by Adam Armstrong

Dell EMC Enhances Its HCI & Announces Cloud-Like Consumption Model

Today Dell EMC announced enhancements and upgrades to its hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) portfolio. This portfolio includes its Dell EMC VxRail Appliances, VxRack Systems and XC Series. Along with the enhancements and upgrades, the company intends to aid adoption with new flexible consumption models, similar to cloud consumption models.

If there is one thing everyone could use more of, it is simplicity. The HCI market is the promise of simplicity and is the fastest growing subset of the broader converged market. Dell EMC has had quite a bit of success in this market with the above-mentioned portfolio. In fact, the company has seen growing revenue 206% in 4Q 2016 year over year, based on the success of Dell EMC VxRail Appliances, VxRack Systems and the XC Series, making them the fastest growing HCI vendor. Dell EMC’s popular VxRail Appliance family saw revenue growth that was four times higher than the rest of the entire HCI market during the fourth quarter of 2016.

Dell EMC is announcing the 4.5 update to its VxRail Appliances using Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers. This update will provide several new enterprise features in the coming months.

New upcoming features include:

  • Enhanced enterprise deployment features – Streamlined installation and implementation experience designed to help enterprise customers manage VxRail Appliances at scale. The VxRail Appliance deployment experience, which is optimized to deploy a single appliance in only 20 minutes, now can be applied to larger cluster sizes, allowing customers to add and manage ten or more appliances as easily as a single appliance.
  • Additional hardware flexibility lowers total cost of ownership – New single processor options, priced as low as $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.
  • Support for the latest VMware technologies – New VMware vSphere 6.5 and VMware 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.
  • Improved interoperability with Dell EMC technologies – Customers deploying VxRail Appliances now 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.

For companies looking for rack-scale hyper-converged systems, Dell EMC offers its VxRack Systems. The VxRack offers integrated top-of-rack Spine-Leaf networking and SDN options making it an ideal choice for those looking to embrace software-defined technology across the data center.

Updates to the VxRack portfolio of VxRack FLEX include:

  • Support for more data-demanding applications –VxRack FLEX expands configurations with support for Dell EMC PowerEdge R930, enabling the most data-demanding applications such as OLTP, in-memory databases, OLAP, CRM and ERP.
  • High performance networking architecture for modern data centers – VxRack FLEX now incorporates the next-generation Cisco Nexus 93180YC-EX switches that increase scale, improve performance and natively support software-defined networking.
  • Enhanced hardware flexibility – VxRack SDDC now offers six additional PowerEdge R630-based server nodes for both expanded high performance and entry level options in cores, memory and CPUs.

For companies that need Hypervisor choice and support for various use cases such is VDI, Dell EMC offers its XC Series. These smaller 1 and 2U turnkey appliances are configured to order, and combine compute, storage and virtualization resources.

Updates to the XC portfolio include:

  • Dell EMC XC430 Xpress – This new appliance offers small to mid-sized companies a complete, all-in-one infrastructure solution with robust three-node configurations starting as low as $25,000. Optimized for the smallest environments up to four nodes, the XC430 Xpress consolidates servers and storage in as small as 3U of rack space to drastically simplify onsite infrastructure.
  • Dell EMC XC Series with Dell EMC Data Protection –Dell EMC Avamar Virtual Edition, Data Domain and Data Domain Virtual Edition with XC Series offer efficient, enterprise-level data protection and simplified backup and disaster recovery, offering capabilities not previously available with the XC Series.
  • Dell EMC XC Series with Pivotal Cloud Foundry – To rapidly develop and deploy applications to Pivotal Cloud Foundry, XC Series and Pivotal engineering teams have collaborated to create the ideal configuration and deployment guide, which reduces risk and accelerates a customer’s ability to increase developer productivity and reduce IT operation costs.

The newly announced Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation server portfolio will serve as the modern compute foundation across the Dell EMC HCI portfolio. As the company integrates these new servers into its HCI portfolio, the above capabilities and enhancements should be seen in the next few months.

Though there are several benefits to HCI, several reasons make companies hesitate. One of the big reasons is cost. Through the new Cloud Flex for HCI by Dell Financial Services (DFS), Dell EMC brings a cloud-like consumption model to the Dell EMC HCI portfolio. Not only will this financial solution eliminate up-front costs, it comes with declining payments over time, and allows customers to return any or all HCI appliances, with no obligation after the first year.


  • Dell EMC VxRail Appliances 4.5 is expected to be global availabile in September 2017, with several features available to existing VxRail Appliances 4.0 customers in June 2017.
  • Dell EMC VxRack FLEX updates are expected to be availabile in July 2017.
  • Dell EMC VxRack SDDC is expected to be availabile in June 2017.
  • The first phase of Dell EMC XC Series Dell Data Protection support is now available globally as a reference architecture.
  • Dell EMC XC Series with Pivotal Cloud Foundry is available now as a reference architecture.
  • DFS Cloud Flex for HCI and Dell EMC VDI Complete Solutions are available now in select countries.

VxRail product page


XC Series

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