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In 2011, Microsoft introduced Office 365 and would forever change how organizations would look at  deploying

Exchange SharePoint Skype or blog.JPG.jpgand using their collaborative applications like Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business.

Although many organizations like the services of what an online, cloud-based, solution offers - many organizations are hesitant to make the move to a vendor controlled platform.


Here are some reasons cited by on-premise collaborative application users for not moving to a cloud based service:

  • Office 365 doesn’t support all our customized application integration.
  • We have users in remote offices where Internet access is limited. 
  • Giving users 50 GB mailboxes encourages them to keep stuff they should delete immediately. 
  • There is no guarantee that Microsoft won’t increase the cost of the service over time.
  • When a problem happens in Office 365, it seems like no one knows what is really happening and you must fall back on Twitter and Facebook to gain insight on when problems might be resolved.
  • Our on-perm Exchange deployment delivers better availability. Reports by Microsoft regarding up time are accurate for the entire service but don’t reflect the experience of individual users.

With the decrease of budget spending, IT departments face unprecedented pressure to improve efficiency and lower costs.  The standard operational model of procuring technology from multiple vendors and managing them independently is problematic and increase cost and complexity.


VxRack 1000 FLEX System Components


The Dell EMC VxRack™ System 1000 consists of hyper-converged rack-scale engineered systems, with integrated networking, to achieve the scalability and management requirements of traditional and cloud native workloads. The VxRack family is purposely designed to enable customers to quickly deploy Infrastructure-as-a-Service and/or Private Cloud architectures. The VxRack System tightly integrates the hardware with the software and management layer using Dell EMC’s ECS, ScaleIO, CloudArray solutions along with VMWare’s vSphere 6.0.

The result is a fully tested, pre-configured, hyper-converged system with automated provisioning, simplified management and robust reporting capabilities at data center and service provider scale. The VxRack System supports the deployment of a variety of application workloads such as Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business, allowing organizations to rapidly deliver new services while improving overall agility and efficiency.

These self-contained units of servers and networking are well suited for use cases that require a highly scalable infrastructure. The flexible, modular design of VxRack Systems meets the scalability, performance, and efficiency requirements of modern data centers, enabling IT organizations to deploy a wide range of both traditional business applications and cloud-native applications.


The Dell EMC ECS platform is a software-defined cloud-storage system that supports the storage, manipulation, and analysis of VxRack Image blog.JPG.jpgunstructured data on a massive scale on commodity hardware. The ECS system supports communication, collaboration, and messaging applications. It can be deployed as a turn-key storage appliance or as a software product that can be installed on a set of qualified commodity servers and disks.




Dell EMC CloudArray cloud-integrated storage extends high-performance storage arrays with cost-effective cloud capacity. By providing access to a private or public cloud storage tier through standard interfaces, CloudArray technology simplifies storage management for inactive data and offsite protection.

Designed to combine the resource efficiency of the cloud with traditional, on-premises storage, CloudArray technology enables you to scale your SAN and network-attached storage (NAS) with on-demand cloud capacity. You can easily adjust for future data growth by expanding existing cloud volumes or creating new ones. CloudArray policy-driven caching capabilities determine, based on the type of data stored, the level of accessibility and performance. In the background, the CloudArray system encrypts and compresses the data before sending it to the cloud.



VMware vSphere 6.0

VMWare vSphere 6.0 transforms a computer’s physical resources by virtualizing the CPU, RAM, hard disk, and network controller. This transformation creates fully functional VMs that run isolated and encapsulated operating systems and applications, just like physical computers. vSphere provides a highly available, resilient, on-demand infrastructure that is the ideal foundation of any cloud environment.



Dell EMC ScaleIO storage is a software-only solution. It uses existing servers' local disks and local area network (LAN) to create a virtual SAN that has all the benefits of external storage but at a fraction of the cost and complexity. The ScaleIO solution turns the existing local internal storage into internal shared block storage. For many workloads, ScaleIO storage is comparable to, or better than, external shared block storage.




VxRack 1000 FLEX System Benefits


The Dell EMC VxRack 1000 FLEX Systems for Microsoft collaboration provides:


  • A proven reference architecture that supports mixed Microsoft messaging and collaboration applications running on the VxRack System with ECS for storage extension.
  • Application test results that show that the reference architecture satisfies all recommended performance guidelines for Skype for Business Server 2015, SharePoint Server 2016, and Exchange Server 2016.
  • The ability to start with a small hyper-converged platform and grow to extreme scale easily, providing long-term scalability for the applications.
  • Design considerations and best practices for running Microsoft messaging and collaboration applications in a VxRack and ECS environment
  • This solution provides an easy and efficient way to use Microsoft messaging and collaboration applications that are deployed on VxRack Systems. It eliminates lengthy infrastructure scoping, sizing, and testing, and reduces TCO.
  • Pre-integrated hyper-converged infrastructure system that uses the vSphere 6.0 compute infrastructure and ScaleIO software-defined storage. ScaleIO can achieve extreme scale by starting small and growing to more than 1,000 nodes.





The VxRack System 1000 FLEX hyper-converged system satisfies the scalability and management requirements of Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Skype for Business, and Microsoft Exchange applications. IT organizations that are moving toward a software-defined architecture can deploy the VxRack 1000 FLEX for a diverse set of use cases, especially in situations where application growth is unpredictable.  Please read through the Dell EMC VxRack solution for Microsoft messaging and collaboration applications whitepaper and start sharing with others in your organization that want to join the movement to converged infrastructure adoption.




VxRack Solution for Microsoft Messaging and Collaboration Applications White Paper



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