VCE has expanded its converged infrastructure ambitions with the launch of an alternative solution to Vblock, the flagship converged system the company is well known for.
Borrowing the same management concepts it first applied to blade servers, VCE CTO for the Americas John Lockyer says, VCE VxRack System enables IT organizations to scale up from tens to thousands of x86 whitebox servers deployed in a software-defined rack.
VCE reps told The Register that instead of Cisco UCS servers used in Vblock systems, VxRack relies on commodity Quanta machines for compute.
The EMC subsidiary is leveraging ScaleIO storage management software from its parent company to enable IT organizations to scale storage independently of servers inside the same rack server environment.
The VxRack Systems can be configured with KVM hypervisors alongside 10G Ethernet Nexus switches from Cisco and VMware vRealize management software. Another version of the rack can also be configured to add additional support for VMware EVO:RACK and VMware Virtual SAN software.
The VxRack Systems is based on the VCE VScale Architecture the company recently launched to unify data center management, which Lockyer says means the same management consoles can now be applied to blade and rack servers.
While converged infrastructure has changed the way blade servers are managed inside the data center, most management functions inside a rack server are still managed in isolation. Lockyer says that VCE is now trying to drive more adoption of convergence across both blade and rack servers.
“Most customers tell us that silos inside the data center are points of pain for them,” says Lockyer. “Convergence represents an opportunity to transfer knowledge inside the data center.”
Ultimately, converged infrastructure makes is easier for an IT generalist to manage compute, network, and storage resources in tandem. There is still a need for compute, storage, and network architects to define how systems will operate. But the everyday management of application workloads becomes a more holistic process in a converged infrastructure environment, thanks mainly to the ability to manage IT infrastructure at a higher level of abstraction.
It remains to be seen how well IT organizations that prefer rack servers will take to convergence. Most of the compute, storage, and networking resources deployed inside a rack server environment tend to scale independently of one another. But given the cost of labor associated with managing those environments, VCE is clearly betting that IT organizations that prefer rack servers will still want to be able to manage those resources in a way that requires fewer administrators to scale the overall data center environment.