By Andrew Foot, General Manager ANZ, Modern Data Centre Team, Dell EMC
When it comes to IT, flexibility and agility are not just states of mind. If IT leaders are going to succeed in the digital era those attributes need to be built into modern IT platforms from the ground up.
With that simple but powerful idea in mind, we at Dell EMC are proud to unveil our latest Dell EMC VxBlock System offering. The Dell EMC VxBlock System 1000 is the most extensible Converged Infrastructure (CI) platform ever built. Rather than just building a CI platform that makes it simpler to manage compute and storage within the same stack, we made it possible for IT organisations to also mix and match both compute and storage components anyway they see fit.
When I speak to our customers in Australia and New Zealand they often share similar challenges. We have smaller IT teams, tighter budgets and work in global markets, which means we need to be smart with how we manage our data centres. The VxBlock 1000 brings flexibility, choice and a tailored approach to storage and I can’t wait to see it in action in the market.
IT organisations can now mix and match Cisco UCS C-Series rack servers and Cisco UCS B-Series blade servers in the same platform depending on their diverse applications’ processing and scalability requirements. Each platform can be optimised for different classes of application workloads by relying on a proven architecture to create and share pools of IT infrastructure resources. When it comes to storage, Dell EMC now uniquely allows IT organisations to choose four types of storage arrays—Dell EMC Unity, VMAX, XtremIO, and Isilon—each optimised for various classes of workloads, now all within the same system, the VxBlock 1000.
Dell EMC Unity provides a simplified approach to employing and managing all flash arrays, while XtremIO provides a higher performance option optimised to deliver maximum I/O performance with great efficiency for demanding services such as enterprise wide VDI. VMAX all flash storage delivers rich data services for mission critical workloads, Dell EMC Unity all flash is a good fit for general purpose workloads and Isilon storage provides a network-attached (NAS) scale-out system that delivers maximum capacity. When it comes to applications, there’s no such thing as one size fits all. The VxBlock 1000 provides a common rack environment that IT organisations can use to mix and match storage systems as needed.
The days when separate cabinets were needed for each type of storage system are officially over!
This approach not only allows IT organisations to preserve and maximise investments in IT infrastructure, but the Dell EMC VxBlock 1000 also increases server scalability by 56 per cent (from 512 to 800 servers) and supports up to ten times the number of storage arrays (from one to ten arrays) compared to previous generations. For example, up to ten Dell EMC Unity arrays at 16 PB each can be configured to provide a total primary storage capacity of 160 PB. Best yet, all of that is accomplished in a way that reduces the total amount of rack space for multi-technologies being consumed by up to 60 per cent depending on the equivalent previous generation systems. For example, the footprint of Dell EMC Unity storage has been reduced by a factor of four, while the footprint of XtremIO storage has been reduced by a factor of two. The footprint of Isilon storage has been reduced by an astounding factor of six.
Those gains will only be multiplied as IT organisations make the shift to next-generation NVMe-based storage systems to improve I/O performance. The Dell EMC VxBlock 1000 is one of the first NVMe-ready converged systems to be brought to market.
Of course, our engineers didn’t just focus on the hardware. The management platform we make available for the Dell EMC VxBlock 1000 can manage up to eight different systems. Previously, IT operations teams would have to navigate separate management software for each VxBlock system. Now, not only has the management for multiple systems been unified, IT organisations can streamline upgrades because there’s now one common process to be applied across multiple technologies previously found in separate VxBlock Systems or special extension cabinetry now within a single VxBlock 1000. That major innovation will yield as much as a 75 per cent reduction in overall lifecycle management time for multi-system environments, as well as an 80 per cent reduction in the time it takes to identify critical updates.
There’s an excellent reason IDC just confirmed that we are the industry leader when it comes to CI platforms with 48 per cent market share. And IDC1 has documented VxBlock systems make IT operations more efficient by 66 per cent while lowering cost of operations by 61 per cent. Other crucial benefits include 52 per cent less time spent on just keeping systems running, 34 per cent faster application deployments, and a 99 per cent reduction in unplanned downtime. That results in a 640 per cent return on investment (ROI) in a five-year period, with the systems paying for that return within eight months of installation.
There’s a lot talk these days about the critical importance of IT agility. That issue is naturally putting a lot of pressure on IT operations teams. Application owners now expect internal IT teams to be able to provide them with services optimised for their specific types of workloads and with a cloud-like experience. Provisioning of IT resources that once took weeks to accomplish now need to be completed in hours and minutes. That kind of operational efficiency can be achieved with standardised, yet highly flexible, pre-engineered systems, like the VxBlock.
IT leaders are being judged not just on how available applications are, but increasingly how quickly IT enables the business to take advantage of new opportunities. The tolerance business leaders have for lengthy IT projects has never been lower. The assumption now is that IT needs to either keep up with, or be faster than, the pace at which the business is transforming. Achieving that goal starts with modern IT infrastructure based on a Dell EMC VxBlock System 1000 that is by far and away the most advanced converged infrastructure platform ever built bar none. We invite you to see for yourself by visiting http://www.dellemc.com/en-us/converged-infrastructure/converged-systems.htm#collapse to accelerate wherever your organisation’s digital business transformation takes IT next.
1 These benefits are based on the IDC whitepaper sponsored by Dell EMC, "The Business Value of Modernizing Mission-Critical Applications with Dell EMC VxBlock Systems, October 2017.” (Actual results may vary.)