Stay with me. Since Dell’s Data Center Solutions Group (DCS) burst on the scene just a few short years ago, I confess that I have been a fan. The marquee successes that routinely emerge from that group make my head spin. But one question lingered: If their PowerEdge-C (note the “C” as in Cloud) is such a wonderful fit for the most demanding, largest datacenter builders and operators in the world, then why not just make PE-C into the mainstream server product line?
When I think of Dell’s legendary PowerEdge brand, I think of a feature packed, multi-purpose, highly serviceable product based on open standards (commercial off the shelf HW) that does many things so well for so many. Kind of like a high end sports sedan. Very fun to drive, very comfortable, very nice gas mileage. Think Open, Affordable, Innovative, and Capable.
But after a lot of customer feedback, it finally hit me. The answer is Stock Car Racing. Yes, Stock Car Racing. Like a racing machine, PowerEdge-C starts with the same open standards as its more mainstream cousin. But also like a Stock Car Racer, PE-C is single-purpose optimized – in this case, that purpose is hyperscale datacenter build-out. Stock Car racers systematically remove many features that mainstream buyers appreciate and expect (you know, like power locks, power windows…air conditioning), but that add weight and put a drag on their single purpose…namely, winning races. And to extend the analogy a bit more, the hyperscale data center achieves its reliability at the platform layer. Imagine those pit crews quickly and easily ripping and replacing HW (instead of repairing it).
Similarly PowerEdge-C’s secret is that it also relentlessly removes any feature that does not add to its own single purpose, and it soups up the remaining components that actually do support that same purpose. Converting a feature-packed product into a hyperscale optimized variant is how the PowerEdge-C5125 wins the “Profit per floor space” battle for Hosters and other service providers. And while the PE-C5000 is the best product in its class for Hosters, other PE-C products are optimized for other purposes from High Performance Computing, to Financial Services, to Telecommunications and more.
For PowerEdge-C, I now think “Open, Affordable, Innovative…and Hyperscale Optimized”.
PowerEdge and PowerEdge-C, two great product lines meeting different customer needs differently.