Dell EMC updates VxBlock 1000, hints at NVMe-oF

Dell has updated its VxBlock 1000 converged infrastructure system, with the emphasis on pushing end-to-end NVMe over fabrics (NVMe-oF) infrastructure.

Dell EMC introduced the VxBlock 1000 in February 2018, touting it as the first CI system designed for all workloads in the data centre, as opposed to being optimised for a specific function.

Today, the firm said it is upgrading the system with “new integrated Cisco compute (UCS) and storage (MDS) 32G options, extending PowerMax capabilities to deliver game-changing NVMe performance across the VxBlock stack”.

Details are scanty, but decoding this, it seems that Dell EMC is upgrading the SAN switch in the VxBlock chassis to a Cisco MDS that supports 32Gbit/s Fibre Channel ports. This will help it deliver that end-to-end NVMe goodness from storage such as its all-flash PowerMax arrays.

However, is not clear if this means that the PowerMax has itself been upgraded with NVMe-oF support

We have asked Dell EMC for further details to confirm, but this would make sense of its claim that “customers can benefit from extreme end-to-end system performance with one system that can evolve from today’s millisecond to tomorrow’s microsecond latency”.

The firm said the new compute and storage options will be available to order later this month.

Update:  Dell told us that the added support does indeed comprise new Cisco 32G SAN Options: the MDS 9148T/MDS 9396T 32GB FC SAN switches and MDS 9700 32GB FC module with built-in SAN Analytics. “These allow for seamless transition to FC-NVMe workloads without any hardware upgrade in the SAN.”

The new UCS compute options are actually VIC card options that extend the network fabric directly to both servers and virtual machines. There are two options for blade – VIC 1440, VIC 1480, and four options for rackmount – VIC 1455, VIC 1457, VIC 1495, VIC 1497.

Storage supported now includes:

·         Dell EMC Unity 350F, 450F, 550F, 650F, 300, 400, 500, 600 

·         Dell EMC XtremIO X2 

·         Dell EMC PowerMax 2000, 8000  

·         Dell EMC VMAX 250F, 950F 

·         Dell EMC Isilon F800, H600, H500, H400, A200 and A2000

Data protection

Meanwhile, Dell EMC is extending the integrated data protection capability of the VxBlock 1000 to hybrid and multi-cloud environments, including Amazon’s AWS.

The release features options to protect VMware workloads and data using new Data Domain Virtual Edition and Cloud Disaster Recovery software options. It will be available to order in July.

Also coming in July is VxBlock Central 2.0, an update of the platform’s management software. This features new modular licensing, starting with a base edition that ships with the system and includes inventory reporting and alerting.

A new Lifecycle Management edition coming later in 2019 includes the ability to apply “guided path” software upgrades to optimise system performance.

This includes a new multi-tenant, cloud-based database based on Cloud IQ. The software will collect and store the CI component inventory structured by the customer, improving ease of use of the cloud-based analytics monitoring.