The Biggest Data Center Product Announcements From Dell Technologies World 2018

Dell Technologies took the wraps off several data center product enhancements -- including new line of high-performance storage systems, new PowerEdge servers and enhancements to its fast-growing VxRack and VxRail hyper-convergence solutions -- during the Dell Technologies World conference.

In Real Time

Dell Technologies is emphasizing the importance of non-volatile memory express [NVMe] with a slate of new and enhanced data center products designed to bring customers into IoT and other emerging technologies while moving closer to the real-time data analytics necessary to make that move a reality.

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The Austin, Texas, IT giant took the wraps off several data center product enhancements -- including new line of high-performance storage systems, new PowerEdge servers and enhancements to its fast-growing VxRack and VxRail hyper-convergence solutions -- during the Dell Technologies World conference in Las Vegas Tuesday.

High-bandwidth, low-latency NVMe technology, along with teaming CPUs with GPUs in high-powered servers, is key to enabling real-time, or near-real-time analytics. The new slate of products Dell Technologies is rolling out today is designed to help keep customers in synch with real-time analytics and the number-crunching used to makes sense of the data being collected.

Some of the new products are available now, while others will hit the street in the coming months. All are supported by the channel incentive program Dell Technologies rolled out about three months ago.

Riding The Rails

Dell Technologies is making several enhancements to its popular VxRail line of hyper-converged infrastructure products, including a VMware-validated design for software-defined data center. Customers looking to build their own VMware-based SDDC environment can now quickly deploy VxRail as the infrastructure for that environment. VxRail now also features the new PowerEdge 14G servers, which have more than twice the amount of memory compared to previous models and enhanced security and compliance features. The newest VxRail systems are now and carry a starting price of about $25,000.

Rack Attack

VxRack, another of Dell Technologies' successful hyper-converged infrastructure offerings is now available as a turnkey cloud platform engineered hand-in-hand with VMware. The arrangement makes VxRack the foundation for VMware's cloud technologies and is a natural for enterprise hybrid cloud environments, Dell Technologies says. Like the VxRail, VxRack now also features the latest PowerEdge 14G servers and pulls together all the components necessary to build an enterprise hybrid cloud, including VMware vSphere, NSX and SDDC management.

'Not Your Grandmother's VMAX'

The new line of PowerMax storage systems are the first in the industry to feature end-to-end support for NVMe, Dell Techologies claims. The high-end systems are newly designed from the ground up and are intended as a next generation of the company's venerable VMAX storage solution. The NVMe capability comes from the company's DSSD line, which ceased to exist as a stand-alone product last year in favor of spreading the technology across the company's portfolio. With PowerMax, Dell Technologies is aiming at 'next-generation' use cases like real-time analytics, genomics, AI and IoT and mobile applications. PowerMax boasts response times that are 50 percent better than VMAX systems and can autonomously make 6 billion decisions per day in a single system. PowerMax is available May 7 and comes in two flavors, a 1PB PowerMax 2000 and the 4PB PowerMax 8000.

Closer To Zero

Next gen applications like artificial intelligence and IoT require high levels of input-output performance, but also in latency, bandwidth and response time. With the new PowerMax line, Dell Technologies is attempting to get as close to zero in all of those categories as possible, meaning it is completing tasks almost in real time. Customers are also looking for real-time, or at least close-to real time analytics. NVMe, and CPUs teamed with GPUs are crucial for getting to that type of performance without sending data back-and-forth between edge locations and data centers.

Flash Sale

Dell Technologies is also making moves with its XtremIO enterprise all-flash storage array. Enhancements bring native data replication to the current XtremIO X2 line, as well as a new price point that's 55 percent less than current levels. The new pricing is designed to drive XtremIO into midmarket customers that want to take advantage of all-flash technology. The move also pits the enterprise-focused XtremIO against midmarket all-flash competitors like Pure Storage.

More Data, More Servers

New models are being added to the latest generation of Dell Technologies' venerable PowerEdge server line. The R940xa brings the PowerEdge line to a 1:1 CPU to GPU ratio, and is intended to give customers the performance they need in situations where milliseconds can make a difference. The previous R940 had one GPU for every CPU. The new model also supports up to eight pre-programmable gate arrays, which the company says is becoming increasingly important in a market focused on moving and analyzing high volumes of data very quickly. The new R840 can support up to 24 direct-attach NVMe drives, which Dell Technologies claims is about twice what its nearest competitor can handle. The new models feature integrated security and feature RESTful API architectures.

Sneak Peak

Dell Technologies is also teasing a "modular infrastructure" platform set for introduction sometime in the second half of the year. The platform seeks to get rid of data bottlenecks by bringing compute, storage networking together for software-defined storage, VDI and other workloads in environments where next-generation technology is working alongside traditional architecture. The platform will give users the ability to pivot depending on the environment's specific needs, whether that's more storage, or lower latency, for example. The platform will be able to manage up to 8,000 devices, and will support customers through multiple generations, eliminating the need to re-do their architecture every couple of years.