Data Centers

VMworld 2016: Dell ups the ante on converged infrastructure and cloud with new system

The new Dell Validated System for Virtualization, introduced at VMworld 2016, could make it easier for enterprises to adopt converged infrastructure.

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Image: Dell

On Tuesday, at the 2016 VMworld conference, Dell unveiled its new Validated System for Virtualization, a customizable converged infrastructure solution. Dell said the new system could help speed an organization toward converged infrastructure, and provide more flexibility than existing systems.

Converged infrastructure, which combines elements of compute, storage, and networking into a single package, has been a growing trend in enterprise IT for quite some time. According to a Dell press release, the Validated System for Virtualization stems from the company's service-defined infrastructure, and seeks to bring flexibility and agility to converged infrastructure deployments.

SEE: VMworld 2016: VMware pushes hybrid cloud and SDDC with new Cross-Cloud Architecture

The Validated System for Virtualization, which will be available in Q4 2016, offers multiple choices in the technology involved and the way in which the system is deployed. According to Dell, it is designed for "customers of all sizes," and a complete, validated system can be "configured, quoted and ordered in minutes, while automated lifecycle management tools allow the system to be easily deployed, scaled, and updated seamlessly."

Dell also announced a customizable hybrid cloud from VMware that seems to be designed to work with the new system. The cloud will be managed through VMware vRealize, which works with Dell's automated provisioning to delegate resources.

In keeping with the virtualization theme, and because the two are now basically the same company, Dell also expanded its end-user computing (EUC) virtualization solutions for VMware VDI environments. The first piece of the expansion came in the form of Dell Solutions for VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes.

According to VMware, a Virtual SAN Ready Node is "a validated server configuration in a tested, certified hardware form factor for Virtual SAN deployment, jointly recommended by the server OEM and VMware."

VMware also noted that these nodes are considered "building blocks" for hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) as well. The Dell nodes can be configured with hybrid or all-Flash storage, and customers get to choose their virtualization broker, according to the press release.

Dell is also adding support for VMware Blast Extreme remote display protocol for thin clients operating VMware Horizon 7 with Horizon Client 4.0. "This enables Horizon end users to access their virtual desktops via a Web browser or a full-featured VMware Horizon client for an even richer graphical experience, providing greater flexibility and management options in their virtual workspace environments," the Dell press release said.

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Additionally, Dell also announced the latest version of its Dell Precision Appliance for Wyse, bringing new options for power users including the Dell PowerEdge R730 server and the NVIDIA Tesla M60 GRID 2.0 graphics card, as well as additional density.

Security was also on the agenda for Dell at VMworld, with the firm unveiling two new security solutions. The Dell Data Protection Threat Defense product is coming to Windows Embedded thin clients, while persistent virtual machines are getting additional protection from the Dell Data Protection Endpoint Security Suite for the enterprise.

The Dell announcements come at a pivotal time, as the tech giant gears up for its merger with EMC this fall. Dell seems to be making moves toward next-generation data center trends and technologies in hopes of maintaining rapport with enterprise IT well into the future. The initial focus on converged infrastructure makes sense, as many IT leaders are focusing spending in that area this year.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Dell's new Validated System for Virtualization is a customizable solution that could make it easier to deploy and manage converged infrastructure.
  2. Dell announced its Virtual SAN Ready Node—a "building block" for HCI—as well as new security solutions.
  3. The focus on converged infrastructure signals Dell's focus on the future of the data center, which will be increasingly important relative to its impending merger.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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