Lower Your Lap Bar – VxRail with Network Automation Corkscrews to the VMware Cloud

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Who doesn’t love roller coasters? Soaring above the ground in a feat of engineering, flying forward faster than seems as possible. If 2016 and 2017 witnessed hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) climbing that first big hill of customer adoption, 2018 has the industry racing down the other side. HCI continues to grow at an incredible pace—up 70% YoY*. And thanks to our awesome customers and partners, within that red hot market Dell EMC is riding in the front car—taking the No. 1 position in global hyper-converged systems revenue with continued growth more than double the market pace, not to mention VxRail topping $1 billion in total revenue in just 10 quarters.

So here we are, racing together down the hill—but what’s waiting for us around the bend? Plenty! At VMworld Barcelona, we’re excited to announce a slew of new features, functionality, and choices designed to transform HCI networking and make the path to the VMware cloud even simpler.

Let’s barrel roll through the highlights:

  • Dell EMC VxRail, with Networking OS10 Enterprise Edition SmartFabric Services, is the first HCI appliance to deliver fully automated network awareness and configuration during set up, cluster expansion and during day-to-day management to help create IT certainty
  • VxRail with VMware Cloud Foundation will bring automation of VMware Validated Design deployments and hardware/software lifecycle management together with network flexibility
  • Full day-to-day operational transparency between VxRail Manager and VMware vCenter, will make VxRail even simpler to manage and help our customers accelerate agility
  • For edge implementations at scale, 2-node direct connect will make VxRail more accessible for more organizations that can benefit from the simplicity of HCI with smaller deployments at each site
  • Increase in customer choice through flexible vSAN licensing options, including the option to purchase VxRail with vSAN Enterprise, Advanced, or Standard editions for various capabilities to better meet customers’ own requirements and budgets
  • Synchronous releases between VxRail and VMware speed time to value with adoption of latest VMware releases within 30 days, starting with ESXi 6.7U1
  • VxRail P-Series all-flash certified to run SAP HANA on HCI for production
  • Simple, push-button DRaaS available for VxRail customers through VMware site recovery services

That’s a lot! In the rest of this blog, I’ll share why I believe these advancements are game changers for our customers. And I’m not the only one! VxRail Product Technologist, Jeremy Merrill is hosting a webcast specifically designed to help customers take advantage of VxRail’s new capabilities. For another perspective, check out this recent CUBE session with VP of Product Management & Marketing, Chad Dunn discussing these new features and functionality. HCI Networking transformed.

First, connectivity problems and poor network performance, including difficulty setting up networks on day 1, are top of mind infrastructure performance issues when considering HCI. Like all HCI appliances, VxRail requires BYO networking. For VxRail customers that choose Dell EMC Networking, SmartFabric Services is making networking simple by reducing network configuration and admin by 98%, providing near zero-touch network deployment and management for VxRail clusters. Not only does this streamline day 1 operations, but because customers are now working within a predictable and repeatable HCI and network fabric experience, the business can further reduce risk associated with standing up a VxRail cluster.

VMware cloud simplified.

Dell EMC and VMware are working more closely together than ever and continuing to make big investments in this joint offering. First in line, a hot tech preview: VxRail with VMware Cloud Foundation – the only jointly-engineered HCI appliance fully integrated with VMware Cloud Foundation – is coming (very) soon! Bringing the benefits of both the VMware Validated Design on VxRail together with the automation features of VCF, VxRail with VCF will deliver a seamless customer experience with automated deployment of VVD compliant SDDC architectures and LCM of the full end-to-end hardware/software stack along with choice of networking. This is the simplest way to deploy an HCI appliance-based software-defined data center with enterprise-rich features, with less risk.

In the meantime, we’re breaking new ground with the level of integration between VxRail and vCenter. VxRail will soon be 100% operationally transparent with vCenter—so if you’re one of the 500,000 vSphere customers that have standardized on vCenter, you will have the ability to access all the VxRail Manager capabilities right from that familiar interface.

Better together.

The tight integration between Dell EMC and VMware also allows us to deliver a fast and easy consumption path for the latest VMware technologies. For example, we’re delivering synchronous VxRail and VMware software releases. Now, not only is VxRail removing the burden of lifecycle management from the customer, we’re delivering those packaged updates—from one known good state to the next known good state—right in line with when VMware releases the software.

Additionally, Project Dimension, powered by VxRail, will represent a new, transformational capability that combines HCI and a fully managed services approach to reduce the costs and complexity of distributed infrastructure. Project Dimension delivers edge and data center infrastructure as-a-service, combining VMware’s leading compute, storage, networking solutions with Dell EMC’s VxRail hyperconverged appliances, managed by VMware.  This VMware Cloud service powered accelerates business innovation, while delivering enterprise-class security and reducing operationally complexity.  It will provide an easy path for businesses with remote sites to accelerate innovation at the edge with zero-touch provisioning, enterprise-class security and easy connectivity from edge to cloud.

Our “better together” ride with VMware doesn’t stop at production workloads. We’re also pairing VxRail with VMware Site Recovery Services to offer VxRail customers Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). With VMware Site Recovery Services, VxRail customers will have comprehensive, simple and reliable push button fail-over to VMware Cloud on AWS in the event of a disaster. VxRail customers can get elasticity and cloud simplicity combined with the on-premises simplicity and performance offered by VxRail, all while benefitting from the operational consistency of VMware vSAN that powers both VxRail and VMware Cloud on AWS. VxRail and VMware are better together with tight integration and a fast, easy consumption path for the latest VMware technologies from the core (such as SAP HANA and vSAN), edge (with Project Dimension) to the cloud (like VxRail with VCF).

Join this exhilarating ride.

So, back to roller coasters.  I’ll leave you with this: if your business is the cart, zipping along through the market’s twists and turns, your infrastructure is the track that enables your journey. For decades, businesses have been content with status quo wooden track that got you where you were going, but left you reaching for a bottle of aspirin when you got there. Dell EMC and VMware’s collaboration on VxRail provides you with the opportunity to upgrade your infrastructure experience to the smooth modern metal ride the industry is queuing up for. If you’re in Barcelona for VMworld, stop by the Dell Technologies booth for details. Or visit us at http://DellEMC.com/vxrail.

 

*Based on IDC Worldwide Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker, September 25, 2018

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