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New Dell EMC Hyper-Converged Appliances Simplify Health IT

Dell EMC's latest release consolidates IT infrastructure solutions by using hyper-convergence for simpler organization infrastructure.

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

Dell EMC announced the expansion of their converged systems portfolio by integrating their PowerEdge servers into VxRail Appliances and VxRack System 1000 hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI).

Dell EMC releases new infrastructure solution

Dell EMC appears to be heeding the demand for simpler infrastructure by eliminating the need to implement multiple vendor solutions into an infrastructure architecture. Organizations may now use Dell EMC as their single vendor for an end-to-end HCI to modernize their data center. Dell EMC is also collaborating with VMware on their converged solutions to integrate VMware virtual environments into their HCI solution.

"Dell EMC owning both the compute and storage portions of the hyper-converged stack is a game-changer for the HCI portfolio," said Terri McClure, Senior Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "It allows the company to deliver more value choices for customers via investment protection, faster innovation, supply chain advantages and savings it can pass on.”

“The fast integration of PowerEdge servers into VxRail Appliances and VxRack Systems is a major example of the synergy of the acquisition and the benefits of the companies coming together – more value, more choice and maintained investment protection for customers,” McClure added.

The VxRail Appliance Family is specifically developed and optimized for VMware environments and has configurations powered by the latest Intel Broadwell Platforms, VMware vSphere and VMware VSAN technologies, and based on PowerEdge servers. Dell EMC is also offering new configurations of VxRail Appliances with VMware Horizon for virtual workspace deployment and management.

VxRack System 1000 is geared toward core data centers requiring enterprise-grade workloads and easy scalability. Based on PowerEdge R630 and R730xd servers, VxRack Systems offer more capacity and CPU performance without increasing footprint or cost. VxRack has over 20 configuration options allowing organizations to customize their environment based on workload requirements.

Hyper-converged integrated systems (HCIS) are the latest rational step in the evolution of integrated systems. HCIS reinvents infrastructure architecture by consolidating the infrastructure’s required functionality into a framework that integrates storage and virtualization in the data center.

Legacy integrated systems often feature multiple solutions that are over provisioned and use too much CPU or RAM, taking up much needed space or power better used for another solution. IT resources in the data center are wasted causing organizations to believe that they need to add more hardware to achieve peak functionality.

HCIS brings together computing, network and storage functionalities with expansion options to feature data replication, deduplication, backup, recovery, and compression, all of which are managed by a single software layer.

Gartner vice president and analyst Andrew Butler spoke at the Gartner Infrastructure, Operations and Data Center Summit earlier this year stating, “we are on the cusp of a third phase of integrated systems. This evolution presents IT infrastructure and operations leaders with a framework to evolve their implementations and architectures."

Gartner outlines the phases of integrated systems evolution as:

  • Phase 1:  the peak period of blade systems (2005 to 2015).
  • Phase 2: the arrival of converged infrastructures and the advent of HCIS for specific use cases (2010 to 2020).
  • Phase 3: represents continuous application and microservices delivery on HCIS platforms (2016 to 2025).

Gartner’s summary statement on their latest Magic Quadrant for integrated systems noted the increasing presence of hyperconvergence stating that it was disrupting the integrated system market, with major vendors offering hyperconvergence solutions alongside traditional integrated technology.

Vendors such as Nutanix and Scale Computing offer healthcare specific HCIS solutions. According to the Nutanix product page, their solution “consolidates onto a single web-scale platform for all workloads, including VDI, EHR, and picture archiving and communication system (PACS) application VMs – occupying less space versus traditional datacenter infrastructure.”

Gartner predicts that HCIS will be mainstream in five years and the benefits HCIS systems can bring to the healthcare industry such as consolidated space and easier management, make them worth looking into for health IT infrastructure.

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