Hyper-Converged systems: gaining traction and going in new directions

Ed. note: this blog was authored by John Mannix, Dell Storage Product Marketing

Hyper-converged systems are getting a lot of buzz lately and several industry analysts, including Gartner and IDC, expect this category will grow significantly faster than other types of integrated systems over the next four years. Customer validation of the architecture, especially among large and mid-size organizations, and the availability of proven solutions from multiple vendors are opening up an expanding set of workloads and use cases for hyper-converged platforms. IT teams are now using them in remote and branch offices and for mainstream business-critical applications, including Oracle, SQL Server, Exchange, SharePoint, and hybrid cloud deployments.

Anticipating this emerging trend, Dell formed a strategic partnership with Nutanix, the market leader in hyper-converged infrastructure. In 2014, we started shipping the Dell XC Series Web-scale -converged appliances which are based on our PowerEdge server platform and powered by Nutanix software. Since then, we’ve continued to expand the product family with new appliances and capabilities to meet our customers’ needs. Recently, we introduced the XC730-16G and XC430-4 which enable customers to use XC hyper-converged appliances for a broader range use cases and in smaller scale deployments and space-constrained environments.

The XC730-16G is our first XC appliance that incorporates NVIDIA’s GRID K1 and K2 graphics processing units (GPUs) to accelerate the performance of graphics-intensive workloads. These workloads are common in engineering design, healthcare, media and entertainment, oil and gas, and other vertical industries that have teams of employees working with large image and video files on their virtual desktops. With the Dell XC GPU-enabled solution, IT teams can securely deliver virtualized applications and a consistent desktop experience to any device, anywhere, thus improving employee productivity, flexibility and data security.

IT systems in remote and branch offices and other decentralized environments need to be able to quickly scale performance and capacity, support remote management and provide enterprise class data protection. Hyper-converged solutions are a great fit for these environments because of their ability to cost effectively support multiple virtualized applications, scale one node at a time and seamlessly integrate with an enterprise datacenter for remote management, back-up and disaster recovery.

The XC430-4 appliance was explicitly designed for these types of requirements. It supports up to 14TB capacity per node and is available in single or dual processor configurations with 32 – 384GB of memory and 4 drive slots for 2 SSDs and 2 HDDs. Compared to our current 1U XC630-10 appliance, the XC430-4 requires approximately 20% less rack depth – 24” versus 30” – making it an ideal solution for space-constrained and smaller scale deployments within a larger enterprise environment.

These are just a few examples of how we’re expanding our family of hyper-converged solutions to enable customers to deploy them for a broader range of enterprise applications and use cases. We will continue to evolve the XC Series; so, stay tuned because several new enhancements to the XC family will be announced later this year. 

Sarah Vela

About the Author: Sarah Vela

Sarah is the Chief Blog Strategist for Dell Technologies. Born in New York and raised in New England, she has been living and working in the Austin area for over 20 years, but she knows that doesn't make her a true Texan. She joined Dell in the spring of 2011, left briefly for another company, but realized her mistake and returned in November of 2019. Sarah has five kids, two dogs, two cats, and no free time.