Introducing New HCI Portfolio Enhancements for Microsoft Environments

Choice. Flexibility. High performance. These core values are the foundation of the Dell EMC HCI portfolio. Many factors contribute to our #1 ranking in hyperconverged systems[i],* our strategic partnerships — like the one we have with Microsoft – are important, as they allow us to enrich our offerings and deliver differentiated and significant capabilities to customers.

This year at Microsoft Ignite (November 4-8, 2019 in Orlando, FL), Dell EMC is introducing new, expanded offerings for Microsoft customers across Dell EMC VxFlex, Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack, and Dell EMC Azure Stack HCI Ready Nodes. Each Dell EMC HCI offering has its own flavor and unique set of use cases and enhancements.

Explosive data growth, emerging technologies and constantly changing IT requirements almost always guarantee that one size does not fit all. Dell EMC is one of the few vendors that delivers a wide variety of Microsoft offers to support customers no matter where their workloads live: on-premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid cloud environment.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s new:

Dell EMC VxFlex integrated systems

A flexible foundation for multi-hypervisor environments that delivers massive performance at scale.

The Dell EMC VxFlex family is extending its support for Microsoft hypervisor and compute environments, delivering improved security and providing additional flexibility in managing and deploying VxFlex.

What’s New:

  • New Microsoft Hypervisor and Computing Support: The Dell EMC VxFlex family now offers additional automated hypervisor deployment options for cost-sensitive customers with Microsoft Hyper-V and Windows Server.
  • Introducing DARE for Dell EMC VxFlex: To further protect customer’s data and security needs, Dell EMC VxFlex integrated rack and appliance now support Data at Rest Encryption (DARE) with full orchestration and support of Dell EMC CloudLink.
  • End-to-End Dell Offering: To provide additional choice and cost options, Dell EMC VxFlex integrated rack now comes with the choice of integrated Dell networking to offer customers a first-ever full end-to-end Dell Technologies VxFlex solution.
  • Storage-Only Deployment: Customers can now deploy their VxFlex system as a storage-only architecture. With this option, storage and compute nodes remain separate, providing the flexibility needed to manage each component independently.

Dell EMC Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI

Modernize infrastructure while taking advantage of built-in Azure hybrid services.

The Dell EMC Solutions for Azure Stack HCI portfolio has been enhanced to help customers simplify HCI cluster management, expanded out node offerings specifically for edge and ROBO use cases and added new hardware technologies to improve performance.

What’s New:

  • Monitor and Manage Node Health: Native integration with Windows Admin Center (WAC) console provides customers with a single pane for management including HCI node inventory, health monitoring and compliance checks using the freely available Dell EMC OpenManage Integration for WAC.
  • New Dell EMC Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes: The new Dell EMC R440 S2D Ready Node provides both hybrid and all-flash options for customers looking at modernizing IT infrastructure at the edge, as well as remote or small office locations.
  • Increased Performance: Intel 2nd Generation Xeon Scalable Processors, all-NVMe configurations, Intel Optane SSDs and Optane DC persistent memory and 100Gb Ethernet on S2D Ready Nodes. With our portfolio enhancements, Dell EMC internal testing has shown up to 2.95M IOPS on just a four node Azure Stack HCI cluster, providing our customers with great performance and availability in a compact HCI cluster.

Here is what Greg Altman, IT Infrastructure Manager at Swiff-Train and one our early customers had to say about our OpenManage integration with WAC:

The Dell EMC OpenManage Integration with Microsoft Windows Admin Center gives us full visibility to Dell EMC Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI, enabling us to more easily respond to situations before they become critical. With the new OpenManage integration, we can also manage Microsoft Azure Stack HCI from anywhere, even simultaneously managing our clusters located in different cities.

Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack

An engineered hybrid cloud platform for a seamless on-premises Microsoft Azure Stack experience.

Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack brings enhanced capabilities to customers and their workloads with our new four-socket Dell EMC PowerEdge R840 -based Scale Units; edge opportunities for the oil/gas/federal/military sector with our Tactical Azure Stack; and, additional automation and lifecycle management for customer simplicity.

 What’s New:

  • New Intel Xeon Processors: Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack was recently updated across the entire solution portfolio to include the Intel 2nd Generation Xeon Scalable Processors including our new four-socket PowerEdge R840-based Scale Unit.
  • Improved Lifecycle Management: Working in conjunction with Microsoft to enhance the lifecycle management capabilities, we will integrate OEM update packages into the Azure Stack Patch & Update (P&U) framework starting with Azure Stack build 1908 to simplify the P&U of the Scale Unit nodes. In addition, we are enhancing the existing P&U automation capabilities for the Hardware Lifecycle Host and associated software that reside outside of the Microsoft framework to further simplify the role of the Azure Stack Operator.
  • Data Domain as a Service: Teaming with CloudAssert, we have developed a native resource provider for Azure Stack to offer Data Domain as a Service (DDaaS) via the Azure Stack portal. This enables Azure Stack Operators to provide their tenants with set offerings for Data Domain storage, which they can then use to protect their IaaS workloads. From a tenant perspective, users can deploy their choice of validated backup software – and connect that backup software to Data Domain, with multi-tenancy* and quota management handled transparently.

Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack includes consulting services provided by Dell Technologies Consulting to implement and integrate the system into customers’ environments. In addition, we can modernize or migrate applications for Azure and help IT create the operating model to fully take advantage of a hybrid cloud.

If you’re attending Microsoft Ignite, stop by Booth #1547 to learn more about the Dell EMC HCI portfolio and demo our Dell EMC VxFlex appliance, Dell EMC Azure Stack HCI system and Dell EMC Azure Stack ruggedized node. If you’re not making it out to Orlando, you can explore our complete HCI portfolio here.

*Note: Avamar currently only supported for single tenancy

[1] *IDC Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker, Vendor Revenue (US$M) Q2 2019

About the Author: Shannon Champion

Shannon leads Product Marketing for Dell Technologies’ leading and comprehensive portfolio of primary storage, HCI, and CI offerings. Shannon joined Dell EMC in 2014, helped launch the first EMC hyper-converged solution in that year, and has been part of the hyperconverged marketing team since then. As a marketing and sales enablement expert, Shannon has more than 20 years of experience in several cross-functional and management roles within IT including product marketing, business development, manufacturing and quality with both direct manufacturers and channel partners. Before joining EMC, Shannon led Cisco product management and marketing for a national channel partner, PC Connection; was a product marketing manager and quality engineer for the IBM/Lenovo PC Division; and worked as a manufacturing process engineer for IBM’s microelectronics division. Shannon received her M.B.A. from Kenan-Flagler School of Business in North Carolina, and her M.S. and B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Rochester in upstate NY. Dell Technologies helps organizations and individuals build their digital future and transform how they work, live and play. The company provides customers with the industry’s broadest and most innovative technology and services portfolio for the data era. Our industry-leading converged infrastructure, servers, storage and data protection technologies enables organizations to modernize, automate, and transform their data center.