Hello Michael, Cy, Alex
Sarah Vela (Dell)
you guys just can't get enough of VRTX
Good day ladies and gentlemen
yesterday wasn't enough
Hello hello ...
Hellow Alex, where are you joining us from?
MOAR VRTX PLZ
Hot in Austin today?
Hello, welcome. yes it's 99
More importantly, does I-35 still smell like bacon? :)
It's only 95 in Florida. :)
Hello Dell TechCenter from nashua NH
haha yes big bacon fire on the highway last night
Hello Sarah Locke! (from Peter T)
bacon fire? I didn't hear about that
Yeah, a semi carrying pork bellies caught fire yesterday
Hey Peter T!
what a waste
We'll get started in a few minutes
looks like more people are joining still
Hope you guys have a lot of questions today, we have a lot of Dell VRTX experts in the room
just as a reminder, no voice on this - it's just a text chat
wish MichaelD was MichaelD@Dell :)
Where is everyone joining us from today?
University of Texas at Austin
it will be good if you put links for VRTX hardware components
so today's topic is Saving the Bacon and how VRTX can help? ;-)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
there will be sound though right?
Didier Van Hoye
Belgiu; but now in Madrid for Microsoft TechEd Europe
@Khaled It would be better if there was one for everyone in the audience
@AF: cool that you could join us Aidan!
Hello rareed, you are right down the road from us :)
@ James - no sound today
Interesting handle for University of Illinois @HossierCAB!
@AF exactly :D
we're doing text only (we've had some issues with sound in the past , also we like to post the text transcript)
Who let Didier in :)
HoosierCab I mean.
yeah, I hear that often, lived in Indiana growing up
What fun are you missing out on now at TechEd? :)
They run out of free beer in the expo hall, Didier? ;)
some party in the city
OK everyone - as I said, we have lots of VRTX experts in a room @ Dell waiting to tell you about VRTX and answer your questions
Yes they shved us out
so time for this now
It's Madrid, the city is the party :)
Babu C will be leading the chat today - he is the Senior Principal platform software engineer for VRTX
you can just call him "the man"
hello "the man" :)
or was that unrest because of extremely high youth unemployment, can't remember ;)
He'll be explaining the powerpoint slide on the right to you
and answering questions
and now.... Babu!
Let us start with the introductory page on the right side
Can you all see the write up about PowerEdge VRTX and teh picture?
yes we can
Yes. Meant to be any audio?
@AF no audio - we're just typing today
VRTX is the new Dell coverged server/networking/storage chassis
It is designed for office environments
It can be used as a computer under the desk connected to the 110V outlet
or can be in a rack as a 5U chassis
The VRTX chassis can take 4 M620/M520 blade servers
The same blades which go into Dell M1000e blade server chassis can go into VRTX chassis
The chassis can take 25 2.5" drives
but they are not interchangeable with the M1000e, right? Special bios or whatever.
There is are two shared switched USB ports in teh chassis
Hi all, sorry for the late arrival
Yes they can be
But needs a few updates
If I want to physically add/remove a PCIe device to the chassis do I need to powerdown all the server nodes? ie. not just (re)assign exisiting card(s).
In depth information can be found here
As long as the servers have the latest iDRAC firmware and BIOS
Will the PCI-e mezzanine cards needed to move a blade from a M1000e to a VRTX be sold as a kit?
On the HW side, M1000e blades use 2 mezz cards which are the same fabric type as teh I/O module in the chassis
@kylemurley, if the slot you are inserting the new device, you can insert at any time. To assign or reassing a device, the impacted compute nodes must be powered off, the remaining can stay on
Can you confirm 10GbE Switch for Fabric A in Q3?
In VRTX chassis, you will need to replace them with PCIe mezz cards
and will the 10Gbps offer iwarp/RoCE RDMA capabilities?
@MichaelD I think they are working on that...not 100% sure though
@MichaelD No kit at RTS but looking at future availability
What about the switch module ? no. of ports ? switch model ?
Didier: that would depend on the nics on fabric a on the server. And there are no NDCs from Mellanox at this time.
@Didier , Let me cover 10Gbps as aprt of PCIe slots in teh chassis
I think Broadcom has some RDMA capabilities Dell might leverage
NDC = Network Daughter Card = replaceable LOM on Fabric A on blade servers
There is a switch module (I/O module) in the back of teh VRTX chassis
At teh initial release, we will have two I/O modules
One passthrough and 1 switch
The switch is connected to the blade server LOM ports (NDCs)
They are currently 1G
10G switches are coming in subsequent releases
Didier: Looking at the Broadcom spec. sheet for the 57810 is certainly has support for RDMA. To my knowledge it isn't activated with current drivers on Dells broadcom nics with that controller.
