Home Enterprise Dell EMC VxRail Gets a 3rd Gen CPU Makeover

Dell EMC VxRail Gets a 3rd Gen CPU Makeover

by Adam Armstrong
Dell EMC VxRail new

Today Dell Technologies is refreshing its joint HCI solution built with VMware, Dell EMC VxRail. With new third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor as well as third-generation AMD EPYC processors, both are getting integrated into the VxRail line by basing the line on the newly announced Dell EMC PowerEdge servers. On top of this, the company is announcing dynamic nodes for better scalability and connectivity to Dell EMC PowerStore, PowerMax, and Unity XT. VxRail will soon come with a self-deployment option.

Today Dell Technologies is refreshing its joint HCI solution built with VMware, Dell EMC VxRail. With new third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor as well as third-generation AMD EPYC processors, both are getting integrated into the VxRail line by basing the line on the newly announced Dell EMC PowerEdge servers. On top of this, the company is announcing dynamic nodes for better scalability and connectivity to Dell EMC PowerStore, PowerMax, and Unity XT. VxRail will soon come with a self-deployment option.

Dell EMC VxRail new

Dell EMC VxRail And The Next-Gen Processors

Dell EMC VxRail has been around for some time; the appliance family of VxRail predates Dell EMC. As stated, it is an HCI system that is jointly engineered with VMware (currently the only one jointly engineered). If one was looking for running a VMware HCI environment, it always bodes well to use one engineered by VMware. VxRail acts as a foundation for Dell Technologies cloud and is fully integrated with VMware Cloud Foundation SDDC Manager.

We have covered VxRail extensively in the past as it has evolved over the years, including our most recent review of the Dell EMC VxRail P570F. Dell EMC added PowerEdge to be the backbone of VxRail four years ago. With the recently announced update to the PowerEdge line to include the new CPUs, it is no surprise Dell EMC is adding the support of these new servers to the VxRail lineup as well.

First up, what can be expected with the new processors? With Intel, Dell Technologies says it can deliver 42% more cores compared to the previous generation. With it being Intel, that means it supports Intel Optane Memory 200 series, which can see a bandwidth increase by 32% over the previous generation. The new AMD versions can increase performance with up to 64 cores per processor. Though, with 32 cores, users can avoid any “tax” on core count and leverage the HCI for use cases such as VDI. Both now support PCIe Gen4 and more memory capacity along with the benefits that come along with it.

Other enhancements to the various series of VxRail including the V Series now supporting NVIDIA A40 and A100 Tensor Core GPU options. Importantly, the GPUs are part of VxRail’s Lifecycle Controller Manager, which allows for integrated firmware and driver updates. The updated GPU support is ideal for those looking to leverage AI and ML in HCI. The VxRail P Series provides a capacity bump of up to 20% and is aimed at areas like VDI, streaming video, and medical imaging. The E Series now comes with 50% more PCIe slots greatly increasing flexibility.

The other big announcement today is the introduction of VxRail dynamic nodes. These nodes will be compute-only systems. Dynamic nodes are designed to do things like simplify operations, manage storage better, and reduce overall cost. They also support VMware HCI Mesh, which allows for scaling of storage and compute independently. VMware HCI Mesh shares vSAN storage capacity across different clusters. The dynamic nodes also allow users to configure VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail to use Dell EMC PowerStore, PowerMax or Unity XT as primary storage.

In order to simplify VxRail further, Dell Technologies will be introducing self-deployment. As the name suggests, this software enhancement gives customers greater control over installation, deployment, and redeployment. According to the company, customers can validate, orchestrate and automate cluster deployment on their own time, ideal for enterprises with remote or distributed environments. This same software can enable a dynamic redeployment or reallocation of nodes within a cluster to better meet workload demands.

Dell EMC VxRail Key Nodes

Node E660 E560N
Chassis R650 with 10 x 2.5” drive bays R640 with 10 x 2.5” drive bays
Type All-Flash Hybrid All NVMe
CPU Single or dual Intel Xeon Scalable Gen 3 Single or dual Intel Xeon Scalable Gen 2
Memory 128 GB to 4096 GB DDR4 3200MT 64 GB to 3072 GB DDR4 2933MT
Storage class memory 128 GB to 8192 GB Intel Optane 200 Series 128 GB to 3072 GB Intel Optane 100 Series
Cache drives Up to 1600 GB SAS 375 GB Optane 1600 GB NVMe 375 or 750 GB Optane 1600 GB NVMe
Storage capacity 61 TB SAS or 30 TB SATA 19 TB SAS 61 TB
Onboard networking Dual or quad 25 GbE or Dual or quad 10 GbE Dual 25 GbE or Dual or quad 10GbE
Networking Up to 2x: Dual 100GbE or
Up to 3x: Dual or quad 25 GbE or Up to 3x: Dual or quad 10 GbE
Up to 2x: Dual 100GbE or Up to 2x: Dual 25 GbE or Up to 2x: Dual or quad 10 GbE
Fibre channel Up to 3x QLogic or Emulex dual-port 16Gb / 32Gb HBA Up to 2x QLogic or Emulex dual-port 16Gb / 32Gb HBA
GPU Up to 3x NVIDIA Tesla T4 Up to 2x NVIDIA Tesla T4

