Dell VxBlock 1000 Re-Defines IT Agility for the Enterprise

When it comes to IT, flexibility and agility are not just states of mind. If IT leaders are going to succeed in the digital era those attributes need to be built into modern IT platforms from the ground up.

With that simple but powerful idea in mind we at Dell are proud to unveil our latest Dell VxBlock System offering. The Dell VxBlock System 1000 is the most extensible Converged Infrastructure (CI) platform ever built. Rather than just building a CI platform that makes it simpler to manage compute and storage within the same stack, we made it possible for IT organizations to also mix and match both compute and storage components anyway they see fit.

IT organizations can now mix and match Cisco UCS C-Series rack servers and Cisco UCS B-Series blade servers in the same platform depending on their diverse applications’ processing and scalability requirements. Each platform can be optimized for different classes of application workloads by relying on a proven architecture to create and share pools of IT infrastructure resources. When it comes to storage, Dell now uniquely allows IT organizations to choose four types of storage arrays—Dell Unity, VMAX, XtremIO, and Isilon — each optimized for various classes of workloads, now all within the same system, the VxBlock 1000.

Dell Unity provides a simplified approach to employing and managing all flash arrays, while XtremIO provides a higher performance option optimized to deliver maximum I/O performance with great efficiency for demanding services such as enterprise wide VDI. VMAX all flash storage delivers rich data services for mission critical workloads, Dell Unity all flash is a good fit for general purpose workloads and Isilon storage provides a network-attached (NAS) scale-out system that delivers maximum capacity. When it comes to applications, there’s no such thing as one size fits all. The VxBlock 1000 provides a common rack environment that IT organizations can use to mix and match storage systems as needed.

The days when separate cabinets were needed for each type of storage system are officially over!

This approach not only allows IT organizations to preserve and maximize investments in IT infrastructure, but the Dell VxBlock 1000 also increases server scalability by 56 percent (from 512 to 800 servers) and supports up to ten times the number of storage arrays (from one to ten arrays) compared to previous generations. For example, up to ten Dell Unity arrays at 16PB each can be configured to provide a total primary storage capacity of 160 PB. Best yet, all of that is accomplished in a way that reduces the total amount of rack space for multi-technologies being consumed by up to 60 percent depending on the equivalent previous generation systems. For example, the footprint of Dell Unity storage has been reduced by a factor of four, while the footprint of XtremIO storage has been reduced by a factor of two. The footprint of Isilon storage has been reduced by an astounding factor of six.

Those gains will only be multiplied as IT organizations make the shift to next-generation NVMe-based storage systems to improve I/O performance. The Dell VxBlock 1000 is one of the first NVMe-ready converged systems to be brought to market.

Of course, our engineers didn’t just focus on the hardware. The management platform we make available for the Dell VxBlock 1000 can manage up to eight different systems. Previously, IT operations teams would have to navigate separate management software for each VxBlock system. Now Not only has the management for multiple systems been unified: IT organizations canstreamline upgrades because there’s now one common process to be applied across multiple technologies previously found in separate VxBlock Systems or special extension cabinetry now within a single VxBlock 1000. That major  innovation will yield as much as a 75 percent reduction in overall lifecycle management time for multi-system environments, as well as an 80 percent reduction in the time it takes to identify critical updates.

There’s an excellent reason IDC just confirmed that we are the industry leader when it comes to CI platforms with 48 percent market share. And IDC1 has documented VxBlock systems make IT operations more efficient by 66 percent while lowering cost of operations by 61 percent. Other crucial benefits include 52 percent less time spent on just keeping systems running, 34 percent faster application deployments, and a 99 percent reduction in unplanned downtime. That results in a 640 percent return on investment (ROI) in a five-year period, with the systems paying for that return within eight months of installation.

There’s a lot alk these days about the critical importance of IT agility. That issue is naturally putting a lot of pressure on IT operations teams. Application owners now expect internal IT teams to be able to provide them with services optimized for their specific types of workloads and with a cloud-like experience. Provisioning of IT resources that once took weeks to accomplish now need to be completed in hours and minutes. That kind of operational efficiency can be achieved with standardized, yet highly flexible, pre-engineered systems, like the VxBlock.

Our customers could not agree more.

“We want to create IT almost like a vending machine. Users select the product they want. They put in their cost center and within seconds that product is delivered. “says John Grieco, Chief Technology Officer for The University of Vermont Health Network.

Achieving that goal requires a level of standardization that can only be achieved by relying on pre-integrated systems. “Our strategy is to standardize at the hardware and software level ruthlessly using a converged infrastructure platform,” explains Grieco. “I want IT to be a dial tone service that is always there.”

IT leaders are being judged not just on how available applications are, but increasingly how quickly IT enables the business to take advantage of new opportunities. The tolerance business leaders have for lengthy IT projects has never been lower. The assumption now is that IT needs to either keep up with or be faster than the pace at which the business is transforming. Achieving that goal starts with modern IT infrastructure based on a Dell VxBlock System 1000 that is by far and away the most advanced converged infrastructure platform ever built bar none. We invite you to see for yourself by visiting the Converged Systems space on to accelerate wherever your organization’s digital business transformation takes IT next.


These benefits are based on the IDC whitepaper sponsored by Dell, “The Business Value of Modernizing Mission-Critical Applications with Dell VxBlock Systems, October 2017.” (Actual results may vary.)

Jeff Boudreau

About the Author: Jeff Boudreau

As chief AI officer at Dell Technologies, Jeff Boudreau leads the company’s AI and data strategy including accelerating AI-driven outcomes and scaling generative AI initiatives across the organization. Leaning on his versatility, deep engineering and infrastructure expertise, Jeff leads Dell’s Center for AI Innovation, a team which is responsible for enterprise-wide AI strategy, education, governance, and policies. This includes prioritizing and implementing domain-specific use cases, building, defining and standardizing architectures, integrating and embedding AI across Dell's product portfolio and core business operations – as well as cultivating strategic partnerships across the AI ecosystem. Tapping into the value inherent in data to drive progress is a passion of Jeff’s that has driven him during his more than 25 years at Dell Technologies. Prior to becoming chief AI officer in September 2023, Jeff spent four years serving as president of the Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG) at Dell. In this position he led a global team of over 23,000 innovators that accelerated data insights and helped Dell Technologies become the largest infrastructure provider in the world – across the data center, cloud and at the edge. He has held executive positions spanning engineering, operations, services, and business management with a passion for inspiring team members and driving real-world outcomes for customers. Jeff completed his undergraduate studies at Wentworth Institute of Technology and received an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He is based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.