The VRTX chassis has 8 PCIe slots
the PCIe carsd in those slots can be dynamically mapped to any of the blade servers
The initial released IOMs are 1GB, the LOM/NDC support 1/10GB
So if you like 10G n/w cards, you coudl put 4 10G cards in teh PCIe slots and they can be mapped to the blades
2 PCIe per blade ? or up to 4 per blade ?
It is very flexible
You can map all 8 PCIe cards to one blade
or one each to each blade
Babu: people obviously want to utilize 10GbE nics to the fullest on the M620 blades, so getting the fabric A switch out as fast as possible is very important
or any cmbination that suits your requirement
despite the wonderful flexibility of the 8 pcie slots
Khaled Omar: 2 PCIe per Blade? With the default CMC license you can map upto 2 PCIe cards, with the Enterprise license you can map any amount of PCIe cards to any node.
I will have to agree with Erson on that point.
Michael@Dell: where can I read more abou the diff. between standard and enterprise CMC license on the VRTX?
There is a chassis management controller card - CMC - which is the central chassis manager
Can the PCIe cards be shared between servers?
CMC provides web, CLI, WSMAN and LCD interfaces
i.e can 2 servers use one card
to manage the chassis power, thermal, PCIe mapping, storage, blades, IOM etc
Risers can be used to extend the number of PCIe slots per blade ?
@erson As the Marketing guy I understand about the need for 10G and keep bugging the engineers to hurry up. But they get side-tracked, like with chats ;)
John A. - Dell
@erson there will be information about the cmc licenses in a technical guide that is soon to come out.
Erson: There is a Licensing White Paper that is about to be published on what the features in the next 5-10 days
CMC provides a central management console to the whole chassis
Multiple chassis can be manged by one CMC GUI console as well
I get that people WANT 10G networking. But this is being marketed as a small/branch office solution. how many people are really pushing 10G to those?
It is called multi-chassis management, which is an enterprise licensed feature
Dennis Smith: Sharing PCIe cards. No, the only shared PCIe is the storage
CMC provides one click login access to iDRAC7 in the blades
The 10GbE switch would obviously be pretty cheap since it's a single switch and with a maximum of 16 internal ports (4x10GbE NDCs are in the works) and eight external ports for a total of 24 ports.
iDRAC7 provides vMedia and vKVM features
I think sometimes people forget that small business in US terms means, at least in Denmark, pretty big businesses sometimes. 10 Gbit/s is getting more and more relevant
Alex Long: If Dell is smart (and I hope they are) they could really also push this unit as a powerful SOFS and the 10GbE (preferably with RDMA) is a must
All teh standards M100e features like remote file share, SNMP, email alerts, WSMAN, AD, telnet, ssh etc are all available in VRTX CMC also
When setting up clusters 10G is benefitial for migration of VM's
@Khaled: PCIe extenders, Dell has not tested such functionally. The chasiss has twom embedded PCIe switches to route the PCIe adapters to the blade.
Are you all familar with M100e chassis and iDRAC7 ?
I second Erson proposal for a SOFS building block :-)
I mean M1000e chasssis :)
iDRAC 7 yes
I can vouch for AF that left for that SOFS building block as well :)
We have maintained teh same look and feel on teh GUI in VRTX CMC also
And as @haslund said, small in US terms can be big companies over in Europe
@Khaled: My concern would be PCIe timing as I have no knowledge of how long the extension cables would be, and that all plays a part in extenders.
There is talk about redundant SPERCs. The second SPERC would then be attached to fabric C PCIe switch. Wouldn't that also make the M420 a possible blade switch for this chassi?
Using VRTX as SOFS building block is very interesting - +1 to Erson and Didier!
#erson, at initial release we support one SPERC
With CSVs in Hyper-V that can help catch sperc failure
We understand the need for redundant SPERC and the chassis is designed with a slot for that
Babu: sorry for being so pushy, we already know most of the things about this initial release, we are already thinking and suggesting on how Dell can improve it :)
The redundanct SPERC/High Availability is a feature in the roadmap,
At this time we're pretty much done with the bullet points from the PowerPoint presentation, and are open to whatever questions you have about VRTX
To add to what Erson says: Its just because we think its such a great product that we can see so many ways to use it!
