BlogTo Converge or Hyper-Converge?

Hyperconverged Infrastructure – Organizational Benefits and Industry Performers

Being that ASG provides fully certified VxRail professional services, it is important for us to understand the VxRail hyperconverged solution.

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is quickly spreading across core and edge data center environments. As it moves beyond the point use cases like virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) hosting, greater solution flexibility is needed because one specific architecture may not always meet all needs.

For its part, Dell Technologies is consolidating its myriad of HCI offerings into two brands: VxRail-branded offerings for VMware environments, and VxFlex-branded offerings for bare metal and non-VMware virtualized environments. The VxRail architecture integrates several VMware software platforms, including vSAN software-defined storage, vSphere server virtualization, and vCenter server management, with Dell EMC PowerEdge servers, and with Dell EMC RecoverPoint software and VMware replication for data protection. It also includes the VxRail Manager software, which provides deployment and element management as well as call home functionality and other tools.

Using the VxRail manager software was a baseline. Dell Technologies has built its new VxRail HCI System Software, to provide more comprehensive hardware and software lifecycle management. The VxRail HCI System Software provides a few additional capabilities such as downstream connectors to system networking to automate deployments. Most significantly, its VxRail Manager includes early access to the VxRail Analytical Consulting Engine (ACE), which applies machine learning to system telemetry data to generate insights into capacity, performance and system health. These insights can be applied to better plan for system upgrades, and to more easily and quickly identify and resolve issues (and in fact identify issues before they impact the system).

Dell Technologies has previously integrated VxRail with the VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) hybrid cloud infrastructure and management software stack, to accelerate the path to private or hybrid cloud infrastructure. VCF on VxRail provides the foundation of the new Dell Technologies Cloud Platform, which lays a common infrastructure and management foundation for multi-cloud environments and opens up consumption-based payment and managed service options.

Whereas VxRail supports VMware environments exclusively, the VxFlex portfolio supports a variety of hypervisors and bare metal infrastructures, as well as multiple deployment models. The VxFlex architecture is built around the scale-out VxFlex operating system (OS), which can create not only HCI nodes but also a block storage area network (SAN) for customers that want to adopt software-defined infrastructure but still manage compute and storage separately to avoid changing their operational model structure.

Dell Technologies has introduced the new VxFlex OS 3.0, which increases storage efficiency through the addition of inline compression and a Fine Granularity (FG) data layout. It also adds the ability to migrate storage volumes between pools non-disruptively, as well as more refined snapshot policy management that can be based on specific time retention mechanisms. It also adds a Kubernetes CSI plugin to make persistent storage available to container environments.

Close integration of Dell EMC hardware and VMware software is a priority for Dell Technologies, but the company also is continuing to invest in third-party support. Its new VxFlex appliances are evidence of this investment, and it will also make the Dell Technologies HCI portfolio more accessible for smaller companies that need a smaller footprint to start with.

As a fully certified VxRail implementation integrator and Gold Dell reseller partner, ASG has a lot to offer when customers need HCI or hybrid cloud converged solutions.

Contact us if you have any questions.

About the Author

Mark Teter

Mark Teter, Corporate Technologist

In his role, Mark is responsible for the strategic direction of ASG’s emerging technology offerings and advancing the deployment of present-day hybrid cloud solutions for our customers. Mark has served as Faculty Staff Member at Colorado State University and has written over 50 white papers on subjects including Data Center Ethernet, Linux and Open Source, Storage Area Networks and Computer Virtualization. He published Paradigm Shift in 2006, a book on emerging technologies. He is a Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect.