Phew! We had to order a new array to hold all of this week's Dell EMC announcements

A roundup for file geeks, blockhead nerds

But wait – there's more, including VxRail updates

On the hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) side of things, we noticed these updates to Dell EMC's VxRail-related gear:

  • VxRail upgraded to v4.5:
    • The 20-minute single VxRail appliance deployment method can now be applied to larger cluster sizes, with customers adding and managing 10 or more appliances as easily as a single appliance.
    • New single processor options, priced as low as US$25,000 for a three-node cluster, reduce the cost of deploying processor-based licensed software for scaling up to 64 nodes.
    • New network options, including up to 12 additional ports, allow VxRail Appliances to be deployed in environments requiring physical network segmentation of workloads.
    • VMware vSphere 6.5 and vSAN 6.6 support adds optimized data service algorithms to accelerate flash performance, software-defined data-at-rest encryption to protect against unwanted access to data, and enhanced protection for stretched clusters.
    • VxRail appliance customers can leverage a centralized Dell EMC Secure Remote Services (ESRS) gateway to provide a single point of secure, two-way remote support for their entire Dell EMC infrastructure.
  • Updates to VxRack FLEX powered by ScaleIO and VxRack SDDC powered by VMware Cloud Foundation include:
    • VxRack FLEX supports PowerEdge R930 server, enabling data-demanding apps like OLTP, in-memory databases, OLAP, CRM and ERP.
    • Incorporates the next-gen Cisco Nexus 93180YC-EX switch to increase scale and performance, and natively support software-defined networking.
    • VxRack SDDC offers six additional PowerEdge R630-based server nodes for expanded high performance and entry-level options in cores, memory and CPUs.
  • XC, the OEM'd Nutanix HCI product:
    • XC430 Xpress is a 3-node configuration starting as low as US$25,000 and optimized for the smallest environments – up to four nodes and may need only a 3U rack footprint.
    • Avamar Virtual Edition, Data Domain and Data Domain Virtual Edition with XC Series offer backup and disaster recovery capabilities, Dell EMC claims, not previously available with the XC Series.
    • XC Series and Pivotal engineering teams have collaborated to create an optimized configuration and deployment guide.

Chad Sakac, president of Dell EMC's Converged Platforms and Solutions Division, beat the company's HCI drum: "HCI is the fastest-growing part of the IT infrastructure market because customers want radical infrastructure simplification, and Dell EMC is the fastest-growing vendor in this segment with the strongest HCI portfolio, bar none."

Dell EMC cite IDC findings showing that sequential revenue growth from VxRail Appliances was four times higher than the entire HCI market during the fourth quarter of 2016, with greater than 70 per cent quarter-over-quarter growth. VxRail is an express train on the HCI track.

There was no vBlock or VxBlock news.

It's reassuring that Dell EMC is adding data protection and Pivotal support to the XC. It's not taking the OEM'd Nutanix system onboard in a half-hearted way. Nutanix will be pleased with that.

Overall, Dell EMC's HCI product set is seeing a consistent rate of development activity and the PowerEdge 14G server makeover should push performance significantly higher.


VxRail Appliances 4.5 has planned global availability in September 2017, with several features available to existing VxRail Appliances 4.0 customers in June 2017. VxRack FLEX updates have planned global availability in July 2017. VxRack SDDC updates are available globally now.

XC430 Xpress has planned global availability in June 2017. The first phase of Dell EMC XC Series Dell Data Protection support is now available globally as a reference architecture. XC Series with Pivotal Cloud Foundry is available globally now as a reference architecture.

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