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Dell and Cisco extend VxBlock integration with new features

News Analysis
Jun 12, 20193 mins
Cisco SystemsDell EMCEnterprise Storage

Dell EMC and Cisco took another step in their alliance, announcing plans to expand VxBlock 1000 integration across servers, networking, storage, and data protection.

dell emc vxblock 1000
Credit: Dell EMC

Just two months ago Dell EMC and Cisco renewed their converged infrastructure vows, and now the two have taken another step in the alliance. At this year’s at Cisco Live event taking place in San Diego, the two announced plans to expand VxBlock 1000 integration across servers, networking, storage, and data protection.

This is done through support of NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF), which allows enterprise SSDs to talk to each other directly through a high-speed fabric. NVMe is an important advance because SATA and PCI Express SSDs could never talk directly to other drives before until NVMe came along.

To leverage NVMe-oF to its fullest extent, Dell EMC has unveiled a new integrated Cisco compute (UCS) and storage (MDS) 32G options, extending PowerMax capabilities to deliver NVMe performance across the VxBlock stack.

Dell EMC said this will enhance the architecture, high-performance consistency, availability, and scalability of VxBlock and provide its customers with high-performance, end-to-end mission-critical workloads that can deliver microsecond responses.

These new compute and storage options will be available to order sometime later this month.

Other VxBlock news from Dell EMC

Dell EMC also announced it is extending its factory-integrated on-premise integrated protection solutions for VxBlock to hybrid and multi-cloud environments, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). This update will offer to help protect VMware workloads and data via the company’s Data Domain Virtual Edition and Cloud Disaster Recovery software options. This will be available in July.

The company also plans to release VxBlock Central 2.0 software next month. VxBlock Central is designed to help customers simplify CI administration through converged awareness, automation, and analytics.

New to version 2.0 is modular licensing that matches workflow automation, advanced analytics, and life-cycle management/upgrade options to your needs.

VxBlock Central 2.0 has a variety of license features, including the following:

  • Base – Free with purchase of a VxBlock, the base license allows you to manage your system and improve compliance with inventory reporting and alerting.
  • Workflow Automation – Provision infrastructure on-demand using engineered workflows through vRealize Orchestrator. New workflows available with this package include Cisco UCS server expansion with Unity and XtremIO storage arrays.
  • Advanced Analytics – View capacity and KPIs to discover deeper actionable insights through vRealize Operations.
  • Lifecycle Management (new, available later in 2019) – Apply “guided path” software upgrades to optimize system performance.
    • Lifecycle Management includes a new multi-tenant, cloud-based database based on Cloud IQ that will collect and store the CI component inventory structured by the customer, extending the value and ease of use of the cloud-based analytics monitoring.
    • This feature extends the value and ease of use of the cloud-based analytics monitoring Cloud IQ already provides for individual Dell EMC storage arrays.

Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and has built every x86 PC he’s ever owned, laptops not included.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ITworld, Network World, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

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