At Dell World this year, most of our announcements revolve around new infrastructure designed to help customers and partners achieve the hyperscale, software-defined IT of the future. The largest single announcement of the day was the Dell PowerEdge FX2, a 2U rack-based infrastructure enclosure that converges servers, storage and networking.

As data center technology evolves, many organizations face significant financial and managerial challenges with migrating from legacy platforms. We recognized that one of the most meaningful solutions we could introduce is a bridge between organizations’ traditional infrastructure and new technology, eliminating the need to sunset old infrastructure when implementing new solutions. That’s why the FX2’s converged platform can integrate seamlessly with data centers’ existing proprietary or legacy technology, enabling organizations to keep the infrastructure they already have while incorporating new IT.

Another particularly exciting element of the FX2 relates to the networking component. FX2 deployments that include a large number of servers, typical of a hyperscale data center, can require a great deal of 10GbE networking. This could potentially mean a large number of cables and ports coming from the back of the enclosure. To keep this from getting unwieldy or expensive for our customers, we’re introducing the FN-IOA integrator as part of our FX2 rollout.

The FN-IOA is designed for simplified, high-performance networking on the FX2 platform by providing built-in aggregation capabilities that can create up to an 8-to-1 reduction in cabling and associated top-of-rack switch ports.

The FN-IOA will provide FX2 customers with: 

  • Simplified network deployments with plug-and-play installation and reduced cabling requirements
  • Optimized performance with integrated local switching and high-speed 10GbE uplinks
  • Integrated LAN/SAN convergence with a built-in option for zero-touch fibre channel over Ethernet (FCoE) auto-configuration support
  • Cost-effective, hyperscale networking solutions

The FX2/FN-IOA system has a variety of applications for enterprises and cloud operators as well as carriers. For carriers especially, there’s a useful intersection between the FX2 and our recent Dell NFV platform announcement. Based on its design and density, the FX2 can be an ideal platform for carriers who want to evolve their current data center assets or invest in new data center assets for NFV. It enables carriers to deploy highly efficient, highly flexible infrastructure for a range of virtualized networking functions, including virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC), virtualized IP Multimedia System (vIMS), virtualized Content Delivery Network (vCDN), and many others.

Whatever the application, the FX2 with FN-IOA will provide complete integration, unlimited scalability and a fully converged, flexible platform suitable for a variety of software personalities. We couldn’t be prouder to provide IT leaders with this opportunity to be one step ahead of the industry and one step closer to tomorrow’s software-defined world.

You can learn more by reading our Dell World FX2 announcements or visiting And, as always, we’d love your feedback – reach out to us on Twitter, visit a Dell Solutions Center, or come talk to us at Dell World this week.