Editor's note: Below is a post from Kailas Jawadekar, Technical Marketer, Converged Infrastructure Solutions.

“What’s better? Doing two things at once … or just one?” the guy in a cellphone commercial asks a bunch of kids. “TWO,” all the kids scream. The premise of the commercial being, you should be able to use your cellphone to not just make a call, but you should be able to call and browse the web at the same time; text and listen to music at the same time, etc. Yes, we live in an era where we all multitask, and we expect the technology to support multitasking and even enhance our multitasking experience.

Extending the same concept to the enterprise data centers, it’s worth asking the question: Would you run only one enterprise application on a dedicated hardware stack or would you prefer to run multiple applications on a shared infrastructure? Given a choice, most IT administrators would prefer to run multiple business applications on a shared infrastructure to utilize the capabilities of the infrastructure to the fullest extent. However, for enterprises to run multiple enterprise applications on a single shared infrastructure, they need the infrastructure that effectively handles the challenges of resource management and scalability, while providing a stable and predictable performance that’s expected for business critical applications.

This is where Dell Active Infrastructure comes in. Active Infrastructure is Dell’s converged infrastructure family that combines servers, storage, networking and unified management into an integrated system that provides general purpose virtualized resource pools.  Active Infrastructure solutions blend intuitive infrastructure management, an open architecture and a unified support model to allow IT to rapidly respond to dynamic business demands, maximize data center efficiency and strengthen IT service quality. As an example, iLand, a cloud infrastructure-as-a-service provider, significantly improved infrastructure deployment and reduced operating costs by using Active System. Check out the full customer case study.

Dell Active System 800, part of Dell’s Active Infrastructure family, is a simple and scalable pre-integrated platform. It can be easily managed by a single IT administrator, and is the ideal platform for private clouds and heterogeneous workloads, such as VDI, Exchange, SharePoint and Lync. The entire Active System 800 stack is managed by Active System Manager, which streamlines physical and virtual workload provisioning through automation and standardization. Through capabilities, such as template-based provisioning, end-to-end automation, workflow orchestration and resource pooling, Active System Manager enables IT to respond rapidly to business needs, maximize data center efficiency and strengthen quality of IT service delivery.

Dell engaged Principled Technologies, to validate performance and scalability for Active System 800, when running five types of enterprise workloads - VDI, email, web collaboration, user collaboration and order processing. The results of the study are now as available as a whitepaper on Tech Center.

The tests demonstrate that, using just eight Dell PowerEdge M620 blade servers, the Dell Active System 800 supported up to 900 simultaneous users running these applications. The study also analyzed scalability of the Active Systems to support additional users for these workloads. Adding two M620 servers and a storage array scaled the infrastructure to 1150 users. Scaling up to 16 servers and adding another storage array scaled the environment to support 1,600 users.

These tests demonstrated that Active System 800 can not only support up to 900 users for heterogeneous workloads, but can seamlessly scale to support up to 1,800 users while providing a predictable and stable performance. Active System 800 can scale all the way up to 32 M620 blades and 8 storage arrays to support and even
larger number of users.  

In summary, when searching for converged infrastructure solution for your datacenter, choosing a solution that’s easy-to-deploy, provides predictable performance for heterogeneous workloads, and enables customers to meet business expansion requirements with future-proof flexibility is absolutely critical. That solution is available today with Dell’s Active System 800.

 Also, check out this blog post that goes into more detail on the Principled Technologies report.