VxRail for Edge – Cool Enough for the Data Center

Extend consistent VMware operations anywhere with the smallest most versatile VxRail ever.

It’s often said the smallest things have the biggest impact. Today, this is especially true as we introduce the smallest Dell VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure system yet.

We’ve all heard the saying, “the edge is everywhere.” Organizations with remote sites rely on being able to process large amounts of data locally to make real-time decisions to help them optimize their operations and improve their bottom line. And that edge data is expected to explode in the coming years.

The Dell VxRail VD-4000, front angle.
The Dell VxRail VD-4000, front angle.

VxRail is no stranger to edge deployments. Customers like Lowe’s, Mercy Ships and Nature Fresh Farms have benefited from implementing VxRail across thousands of edge locations to support their businesses. We continue to bring more and more edge innovation to VxRail, including the introduction of the VxRail single satellite node last year. Today, we’re introducing the availability of our new VxRail VD-4000 rugged platform, with a smaller, purpose-built form factor extending the benefits of VxRail to locations previously inaccessible due to unfavorable conditions, low bandwidth and footprint restrictions.

This new form factor extends the benefits of VxRail to address even more edge use cases, adding value at the edge where it’s most needed, bringing efficiency, automation and operational simplicity to new and unique environments.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Unpredictable Environments

One of the limitations of deploying technology at the edge is the unpredictability of edge environments. Think of the back office of a retail store, cluttered with boxes of inventory, a bustling manufacturing floor full of lots of moving people and machinery, or a telecommunication tower in the smoldering desert.

The new ruggedized VxRail node, with a significantly smaller form factor, is ideal for space-constrained and harsh environments. Rack it, stack it or mount it on a wall, this solution brings all the benefits of VxRail to extreme locations.

The VxRail VD-4000 is designed for flexibility with options for multiple 1U and 2U node sleds in either a standard-width rack mount chassis or a new 14” deep by 10.5” wide chassis – about the size of a shoebox – that can be stacked on a shelf or even mounted on the wall where floorspace is sparse.

    • Rackable chassis supports four 1U node sleds, two 2U node sleds + vSAN witness or a combination of 1U and 2U node sleds.
    • Stackable and mountable chassis supports two 1U node sleds + vSAN witness or one 2U node sled.

The VD-4000 can operate in temperatures from 27 F to 131 F (–5 C to 55 C) and has been tested to withstand shock and vibration with Network Equipment-Building System (NEBS) and Military Standard (MIL-STD) certifications.

Both VD-4000 chassis also have the option to include a lockable intelligent filtered bezel that will alert you when clogged, to keep your system free from dust, humidity and other air contaminants prevalent in a lot of edge locations like mobile command centers, military sites, construction sites or lint-filled retail backrooms.

The new VxRail VD-4000 is great for unique environments and unique workloads. With integration and support for NVIDIA A2 and A30 GPUs, it brings powerful analytics to any location, whether analyzing camera footage for object detection, powering machine learning for better customer journeys or running AI applications to optimize supply chains. Plus, the VD-4000 is powered by Intel® Xeon® D Processors. This “designed for the edge” CPU comes with built-in AI, security and dense compute delivering high data throughput that edge customers demand.

Can I Get a Witness?

The Dell VxRail VD-4000, left angle.
The Dell VxRail VD-4000, left angle.

One of the coolest new features of the VD-4000 is the addition of an embedded vSAN witness that eliminates the need for a virtual witness node to achieve data consistency. In fact, this is the industry’s first vSAN HCI system utilizing an embedded vSAN witness node Uniquely, VxRail HCI System Software also automatically lifecycle manages the onboard witness, ensuring the witness is always in a validated state.¹ Eliminating the need for a data center or cloud-based witness enables creation of a self-contained two-node vSAN cluster in a small footprint. This allows for far-edge deployments in locations previously unattainable due to low latency and low bandwidth constraints.

Make Your Data Center More Sustainable

While ideal for the edge, customers have told us they are also interested in the VD-4000 for use in their data center because of its lower power consumption. We calculate a two-node VD-4000 with the embedded vSAN witness requires 38% less power than a standard three-node cluster.²

So, while the VD-4000 is remote site optimized, it has the potential to change the way infrastructure architects think about conventional power and cooling in datacenters by operating outside of typical environmental requirements.

The VxRail VD-4000 continues to enable a common operational model across IT landscapes and extends the simplicity of VMware and VxRail to any location. To learn more about the VxRail VD-4000, visit the Dell VxRail page or see what’s inside.

1 Based on Dell analysis, August 2022.

2 Based on internal testing, VxRail VD-4000 2-node with witness vs VxRail 3-node single socket E660F. Actual results may vary.

About the Author: Nancy Hurley

Nancy Hurley, is a highly accomplished marketing executive with over 25 years’ experience in strategic planning and implementation, product marketing, product management, messaging and branding and go to market execution. Nancy's team supports the Dell Technologies HCI portfolio, Connectivity solutions, DevOps enablement offerings and the new APEX Cloud Platform portfolio.