Dell enables an enterprise-class data center in a single chassis

At Dell Storage Forum we are proud to showcase our innovative solutions that have been designed with customer feedback, and that help our customers achieve their desired business outcomes. Through our interactions with customers, we found that IT is not just measuring their competitive advantage by performance and speed anymore, but also by agility and efficiency. With this focus in mind, we developed more specific guidance that allows a customer to converge all of the active hardware needed for a data center within a single 10U chassis – the Dell Converged Blade Data Center solution.

The Dell Converged Blade Data Center solution is a new architecture using new hardware and form factor innovations, new protocols and improved manageability to give you all of the capabilities you expect in an enterprise-class data center in a very small package. In a single 10U chassis, you get compute, networking and storage without having to compromise enterprise-class features.

Dell Converged Blade Data Center

Hardware innovations to enable a better application agility and efficiency

We were prescriptive in choosing the initial components in the Dell Converged Blade Data Center solution to help you achieve greater application and service agility and efficiency. If you have other specific needs to be addressed, you also have the flexibility to customize the solution.

  • Dell Equallogic PS-M4110 Blade Array is an enterprise-class storage array inside the chassis. This enables not only an improvement in density, but also simplifies the environment. The Blade Array has full EqualLogic-family capabilities, so there is no compromise in performance. With two of these arrays inside of a chassis, both are managed from the same Equallogic group, making storage administration simple.
  • Dell PowerEdge M420 is the world’s first quarter-height blade, giving industry-leading density without compromising on enterprise features. The blade was also chosen to maximize node count to enable customers to consolidate a large number of workloads within the chassis, including physical workloads.
  • Dell Force10 MXL switch is the world’s first 40GbE stacking IOM switch. MXL supports Data Center Bridging (DCB) to provide a unified fabric for LAN and SAN, which provides simplicity and flexibility. You get extreme port density and local switching for extremely fast east-west traffic between servers and to storage, and high performance networking up to the core with multiple 40GbE uplink capability.

Finally, we are providing guidance on the best way to manage this converged solution, leveraging Dell’s integrated management approach where we allow customers to manage their physical server and storage infrastructure via the virtual management tools of their choice from either VMware or Microsoft.

How you can use this solution to help your business

The Converged Blade Data Center solution focuses on a few specific use cases that we believe the mid-market customers will be most interested in, based on our customer research associated with the solution:

  • Density and/or simplicity: A data center for a smaller company or a division/remote site
  • Simple modularity: A scalable, modular data center building block focused on mid-tier virtualized workloads, like Exchange, SharePoint and IT infrastructure (web servers, file/print, AD, DNS, etc.)
  • Physical consolidation in a dense form factor: A consolidation platform for workloads running on bare metal/physical servers

To learn more about the Dell Converged Blade Data Center solution, visit

About the Author: Andy Rhodes