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By | Chris Mellor 19th October 2016 14:08

VxRack and VxRail systems feel the Edge of Power

EMC's HCI gear gets a Dell server invasion

EMC's VxRail and VxRack hyper-converged infrastructure systems are getting wholesale Dell PowerEdge server transplants.

That means Broadwell Xeons, and the headline speeds and feeds are that VxRail systems, get:

  • 250x more configurations,
  • 40 per cent more CPU performance for the same price,
  • 25 per cent lower entry price with a new 3-node config,
  • 2x more storage in all-flash nodes.

Storage-heavy workloads like Big Data Analytics and Exchange can choose VxRail Appliances based on the PowerEdge R730xd platform with dense storage nodes.

Graphics-heavy client virtualisation workloads can use VxRail with the PowerEdge R730 platform with its GPU acceleration from NVIDIA and AMD.

Remote/branch offices can go for the 3-node entry-level costing less than $45,000.

Virtual desktop users get to choose from new configurations of VxRail appliances with VMware Horizon specifically optimised for client virtualisation.

These VxRAILsystems will be sold by Dell EMC alongside the existing, Nutanix-based XC HCIA products.


The VxRack System 1000, with its integrated Top-of-rack Spine-Leaf networking and SDN options, gets PowerEdge R630 and R730xd servers, and offers 2.5x more capacity and 40 per cent more CPU performance for the same price.

There are more than 20 new configurations covering compute-heavy, storage-heavy and balanced configurations in both all-flash and hybrid models. Customers can scale linearly by adding high-density, storage-heavy or compute-heavy node configs.

Dell EMC says apps such as SQL OLTP can be accelerated by SanDisk DAS Cache with faster storage I/O and lower latency, resulting in improved performance of I/O-intensive applications such as Microsoft SQL OLTP.


Chad Sakac, Converged Platforms and Solutions Division President at Dell EMC, says the business is maniacally focused on continuing to expand its HCI portfolio to address more uses cases for customers of all sizes.

All of the above is surely enough for Sakac to spray "face-melting" superlatives across the Dell EMC World 2016 Austin conference centre.

Hang on though: 250 times more configurations? Think about that for a moment. Suppose there were 10 VxRail config choices before. Does that mean there are 2,500 now?

HCI is supposed to be simpler to buy. How can having 250 times more configurations be simpler? Customers will need an artificially intelligent Dell EMC HCIbot to help them wade through the prodigious config table involved. Imagine the channel's glee (hint: NOT) at all the system sizing work this will entail. There's bound to be an automated tool, isn't there?

Pricing and availability

  • VxRack FLEX with PowerEdge-based nodes are orderable today and available in Q4 2016,
  • VxRack SDDC with PowerEdge-based nodes with integrated PowerEdge servers will be orderable in Q4 2016,
  • VxRail Appliances integrated with PowerEdge servers are orderable and generally available in Q4 2016 in most major markets and will be generally available worldwide in 2017 - a vague timeframe to be sure,
  • VxRail Appliances based on PowerEdge servers with VMware Horizon for client virtualisation will be available in December 2016.


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