Dell Technologies recently launched its newest VxRail – dubbing it as the smallest, most versatile hyperconverged infrastructure system to date – and the tool took center stage on day one of Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The new, ruggedized VxRail node, with a smaller form factor, is ideal for space-constrained and network-challenged, edge environments and is the industry’s first and only system with an embedded virtual storage area network witness.

“You can rack it, you can stack it, you can mount it on the shelf, mount it on the ceiling, or mount it on the desk; put it on a truck, put it on a ship, pretty much put it anywhere,” Curtis Edwards, an engineering technologist for VxRail explained. “You can even carry it in a backpack.”

Edwards proceeded to stand on stage and take off his grey backpack, where he then pulled out the newest VxRail VD-4000. It weighed a total of 20 pounds, with the heaviest device of its kind weighing just over 28 pounds.

“As you can see, very small, lightweight, and very compact. I can carry it around, I can hold it in my hand, it’s not super heavy,” Edwards said. “When you really start to think about what it is that we provided with the VD-4000 solution, it comes in a much smaller form factor than anything for other solutions – making it perfect to be mounted for use anywhere.”

Ash McCarty, director for Multicloud Product Management at Dell Technologies, said that one of the key drivers of the weight of the VxRail was the mobile capability. McCarty said that they have tested the VD-4000 in a defense theater, and it works well to be carried and transferred via soldier at the tactical edge.

While it’s a powerful platform suitable for the edge, Edwards explained, it can be used “anywhere and everywhere.”

The system can operate in degrees ranging from 27 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit. On the flip side, Edwards explained that many organizations like to leverage the VD-4000 in their main data centers because it consumes less power.

“With our calculations, the VD-4000 with an embedded witness consumes about 38 percent less power than compared to a traditional three-node architecture. That’s pretty significant,” Edwards said. “Because of its operating temperatures that it can work in – as high as 131 degrees Fahrenheit – the cooling requirements are also drastically reduced. You don’t need to have an entire cooling aisle for this to be running and operating in an environment.”

McCarty explained that the new VxRail was designed to use less power and lower costs for consumers because the cost of power has risen four-fold in the last 18 months.

“This is a major concern, so we’re really anchored around sustainability here,” McCarty said. He said the VD-4000 runs around 120 watts, whereas a traditional core platform runs more than 200 watts.

The target verticals for the VxRail VD-4000 are organizations in manufacturing, retail, safety and security, defense, energy, and healthcare.

The VxRail tool has continued to evolve over the last seven years through Dell’s partnership with VMware.

“The goal being is we want to reduce the skill gaps for all your teams,” McCarty said. “We’d love it if you had the ability to focus on your business strategic growth items and not focus on your infrastructure. We could simplify and automate that, so all of your teams could be continuously updated and reduce those silos across your business.”

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan