VxRail: The New Season of Infrastructure Deployment

Ed. Note: This blog was authored by Wayne Pauley, Ph.D, VMware Sr. Director, Dell EMC Global Alliances

As the season shifts and the leaves change color here in New England I’m reminded of the constant transition in technology. In this case the industry shift to hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) has really changed the color of infrastructure deployment in the datacenter. At VMware we recognized the power of this new platform early on and working with Dell EMC we co-developed the fastest growing HCI platform in the market –the Dell EMC VxRail Appliance. VxRail is powered by VMware Virtual SAN, an enterprise grade software defined storage technology that integrates seamlessly with VMware vSphere and vCenter Server, providing industry leading performance and ease of management.

The beauty of the VxRail HCI appliance is that it has some great use cases for the full spectrum of company sizes. Within the mid-market and in smaller IT shops, VxRail represents a system that can be used to consolidate multiple systems and applications in the datacenter or serve as an application specific resource (e.g. Virtual Desktops).

In the Enterprise market we’ve seen a similar adoption model with VxRail Appliances being deployed as either special purpose machines at the edge (e.g. DNS, Firewalls, Virtual Desktops, Mobile Device Management) or in remote offices.

But we are just at the beginning of this seasonal change and transformation of the datacenter infrastructure. Applications are quickly becoming the new face of business, and they need to be available anytime, anywhere and on any device while providing real-time updates and intelligent interactions. As such, applications need to be developed more quickly and allow for more iterations, while being supported by highly agile infrastructures.

Another area that is changing rapidly is the application development and deployment model—where applications can manage the underlying hardware and provide microservices. These are often referred to as cloud-native applications or container-based applications.  Earlier this year, Dell EMC announced the Native Hybrid Cloud (NHC) solution on the VxRail platform. NHC is a turnkey platform that provides the fastest path to digital transformation by accelerating time to market and enhancing customer experiences. It is engineered to combine self-service cloud-native application development with data analytics into a single hybrid cloud platform, eliminating the months it takes to build your own.

Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) – one of the components of Native Hybrid Cloud (NHC) – enables developers to provision and bind web and mobile apps with leading application development services, such as MySQL, Rabbit, Redis and MongoDB, on a unified platform. Furthermore, the VxRail Appliance – which NHC runs on – is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform that provides a converged infrastructure for cloud computing. The elastic, scale-out, and hyper-converged design can host multiple services concurrently. NHC helps companies realize the promises of cloud-native, DevOps and Big Data by accelerating the time to market by 77%* and eliminating the time and complexity of building and maintaining your own platform. VxRail Appliances provide speedy set up and easily increases capacity and performance using a scale out infrastructure architecture; features that application developers have come to expect from their IaaS platform.

In addition to being put to use as an AppDev system, VxRail is also being deployed with all-flash now, making it a great system for 100s to 1000s of virtual desktops. Standalone VxRails support up to 600 virtual desktops, while a clustered system can support up to 9600 virtual desktops. Many of our customers now use the VxRail all-flash system as a desktop solution for their users.

Just add VMware NSX (network virtualization platform) and the system becomes a full Software Defined Data Center, making it more secure and resilient while improving the agility for the workloads it supports. Bring in the EMC or VMware Security and Compliance teams, and they can help harden the VxRail systems for services that must meet ultra-secure or specific regulatory compliance requirements, such as federal, healthcare, and financial.

The seasonal changes do not stop there: today, October 19, 2016, Dell EMC made 2 key announcements:

  • Analytic Insights Module (AIM) that can run on Native Hybrid Cloud with VxRail – providing the big data analytics necessary to extract actionable insights, which ultimately improve the customer experience, within days instead of weeks
  • VxRail Appliances with Dell EMC PowerEdge servers that offer more granular scalability and a lower the cost of entry – starting at under $45,000 (USD)

So, in summary—VxRail Appliances continue to change the color of infrastructure deployments. They are exceeding our expectations as a versatile and resilient system that meets the needs of many different use cases, and small to very large workloads. Are you ready to transform your data center? After all, it’s fall, and change is in the air.

*Metrics based on average results from customers utilizing Pivotal Cloud Foundry

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.