Along with a refresh of its storage and server lineup, Dell Technologies says the days of general-purpose servers attempting to be used for everything are over.
Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
- Dell will use a new modular architecture in its servers from the second half of 2018 on.
- Dell is using machine learning to optimise where to place data within its upcoming storage arrays.
In the second half of 2018, Dell Technologies will unveil its modular Kinetic architecture, which will remove an architectural choke-point, the firm announced during its Dell Technologies World conference Tuesday.
The new flexibility will allow for the addition of field programmable gate arrays (FPGA), extra processors, graphics capabilities, I/O connectivity, and storage as required.
"The concept of having general-purpose servers which can be used across different workloads, doesn't necessarily give our customers the performance that they need, and expect," Dell Server and Infrastructure Systems senior vice president of product management and marketing said.
The first product in this series will be the PowerEdge MX server later this year, and in the meantime Dell is releasing a 32-drive, 4 CPU and 4 GPU PowerEdge 940xa, as well as the smaller 2u R840 capable of holding 24 NVMe drives and two additional GPUs or FPGAs, the company said in a press call.
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Along with an embracing of NVMe storage, Dell is positioning its products to tackle machine learning and real-time analytics.
The first storage product from Dell wholly designed for NVMe will be the PowerMax line, available starting next week, the firm explained on the call. Unveiled at Dell Technologies World, the PowerMax will top out with 10 million IOPS, 150GB per seconds, and if storage class memory (SCM) is used, it will see 50% improved response times over the EMC VMax line it replaces. Capacity begins with a 13TB 10u appliance consisting of one PowerBrick, and extends though to 4PB across 8 PowerBricks.
Available on May 7, the PowerMax line also includes inline de-duplication and compression techniques that can be provisioned on a per application basis. Dell claims its usage can result in up to 5:1 data reduction, with no performance hit.
PowerMax further makes use of machine learning to conduct pattern recognition, and uses predictive analysis to determine where to place data, especially when adding SCM to the NVMe storage array. The company said it is able to make use of the analytics from 425 billion data sets across its flash-based customer segment to help in this task.
"Built-in machine learning is the only cost-effective way to leverage SCM," a company representatives said on the call.
Dell claimed its standards-based usage of NVMe was better than the proprietary implementations used by its competitors.
The company also announced the new XtremIO X2 storage array that, with its use of "metadata-aware" replication, can reduce the bandwidth sent across a WAN by up to 75% by only sending changes within a data set to the target replication site.
A new entry-level model for the X2 was also announced, and arrives with a 55% price reduction over its predecessor.
For its converged infrastructure play, Dell has updated its VxRail and VxRack SDDC products.
VxRail has gained NVMe cache drives, Intel Xeon Scalable processors with support for up to 1.5TB of memory per socket, and Nvidia Tesla P40 GPUs. The VxRail also has a new Security Technical Implementation Guide and scripts to harden its storage, virtualisation, and networking components.
Built using VxRail and PowerEdge servers, the VxRack SDDC has also gained exclusive software-defined data centre automation and serviceability extensions integrated with VMware Cloud Foundation, representatives said on the call.
"These technologies, co-developed by Dell EMC and VMware, offer a simple and clearly defined path to private, hybrid and multi-clouds to help our customers transform their IT infrastructure to free up valuable staff time while enabling IT to be the enabler for faster, nimbler businesses," Dell EMC Server and Infrastructure Systems president and general manager Ashley Gorakhpurwalla said on the call.
Disclosure: Chris Duckett travelled to Dell Technologies World as a guest of Dell.
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