvidia GPU, which Sakac said is a requirement in 30 percent to 40 percent of instances.

Dell EMC's family of hyper-converged infrastructure products are now based on Dell hardware, including the VxRail appliance, the VxRack SDDC rack-based solution for all-VMware environments, the VxRack Flex solution for variable VMware and non-VMware workloads, and the VxRack Neutrino for cloud-native applications, Sakac said.

Dell EMC is also introducing an Analytics Insight Module for its Native Hybrid Cloud PaaS offering that brings open-source analytics tools like Cassandra or Spark to hyper-converged infrastructure, Sakac said. Initial deployments will be on VxRail and VxRack Neutrino, he said.

Bringing VxRail and VxRack to Dell servers is a "back to the future" moment for Jamie Shepard, senior vice president for health care and strategy at Dallas-based Lumenate.

Shepard told CRN he remembers the success EMC had when all of its offerings were based on Dell hardware. "It was a very successful model then," he said. "Some of the greatest achievements EMC ever had -- file archiving, replication -- were on Dell hardware."

Dell's rackmount servers offer an "awesome" base for the Dell EMC storage and hyper-converged infrastructure solutions, Shepard said.