Dell goes on Epyc Azure Stack HCI excursion

Dell has added second-generation AMD Epyc processors to its Azure Stack HCI systems and made them easier to deploy and manage.

Azure Stack is Microsoft’s Azure public cloud Hyper-V and HCI stack software running in Microsoft partners’ hardware.

Puneet Dhawan.

The news was announced by Dell’s Director of HCI Product Management Puneet Dhawan. Dell has put second-gen Epyc processors in its PowerEdge server-based AX 6515 and AX 7525 nodes. Maybe they’ll get gen 3 Epycs in a future release?

Dhawan blogged: “The high-density, high performance CPUs allow you to handle challenging workloads within a small infrastructure footprint, whether you are running resource intensive workloads with high performance storage needs or running lightweight applications at the edge.”

Dell now factory-installs the Azure Stack HCI OS on the hardware and has added a call-home feature to the software. The Azure Stack systems are managed by a Windows Admin Center extension to which Dell has integrated its Dell EMC OpenManage software. This now provides cluster-aware updating of the OS, BIOS, firmware and drivers.

Dell EMC Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI
Dell Azure Stack HCI node.

There are a raft of security features including AMD Infinity Guard, secure erase and secure boot, and the ability to lock the server configuration and firmware.

If customers can withstand the siren calls of VMware vSAN and Dell’s VxRail HCI systems then Azure Stack HCI has just become more attractive.