Dell Vscale Turns Converged Infrastructure Inside Out

The days when IT departments can take months to stitch components together and build the perfect data center are coming to an end. Businesses expect their IT organizations to deliver a turnkey, cloud-like IT consumption model. So they’re a lot more interested in funding technology that quickly delivers business outcomes than signing the check for home-grown science projects.

To address this new IT reality, Dell offers converged systems with a turnkey engineered system experience. This lets IT consume technology with much less effort, focus more on customers and innovation, create more apps, and deploy them faster. That’s a good business outcome.

We have been transforming IT this way for nearly eight years, and we’ve innovated further.

We created our Vscale Architecture, which turns the converged systems paradigm inside out.

Rather than converging the infrastructure stack with a built-in network inside system’s cabinet, Vscale converges the stack across a data center fabric. The result?  Pools of IT resources (compute, storage, and data protection) with greater scalability than a single converged system. And Vscale retains the turn-key engineered system experience — including simplified operations and life-cycle assurance — of a single converged system.

Converging on the data center network fabric opens other paths for innovation, including ways to maximize utilization of investments by sharing pools of resources across converged, hyper-converged systems and legacy equipment and ways to leverage software defined networking and automation to further simplify operations.

The Dell Vscale Architecture spans the following components:

  • Vscale Fabric: a scalable network fabric based on spine-and-leaf LAN and/or a core-edge-core or collapsed core SAN switching
  • Vscale Fabric Technology Extensions: compute, storage and data protection resources shared across the Vscale Fabric
  • Vscale Open Technology Connect: a defined point to connect third-party systems to the Vscale Fabric for resource sharing
  • Vscale Border Technology Connect: a defined point of ingress and egress for the Vscale Fabric, providing a range of network services, such as switching routing, load balancing and firewalls.
  • Dell Vision Intelligent Operations a tool for converged infrastructure health monitoring and life cycle assurance
  • A common set of automation, orchestration, management tools such as Cisco UCS Director (UCSD), Dell ViPR, and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) and VMware NSX.

Our customers tell us that Vscale has sped time to data center deployment by fifty percent or more.  Most IT organizations and their system integrators would take a year or more to select, test, qualify and deploy all the equivalent elements of Vscale Architecture for a full data center refresh or greenfield data center deployment. And Vscale, an engineered solution, provides the added, ongoing benefits of life cycle assurance single-call customer support and simplified operations.

Moreover, months of building your own data center – especially at high scale — diverts IT’s attention from innovation and application deployment, which impacts the business.  Often, this drives stakeholder dissatisfaction, rogue IT, and public cloud deployment regardless of the proven long-term economic merits of on-premise/hybrid cloud environments.

Inovalon, a fast-growing healthcare big data analytics service provider, recently found this out as Dell delivered them two new Vscale data centers in half the time it would have taken themselves to do.

According to Faisal Khalid, Senior Vice President of Technology Solutions at Inovalon, “We quickly refreshed our data center technology and tripled our capacity, including more than 50 new racks, without having to add engineering or operations staff.”

He continued, “We are spending less time on systems integration and management, and more time on innovation.  We’re moving to a DevOps model of continuous improvement, and we’re creating agility and value that can be passed along to our customers.”

You can learn more about Vscale Architecture and its business outcome at Inovalon here.

About the Author: Trey Layton

Trey started his career in the US Military stationed at United States Central Command, MacDill AFB, FL. Trey served as an intelligence analyst focused on the Middle East and conducted support of missions in the first days of the war on terror. Following the military Trey joined Cisco where he served as an engineer for Data Center, IP Telephony and Security Technologies. Trey later joined the partner ecosystem where he modernized the practices of several national and regional partner organizations, helping them transform offerings to emerging technologies. Trey joined NetApp in 2004 where he contributed to the creation of best practices for Ethernet Storage and VMware integration. Trey contributed to the development of the architecture which became the basis for FlexPod. In 2010 Trey joined VCE, where he was promoted by Chairman & CEO, VCE, Michael Capellas to Chief Technology Officer, VCE. As CTO Trey was responsible for the product and technology strategy for Vblock, VxBlock, VxRack, Vscale and VxRail. During his tenure, VCE was recognized as one of the fastest technology companies to reach $1 Billion in revenues and one of the most successful joint ventures in IT history. The origional VCE products Trey has led strategy on continue to be leaders in their respective share categories around the world. In 2016 Trey was asked to lead from concept the development of an all Dell Technologies converged product. From that initial concept Trey led a global team of engineers to deliver Dell EMC PowerOne, the industry’s first autonomous infrastructure solution, embedding open source technologies which enable automated infrastructure integration based on declarative outcomes.