This post is co-authored by David Adams, Product Manager for the VxFlex Family of hyper-converged products at Dell EMC.
Taking on a new technology platform can create new opportunities and challenges. Getting off to the right start takes preparation and planning. In today’s bold new world of cloud native applications, adoption means changing work habits like DevOps, the application construct, and a new operating system paradigm called containers. Getting out of the starting gate with the advantage of speed means focusing on developing new applications and the bench strength to leverage new tools like Kubernetes and worrying less about the infrastructure creation and operation to deploy those applications. This is where the Dell EMC VxFlex offering comes together nicely with the Google Cloud Anthos managed services for deploying on-premises Kubernetes!
The drivers to transform businesses means creatively looking to do things fundamentally differently and not just iteratively. Large monolithic applications simply do not allow for the pace of change required to remain competitive. Container-based applications are quickly becoming a new standard way of creating new modularized applications and a key target for modernizing existing applications. 451 Research forecasts container adoption growth of over 30% from 2017 to 2022. Virtually all industry analysts also point out that most cloud enabling technology deployments will be hybrid. Anthos and VxFlex make hybrid use cases like WAN speeds, connectivity distributions, regulatory or policy-based preference for data location, and closer proximity to data creation, all possible.
Mounting pressure on today’s companies to rapidly transform themselves to remain competitive in an increasingly dynamic business climate driven by new technology like mobile computing, IoT/edge devices, machine learning and 5G networks, has spurred an unlikely strategic asset: the IT department. Once thought of as a cost center to support business functions, IT departments are being asked to provide modern data services for companies not traditionally thought of as “tech companies.” In talking with our customers, partners and analysts there are a few recent themes that stand out among the rest when it comes to simplicity, agility and scalability: hybrid-cloud services, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and container-based solutions.
The Dell EMC VxFlex product relationship with Google Cloud offers an Anthos ready validated solution. This highly differentiated on-premises cloud solution combines the benefits of a managed Kubernetes cloud service with the simplicity, high performance and scalability requirements that enterprises demand. Validated by Google Cloud to complement their managed services for on-prem deployments means you can start getting to work on your applications instead of building the full operating stack from scratch first. Together, Google Cloud Anthos and the Dell EMC VxFlex solution offers an excellent head start for businesses undertaking digital transformation projects.
Like Anthos, VxFlex provides an end-to-end engineered solution with lifecycle management, monitoring and automation to deliver the complete stack of underlying infrastructure of compute, storage and networking. The solution ingredients running on the #1 industry-leading PowerEdge servers include VxFlex OS and VxFlex Manager. VxFlex OS is the enabling technology that provides the high performance and flexibility in hypervisors and choice of deployment options with two-layer (compute and storage separate) or HCI (compute and storage together). VxFlex Manager is the comprehensive IT operations management tool for full spectrum administration of the system ingredients- from easy implementation and serviceability to lifecycle management The VxFlex integrated rack comes completely assembled and configured for customer environments ready to run Anthos. Once Anthos is installed you’re ready to deploy Kubernetes applications from Google Cloud Console!
Here’s why the VxFlex solution provides excellent value with Anthos:
- Scale as you Grow – As more of your projects move from dev/test to production, we enable a node-by-node increase of compute or storage, or both, at the pace of your deployments.
- Mix your Compute and Storage Capacities – Initially starting with stateless workloads and eventually moving to applications that require persistent volumes? VxFlex allows adding compute or storage separately in the same cluster without physical partitioning or bolting on shared storage systems. That’s one of the key differentiators of VxFlex OS.
- Mixed Workloads – We realize you can’t flip a switch and instantly become “containerized.” We enable you to mix any combination of virtualized, bare metal, containers, and mix hypervisor platforms. If you have existing Windows and Linux applications that aren’t ready to be containerized and also want to start deploying Anthos container applications, we provide a single solution that can combine any of these without requiring physical partitioning to get the most value from your VxFlex purchase.
- Cloud Scalability and Performance – Whether you want to start off small or grow to thousands of nodes, VxFlex has a proven track record of providing linear scalability for millions of IOPS while retaining low latency.
- Cloud-like High Availability Architecture – The VxFlex OS architecture provides unique capabilities to isolate fault domains similar to how Google Cloud architects their Google Cloud Platform (GCP) datacenter. We not only protect from failures but provide QoS performance protection while undergoing or correcting failures, and not just drive level failures, but also in the event of a node outage or maintenance event. VxFlex OS uses the entire cluster to parallelize any recovery scenarios for shorter rebuild times.
- Flexible Buying Options – Whether you prefer to acquire your VxFlex solution outright, need financial flexibility to lease your solution, or want a consumption-based purchasing option, Dell EMC leads the industry in buying and services offerings that best accommodate your needs.
- Future Proof – Combine the flexibility to scale compute and storage independently, mix workloads, mix virtualization, bare metal, containerized and enable changes non-disruptively and automate the additions or changes while managing the complete lifecycle and you have a future proof combination that protects your investment.
Engineered together with the Google Cloud team, the Anthos and VxFlex hybrid cloud solution provides best in class hyperconverged infrastructure from Dell EMC and managed Kubernetes by Google Cloud. Together, we’re here to accelerate your way to a successful digital transformation! For more details, please see our VxFlex for Anthos Solution White Paper.
 451Research, Cloud-Enabling Technologies – Application Containers, January 2019
About the co-author
David is a Product Manager for the VxFlex Family of hyper-converged products at Dell EMC. He leads hybrid cloud and cloud-native solutions where he aspires to provide differentiated solutions for customers, based on the unique value-props of VxFlex. He’s fascinated by all things Kubernetes and the potential it unlocks for our customers.