 

Node E665
PowerEdge R6515 with 10 x 2.5” drive bays R6515 with 8 x 2.5” drive bays
Type All NVMe All-Flash Hybrid
CPU Single 2nd or 3rd Generation AMD EPYC
Memory 64 GB–1024 GB
Storage class memory N/A
Cache drives 375 or 750 GB Optane 1600 GB NVMe Up to 1600 GB SAS 375 or 750 GB Optane 1600 GB NVMe
Storage capacity Up to 61 TB Up to 61 TB SAS Up to 30 TB SATA
Onboard networking Dual 25 GbE or Dual 10 GbE
Networking Single: Dual 25 GbE or Single: Dual 10 GbE
Fibre channel Single QLogic or Emulex dual-port 16Gb / 32Gb HBA
GPU N/A

 

Node P670 P580N
Chassis R750 with 28 x 2.5” drive bays R840 with 24 x 2.5” drive bays
Type All flash All NVMe
CPU Dual Intel Xeon Scalable Gen 3 Quad Intel Xeon Scalable Gen 2
Memory 128 GB to 4096 GB DDR4 3200MT 384 GB to 6144 GB
Storage class memory 128 GB to 8192 GB Intel Optane 200 Series 2048 GB to 12288 GB Intel Optane 100 Series
Cache drives Up to 1600 GB SAS 375 Optane 1600 GB NVMe 375 or 750 GB Optane 1600 GB NVMe
Storage capacity 184 TB SAS Up to 153 TB
Onboard

networking

Dual or quad 25 GbE or Dual or quad 10 GbE Dual 25 GbE or Dual or quad 10 GbE
Networking Up to 2x: Dual 100GbE or Up to 3x: Dual or quad 25 GbE or Up to 3x: Dual or quad 10 GbE Up to 2x: Dual 100GbE or Up to 3x: Dual 25 GbE or Up to 3x: Dual or quad 10 GbE
Fibre channel Up to 3x QLogic or Emulex dual-port 16Gb / 32Gb HBA Up to 2x QLogic or Emulex dual-port 16Gb / 32Gb HBA
GPU N/A Up to 2x NVIDIA Tesla M10

 

Node P675
Chassis R7515 with 24 x 2.5” drive bays
Type All NVMe All flash
CPU Single 2nd or 3rd Generation AMD EPYC
Memory 64 GB–2048 GB
Storage class memory N/A
Cache 375 GB Optane 1600 GB NVMe 800 or 1600 GB SAS
Storage capacity Up to 153 TB Up to 153 TB SAS or Up to 76 TB SATA
Onboard networking Dual 25 GbE or Dual 10 GbE
Networking Up to 2x: Dual 100GbE or Up to 3x: Dual 25 GbE or Up to 3x: Dual or quad 10 GbE
Fibre channel Up to 3x QLogic or Emulex dual-port 16Gb / 32Gb HBA
GPU Up to 2x NVIDIA Tesla T4 or Single NVIDIA Tesla V100S
Node V670
Chassis R750 with 24 x 2.5” drive bays
Type All-flash
CPU Dual Intel Xeon Scalable Gen 3
Memory 128 GB to 4096 GB DDR4 3200MT
Storage class memory 128 GB to 8192 GB Intel Optane 200 Series
Cache 800 or 1600 GB SAS 375 Optane 1600 GB NVMe
Storage capacity 153 TB SAS
Onboard networking Dual or quad 25 GbE or Dual or quad 10 GbE
Networking Up to 2x: Dual 100GbE or Up to 3x: Dual or quad 25 GbE or Up to 3x: Dual or quad 10 GbE
Fibre channel Up to 3x QLogic or Emulex dual-port 16Gb / 32Gb HBA
GPU Up to 6x NVIDIA Tesla T4 or Up to 2x A100 or Up to 2x A40 or Up to 2x NVIDIA Tesla M10

Availability

  • VxRail systems with Intel 3rd Generation Xeon processors will be globally available in July 2021.
  • VxRail systems with AMD 3rd Generation EPYC processors will be globally available in June 2021.
  • VxRail HCI System Software updates will be globally available in July 2021.
  • VxRail dynamic nodes will be globally available in August 2021.
  • VxRail self-deployment options will begin availability in North America through an early access program in August 2021.

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