Dell EMC World was filled with product announcements, a flying Chad Sakac, a Michael Dell keynote, and even more excitement!
While these headline activities were going on, our Subject Matter Experts were busy in the background presenting to attendees on Converged and Hyper-converged Infrastructure, Hybrid Cloud Solutions, Ready Solutions, and the rest of the Dell EMC portfolio. It was a real educational experience for all who were able to make the trip to Las Vegas.
If you weren’t able to attend, we didn’t want you to miss this learning opportunity, so we asked some of our presenters to write about key takeaways and questions from their session.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about a topic, leave a comment and we will get back to you!
VxRail: A Customers Journey to Hyper-Converged Awesome-Sauce
Presenter: Shannon Champion, Product Marketing Manager, VxRail and Mike Conroy, Senior Director, Technical Operations, Rent-A-Center
It's always great to hear from customers that are using our technology, but it's even better if they can share those stories with other customers. And that's exactly what the session "VxRail: A Customer's Journey to Hyper-Converged Awesome-Sauce" was all about. Mike Conroy of Rent-A-Center leads a staff of over 30 IT architects, engineers, and managers responsible for managing the entire data center including storage, network, virtualization, and operating systems. I interviewed Mike as he took the audience through the Rent-A-Center IT environment before and after deploying VxRail, which was their first foray into hyper-converged. He discussed why HCI was a good fit and what made VxRail stand out from the competition in their proof-of-concept. He provided impressive tangible benefits they are already experiencing. He also gave really great insights and tips to help make sure the deployment goes smoothly. In both sessions, which each had over 100 attendees, the Q&A was extremely engaging. Customers asked about specific use cases and workloads, configurations and settings, upgrades, data protection, and more. Mike answered every question thoroughly and transparently, which garnered more trust from the audience and kept the questions flowing.
The best part? While Mike and some of his key staff were at the show, they deployed additional VxRail nodes to double their existing footprint seamlessly. There couldn't be a better testament to the simplicity of VxRail - good stuff!
SAP HANA Infrastructure made simple with Ready Solutions
Presenters: James Whalen, Workloads Solutions Marketing and Chris Ward, Global Application Specialist, SAP
SAP HANA is a transformational (and disruptive) in-memory DBMS, providing the ability to run OLAP and OLTP systems on the same platform. Now with S4 HANA, companies are looking to mainstream HANA in the datacenter. As businesses embrace SAP HANA, we know IT needs high performing resilient infrastructure providing scale-up/ out deployment options for this business critical platform. At Dell EMC World, we held a session to learn about DELL EMC portfolio of Ready Solutions (Node, Bundles, and Systems) for SAP. I teamed on the session with Chris Ward, Global Application Specialist for SAP.
As SAP HANA represents major disruption to applications AND Infrastructure teams, a key objective was position DELL EMC infrastructure offers in the context of SAP’s HANA hardware certification model. There were several takeaways from our session and resulting conversations:
- SAP HANA is a hot topic for IT: Both our sessions were well attended and with a “show of hands” most if not all customers were in the process of deploying and/or planning their SAP HANA deployments.
- Clarity on DELL EMC Infrastructure strategy and offers for SAP: SAP has it’s hardware certification with guidelines on deployment options. DELL EMC has infrastructure (servers, networks, storage) options for SAP. It quickly gets confusing for our customers and partners. So simply stated, our customers were looking to understand and rationalized our offers so they can work with their management and SAP architects when they get back to the office. With Chris Wards support, I really think we accomplished this
- Partners were excited and looking to expand their portfolio for SAP: Heritage DELL and EMC partners are already embracing the opportunity to be educating themselves on our portfolio for SAP so they can further develop the go to market and business develop plans.
- The opportunity is now: All the SAP customers we met confirmed change is happening. Those committed to SAP as a vendor, realize they need to plan for running HANA in the data center.
As a closing thought, customers and partners confirmed we are on the right track!:) They were very receptive to our offers and the completeness of our portfolio for SAP HANA.
XC Series Ecosystem
Presenter: John Shirley, Director of Product Management and Technical Marketing
Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) is taking the world by storm. While customers are quickly drawn to the ease and simplicity of deploying and managing HCI , we’ve noticed the surrounding ecosystem is still largely designed for traditional infrastructure approaches. In this session, we discussed how Dell EMC is taking a different approach to solving ecosystems solutions for HCI. Specifically, we discussed with our customers and partners three distinct topics.
First, we talked with the audience about why Dell EMC PowerEdge servers have been designed for the software defined era. Specifically we talked about a set of tools that we have developed which are used as a platform for delivering software on PowerEdge. This suite of software is call PowerTools and you’ll be hearing more about this from Dell EMC very soon. We discussed how PowerTools is currently being used on the XC Series platforms (and many other platforms by the way) and how we are extending the tools to be used by our ecosystem partners. This led us to a discussion on how PowerTools is helping Dell EMC modernize data protection for HCI with Avamar and Data Domain virtual editions by providing our customers with streamlined deployment, runtime, and monitoring capabilities in a modern UI. Our next topic focused on a solution for small and medium business customers. We announced a new product is called XC430 Xpress and it’s all about being easy, reliable, and affordable for our mid-market customers (especially if they are running Microsoft Hyper-V). Our channel partners in particular were excited to hear about XC430 Xpress as they know Dell EMC understands this market better than anyone in the industry. Finally, we discussed a modern approach to how customers consume HCI. A new solution called Cloud Flex allows customers to have a choice in how they consume the technology. No money down, low monthly payments, no long-term lock in, guaranteed declining payments, and a choice of CAPEX and OPEX are all defining characteristic of Cloud Flex.
As you can see, we discussed a lot and we are nowhere close to being done in this area … stay tuned
Presenter: Juan Vega, Director, Product Management
Ready Nodes are an exciting new concept in servers, adding value for customers who want to build and manage their own datacenters, but remove some of the pain points that are part and parcel of “do it yourself.” Simply put, a Ready Node from Dell EMC guarantees you get the right hardware; pre-configures the system with the right firmware and, optionally, drivers; and ensures an improved support experience by delivering contextual, collaborative support right from the start. Customers no longer need to look up an HCL and painfully ensure adherence because Dell EMC offers that as table stakes with our Ready Node configurations. Customers can save multiple deployment steps because Dell EMC’s pre-configuration removes the need to identify firmware and driver versions, download them, and install them…that’s all done before the server ever leaves our factory. And finally, Dell EMC ensures a better support experience because we’ve collaborated ahead of time with our software partners and we both know we’ve delivered a known-good system – so our customers get strong collaboration, not finger pointing, right from the start.
Interested in Hybrid Cloud Solutions? Check out our Dell EMC World sessions blog on our Everything Cloud at Dell EMC community!