Lance Boley Welcome everyone to todays TechChat. We will be starting shortly.
hypervfan There is an error in the link on the Techcenter page, but hopefully people get in anyway
Lance Boley Thanks let me take a look
Lance Boley Thanks Tom I updated the link.
hypervfan No problem
hypervfan Is everyone packing to be ready for VMworld? :)
hypervfan Since I'm the only one outside Dell in here at the moment
Dell-Lani Ha. That's what I'm thinking.
Dell-Aaron Probably so
Lance Boley We are going to wait a little longer to see if anyone else joins ...
Dell-Aaron OK, so let's get started
Lance Boley Welcome everyone to today's chat.
Lance Boley Let's get started.
Dell-Aaron Today we are going to talk about an architecture that is built on the Force10 MXL switch that the chat last week talked about
Dell-Aaron In the picture on the right, you'll see a comparison of this architecture with a traditional, non-converged way of doing things
Dell-Aaron We're utilizing features in the MXL, like Data Center Briding (DCB) support, to do this with a converged iSCSI and LAN fabric
Dell-Aaron and its also built with the M420, 1/4 height blade
Dell-Aaron and the Equallogic Blade Array, in chassis storage
Dell-Aaron What you end up with is a very dense architecture, that is also very simple, by reducing the number of switches, CNAs, and cables
Dell-Aaron In a single chassis, you can have up to 24 servers, 2 storage arrays, and 2 MXL switches
Dell-Aaron and from the list you can see, a significant amount of resources
Lance Boley Welcome Will
Dell-Aaron This could be used to enable a data center in a box for a mid sized data center, a remote site, or even a mobile data center or hosted in a colocation factility
Dell-Aaron anywhere that density and simplicity are important
hypervfan How is power consumption if you compare the two solutions?
Lance Boley Please ask questions as we go along ...
Dell-Aaron There is inherent power and cooling savings by going to a bladed form factor like this, and utilizing shared power supplies and fans
Dell-Aaron obviously, 24 servers and 2 SAN arrays are going to use some power, but our blades are industry leading in power and cooling efficiency
Dell-Aaron We're also working to deliver a reference architecture with best practices, and guidance around how to configure this architecure. As well as adding some workload based sizing and best practices on top of this
hypervfan Have not had time to look at the specs of the SAN arrays that can be used in these solutions yet, what amount of storage can you get?
Dell-Aaron It really depends on which drive speed you choose, but for instance in this example it is 10K RPM SAS drives, and you get a total of juts over 25TB of raw storage
Dell-Aaron with the 2 arrays inside the chassis
Dell-Aaron And this next picture is an example of options for expanding storage outside of chassis
Dell-Aaron one of the really great features of the bladearray is it uses the same firmware, tools, and features of a rack based equallogic
Dell-Aaron so you can manage them all in a single group
Dell-Aaron There is also a nearline SAS, 15K SAS, and hybric array with 10K SAS and SSD
Dell-Aaron for the blade array
hypervfan Will be great to get some guidance and workload sizing
Dell-Aaron Definitely one of the key things we're working on. What workloads would you want to have on an architecture like this?
hypervfan Makes it easier to recommend for our customers
hypervfan I see this solution as a great product for SMB customers in our area, with a complete virtualized environment taking very little space
Dell-Aaron Exactly, we are really targeting a "datacenter in a box" so to speak with this
hypervfan Please create some guides for this based on Windows Server 2012 :)
Dell-Aaron one of the workloads i'm working with engineering to deliver, is a solution that delivers Exchange, Sharepoint, and Lync on top of this architecture
Dell-Aaron The reference architecture is being built on top of Windows Server 2012
hypervfan Great :)
Dell-Aaron It makes a unique solution together, where we can talk about this architecture, and the features of 2012 like DCB, ODX, and some others that really are better together
Dell - Rod Mercado Agreed... The blade form factor really lends itself to environments that are space constrained... The networking that we've built in (MXL) is high performingand very dense so you can many of the same features of a switch several times larger
hypervfan How are these two solutions if you compare purchase price?
