Today at Dell World, we unveiled one of the most important new enterprise technologies in Dell history, the PowerEdge FX2. The FX2 is our revolutionary approach to combining the best elements of blades and racks into one common, modular platform to help our customers and partners better manage, scale, and tailor infrastructure to meet their business needs.
Data centers have long been faced with the challenge of adjusting to rapid and constant technological changes on a limited budget. Even as the introduction of blades set the industry on a path toward convergence, many organizations continued to choose rack servers for a variety of reasons. Today, software defined infrastructure solutions are emerging as an alternative way to deliver IT solutions, and in those solutions the relationship between compute, storage and networking is different. As we look to the future we look to software-defined – and recognize that the relationship between storage and compute is going to change. The existing infrastructure solutions are, by definition, not optimized to work in a software-defined world. This introduces the opportunity for innovation.
We recognized the need to offer an option that was both highly dense and incrementally scalable to help enterprises overcome budgetary and management obstacles in their journey toward a software-defined data center. We knew that, ideally, this solution would also establish a completely flexible, hyperscalable foundation on which teams could build the data center of the future.
Introducing the PowerEdge FX2
We’re pleased to introduce the FX2, a 2U rack-based infrastructure enclosure that converges servers, storage, and networking and can host different blocks of compute and storage resources depending on workload needs. This converged infrastructure provides major efficiencies through shared power, networking, I/O, and management within the chassis itself, as well as greater overall density.
With FX2, we have figured out a way to tie storage and compute together differently than you can in a blade server today. This is possible with rack servers, but it’s not the most efficient approach as you miss out on the benefits of modularity and overall data center efficiency.
The FX2 integrates easily with existing investments in storage and networking architectures, creating a bridge between traditional data centers’ legacy storage, switches, and servers and the IT of today and tomorrow, making it a smart long-term investment. It’s modular by design and built on common, open standards to make it scalable and adjustable based on organizations’ future needs.
So what does all this mean for you? Let’s look at a few ways the FX2 will change the way enterprises do business:
Big Data Analytics
Let’s say you’re a credit services company that wants to drive targeted client promotions. Hadoop is a viable and cost-effective big data analytics approach, but you want simple cluster scale-out with local storage, along with an easily repeatable path for growth.
Today, rack servers are typically used for Hadoop deployments with the ability to scale to 20 nodes per rack. FX2 can scale to four times the number of nodes per rack without a premium for that level of density. You won't have to change your management approach because FX2 offers the flexibility to manage at the chassis or node level.
Many web hosting companies want to grow their data centers but are at capacity for rack space and power. The FX2 will enable growth within existing facilities by fitting eight times more web servers per rack. It also requires 2.5 times fewer cables per server and 99% less time to deploy because of the FX2’s zero-touch, automatic deployment, allowing hosting companies to be nimbler in growth and pay more attention to what matters most – ensuring their infrastructure is in top shape and allowing their business to stand out in what is a crowded industry.
Database Scale Out
If you’re an online retail company, you now need to make processing power available for customers looking to purchase not only from their computers, but also using smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices. While a boon to consumers and your business, this likely means you are scaling up your server infrastructure. The FX2 provides similar scalability advantages. It can process 6.3 times more new orders per minute at a 40% lower cost. You’ll also spend 92% less time updating firmware with the FX2’s automatic update capabilities.
The FX2 is future-ready technology today, delivering the most processing power per rack so you can run more workloads in less space than with any other platform. It truly provides an ideal mix of racks’ availability to purchase in small increments of compute and blades’ modularity, density, and cable aggregation, while also integrating with legacy technology to ensure you don’t have to disrupt your existing infrastructure in order to scale.
We are thrilled about the new opportunities this architecture will provide IT teams. If you’re visiting us this week at Dell World, please be sure to check out the FX2 in person at the booth and let us know what you think, or connect with us on Twitter or Facebook.
 Based on October 2014 Dell internal analysis of the x86 server market of maximum aggregate SPECint CPU processing power supported in a standard EIA server rack