PowerEdge MX Multi-Generational Assurance – Somebody Must Have a Screw Loose

If you’re a regular reader of the Direct2Dell blog, you’ve probably heard about the PowerEdge MX. The recently-launched PowerEdge MX is a modular solution designed to grow and evolve with the modern software-defined data center. It allows organizations of all sizes to flexibly configure and optimize their IT infrastructure to run both traditional and transformational workloads.

When designing the PowerEdge MX, Dell engineers wanted to solve a top problem for our customers. They wanted to eliminate the issues caused when physical infrastructure housing the servers can’t keep up with rapidly-advancing server technology. Customers are constantly voicing the concern that their IT infrastructure investments will quickly become obsolete, forcing them to invest in entirely new compute infrastructure within the next 2-3 years of making a purchase.

Don’t think too hard about it. You might quickly realize that the idea of building out technology that can last and adapt for roughly a decade, and then creating a business assurance to back that technology seems like a crazy idea. After all, isn’t it in Dell’s best interest to sell MORE servers, MORE often? One would think so. Despite this, PowerEdge engineers and product developers decided to take on the challenge.

The result is the PowerEdge MX Multi-Generational Assurance. It means that on the new PowerEdge MX, Dell is supporting at least the next THREE generations of chipset technology. Since chip generations update every 2-3 years, with usually a mid-life-kicker along the way, it amounts to ~10 years of investment protection. Yes, I said 10 years. Rewind to 10 years ago. The Android OS had just been introduced, it was the first year of the Apple App Store, SSD storage was just taking off, and GPS wasn’t widely being used on mobile phones[1]. Ten years is a LONG TIME, especially when it comes to technology!

The audacious Multi-Generational Assurance on PowerEdge MX wouldn’t be possible without significant server technology innovation. The predecessor to MX, PowerEdge M1000e, has been in production for over 10 years and encompassed 5 generations of compute innovation.  During that time period our product development teams amassed substantial feedback from customers and used it to develop the PowerEdge MX. Just how did they do it?

Here’s the quick and dirty version:

  • No Mid-Plane Design
    • Mid-plane-dependent architectures introduce limitations to bandwidth, protocol and throughput. Instead of a mid-plane, the PowerEdge MX is designed with two fully redundant fabrics. It allows card connectors to dock directly with IOM connectors – completely eliminating the need for a mid-plane.
  • Power and Cooling Innovation
    • To account for ever-rising CPU Thermal Design Power (TDP), the PowerEdge MX incorporates features that allow for larger heat sync, airflow, and power draw.
  • Industry-Leading Partnerships
    • We are only able to offer the Multi-Generational Assurance thanks to long-term partnerships with Intel and other vendors who design certain server components. With Dell’s global footprint and long history, we’re able to work closely with these partners when planning future product roadmaps. This provides the confidence necessary for our Multi-Generational Assurance.

The “crazy” PowerEdge product engineers over here at Dell are proving that it’s possible to plan for the future while also supporting the emerging workloads of today. They brought over a decade of learning from previous blade architectures to the drawing board when designing the PowerEdge MX. And with the Multi-Generational Assurance, Dell is allowing customers to protect their IT infrastructure investment while maximizing ROI. The PowerEdge MX chassis will continue to be a foundational element in our customer’s data centers up to 10 years from now. Considering the pace of technology change, that’s pretty incredible.

For technical details, read the associated Direct from Development white paper: PowerEdge MX Multi-Generational Assurance.


About the Author: Rachel Clark

Rachel Clark manages content development and messaging for the PowerEdge line of Dell EMC servers. Rachel brings the PowerEdge story to customers through blogs, thought leadership pieces, and other creative content. Prior to joining Dell EMC, Rachel enjoyed a decade-long career in investment management at the Teacher’s Retirement System of Texas. With three degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, she bleeds burnt orange. She most recently earned an MBA from the McCombs School of Business.