Dell-Aaron There are savings in an architecture like this in being able to purchase less blade modules, CNAs, and top of rack switches by using a converged fabric
Dell-Aaron And this being a more mid-market focused architecture, we built it using the 400 series server, and 4000 series storage array to also drive down cost
Dell-Aaron And there is the cost savings associated with the improved density, and simpler architecture for simpler deployment and support
hypervfan Would also say that this solution looks like a great product as a disaster solution
Dell-Aaron Sure. Remote sites or DR sites are a really great way to use something like this. Its very dense. has a simple topology and cabling so remote support is easier. and all can be accessed through the chassis managmeent controller for OOB managment
Dell-Aaron And because of things like the converged fabric, and scalable components, you don't have to fill this with 24 servers and 2 SAN arrays for it to be feasible
Dell-Aaron so you can start small and scale up very quickly and easily as demand grows
hypervfan Yes, a bit higher initial cost than normal solution, but break even comes pretty fast I would assume
Dell-Manash Just to give you a quick overview on MXL... it has 32 server facing 10G ports and 2 fixed 40G uplink ports. But it also offers 2 bays to host Flex IO modules.
Dell-Manash the modules can be of 3 types - 2x40G modules, 4x10G SFP+ module and 4x10GB-T module
Dell-Manash One interesting point is that it could reduce the cost from infra cost perspective. One way to think of is that you could connect MXLs to the core networks using high bandwidth pipes
Dell-Manash you have the flexibility to scale up using the additional flexIO modules
hypervfan Good point
Dell-Manash This is certainly new breed of solution with high density M420 1/4 servers + high performing MXL 10/40GbE switch + Equal Logic Arrays in the same blade enclosure M1000e
Dell-Aaron And on top of the sheer density of teh solution, manageability is something that is an important aspect
Dell-Aaron You have the chassis management controller giving you consolidated OOB access, as well as updates, it can all be managed without agents running in the environment
hypervfan A solution that I think is the right way to go, particulary integrating the Equallogic in there
Dell-Aaron and can be managed with Dell's integrated management tools into your virtual management console of choice
Dell-Aaron Yes, the blade array is a really impressive piece of technology. To get the same features as a full sized, rack based array in such a small package
Dell-Aaron with all of the Equallogic capabilites, and management simplification
Dell-Aaron hypervfan, what else do you see your customers being interested in using a solutoin like this?
Dell-Aaron Or anyone else, if you have questions :)
hypervfan Can also be used for RDS, have a few that don't like that virtualized. Would be no problem combining this in the solution
hypervfan And as you said, Exchange, Lync and SharePoint
Dell-Aaron That's true. One of the things I really think is powerful about this architecture, is by having a high node count allows you to run a mixture of physical and virtual
Dell-Aaron without giving away a significant amount of your compute capabilities
Dell-Aaron Back to the "data center in a box" approach. Every data center is not 100% virtualized, so this allows that flexibility to follow your own best practices
hypervfan Yes
hypervfan Just add another Equallogic, Appassure backup, and should be well fit for a complete solution :)
Dell-Aaron But its really about running the applications you need on the infrastructure, whether they be collaboration, a database, or VDI
Dell-Aaron Definitely
Dell-Aaron The MXL really enables a lot of this, by having such high density of 10 gig ports
Dell-Aaron It lets us build a denser solution than anything else out there
hypervfan Appassure as a part of the solution would also be interesting to see in the guidance
Dell-Aaron Yeah, data protection and backup are a key component of any workload architecture
hypervfan I see on one of the slides that it's mentioned 1 out-of-band IP. Is this redundant?
Dell-Aaron Yes, it is. The blade chassis has redundant controllers
Dell-Aaron in addition, you can always access the individual components out of band directly if you needed to
Lance Boley Looks like we have reached the end for today.
Lance Boley Thanks everyone for joining
Lance Boley Until next week.
hypervfan Thanks for great info about a very interesting product
Dell-Aaron Thanks for attending, and for the thoughts and questions
Robert R Yep, thanks for the presentation, I was just a passive audience member but I learned a few things.
Lance Boley Talk to everyone next week ... thanks