Making HCI Network Fabric Design Fast, Easy and Reliable

In a world that is increasingly software-defined, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is a fast mover. Analysts expect adoption to accelerate at a 42% CAGR from 2016 to 2023, reaching $17B. Done right, it’s an IT dream because it makes deploying private cloud services much easier, faster and more reliable. But if you don’t get the most overlooked part right – the network design – it quickly becomes a nightmare.

According to IDC, “While considerable emphasis was placed on the compute and storage capabilities of HCI systems, less attention – and sometimes none at all – was accorded to integrated networking for HCI.”

We gave it serious attention. Too many customers spend too much time and effort researching, specifying, designing, validating and revising designs to best fit their solution. Many are new to HCI and have to devote even more time to understanding the network requirements and mapping those to the switch and OS capabilities. This can take weeks.

To solve these challenges and take weeks down to mere minutes, we developed Fabric Design Center (FDC). It is an easy-to-use web-based tool with four simple steps that automate the HCI network design process.

Four-step process to design the HCI fabric within minutes

Design and customize HCI fabrics with confidence

In an HCI solution, it’s critical that the network design meets the performance objectives and is sized appropriately, with the ability to scale as needed.

Allow me to describe the four easy steps that allow you to design an HCI fabric in minutes, instead of weeks:

  1. Select a network design template from the Fabric Design Center library
  2. Input networking parameters specific to your environment
  3. Receive and review the recommend design from Fabric Design Center wizard tool (inclusive of installation recommendations; network topology; wiring diagrams; ordering bill-of-materials)
  4. Input specific network addressing (IP address, VLAN assignments) to receive production-ready configuration files and away you go

Elements of HCI Fabric proposal through Fabric Design Center

That’s all it takes to join the HCI revolution. We make it easy, and we’re always here to help along the way if you have questions—just use the feedback button at the bottom right corner of the Fabric Design Center.

Check out Fabric Design Center right now at

About the Author: Saleem Muhammad

Saleem Muhammad is Director of Product Management at Dell EMC, Inc. In this role, he is responsible for product and solutions strategy as it pertains to simplifying and integrating fabrics for mainstream or emerging data center solutions. Previously, Saleem worked at Brocade, where he managed data center switching solutions for OEM partners. His portfolio included the entire campus and data center switches, server adapters, and blade server switching, with multimillion dollars in annual revenues. Prior to Brocade, he worked at Nortel in various IP/Ethernet networking roles. Saleem has held various leadership roles in Product Line Management, Marketing, Business Development, and Engineering. Saleem holds Master’s degree in engineering and business administration as well as Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.