10Gbps is a no brainer, that will happen so that's good
@erson: Glad to hear that, please keep up the suggestions
erson - we always appreciate your feedback :)
Make a protected versions for use in industrial environments could also be an idea.
So tell us about how you use VRTX chassis
I was talking to a manufacturer that was interested
@erson - we know that YOU know almost everything about the VRTX already
For SOFS with Storage Spaces the SPERC isn't needed. So being able to outfit it with Shared SAS HBA adapters to present the drives without raid to the blades would give support for Storage Spaces.
@Didier: Manuf. usage, in that envrionment, any concerns on the noise output level of the chassis, or required for Freshair?
here's what Im thinking about
Oh yes, that blog post is great! Must read for the Dell crew.
Now we are talking, and dropping the SPERC should also introduce a lower price
For those on the chat, what use cases would you use a VRTX for, would it be for the intended Remote Office scenario, for a home lab, or for something completely different?
Certify some Dell 2.5" SSDs and you have Storage Spaces tiering inside the chassi.
Don't have those details
it was heavy industry
You could also purchase M620s with PCIe SSDs for awesome Storage Spaces tiering
@Dell TechCenter for branch offices
With the spec VRTX has today it can be a complete solution in one box for pretty big companies over here
Yes, VRTX can be a good cluster in a box
@TechCenter: I see it easily as a replacement for 2-4 server virtualization deployments where we would maybe use R620 + MD3220 SAS now.
@DellTechCenter: I could see the VRTX replacing my current 2xR710+MD3220i ESX cluster for a small school district.
@Dell Techcenter: ROBO but I would really like to see it as SOFS building block for storage for my Hyper-V clusters and SQL Servers
Dell team is working on several white papaers on various use cases
They will be availabel in Dell Tech center in the coming weeks
Is there any considerations being done on dropping the SPERC for normal HBA as suggested earlier?
Do you all underatnd how teh PCIe carsd are mapped?
If you haven't already, take a look at the 6 Wp
on the dell techcenter page http://del.ly/VRTX
Babu: Has there been any talk at all about what we are suggesting.... Windows SOFS (Scale Out File Server) with Storage Spaces?
It's so versaitile it has a lot of potential
the scale out secnario is a great one
@rasmus No current plans for a VRTX without a PERC
We will look into SOFS
feels like everything we are suggesting is actually pretty doable if Dell was willing to
We will follow up with our peer Dell teams
Could swap it out ourselevs but JBOD firmware support would be msising then
About the storage, the 25 2.5in drives enclosure can be replaced with another 12 3.5in drives one ? am i right or how is it ?
Potentially this is a gold mine
Dell wwould be the first OEM with such a great building lblock
@Didier, teh builtin JDBOD FW update can be done through CMC user interface
Any plans for a larger version later on? or is next step the current M1000E?
anc could slow dozn the rise of the DataOn, RaidInc soluttions
all with the great logistical prowness of DELL
Rasmus: if you have redundant storage adapters the M420 could possibly be used as well for 8 blades with dual cpu support
I would like to see our engineers figure out how to utilize the M420's and the EQL controller :) #wishing
@Khaled, you can order a chassis with either 2.5" or 3.5" enclosure
@Dennis: Ohh, that would be sweet :) (any update on the EQL VSA?)
But teh same enclosure cannot take both
Dennis Smith: you're obviously the smartest guy of us all, that a fabolous idea! :)
@Dennis, no plan for M420 in this chassis
is there an ability to extend the enclosures ?
enclosure expansion is the roadmap
That is certainly on the SOFS wish list as well... being able to extend the storage with MD1200/1220/3060e
he's "the man" for a reason!
then it maps even better to SOFS if storage expansion is already on the road map
@Rasmus no word on the EQL VSA other than what we have said already. You might have to go to the NDA session in Munich later this year to get more ...
yes it does
Munich, isn't it Frankfurt?
we have scale up?scale out then
next Dell Storage Forum
On teh M1000e question, we do not have any immediatye plans to take VRTX to a bigger chassis
now known as Dell Enterprise Forum
Trying to make it to Dell World if I can
@erson - Dell Storage Forum = Dell Enterprise Forum now
@erson - you should still go no matter what it's called
Dell TechCenter: will you invite me as last year? :)
Which user interface you will be using the most, Web GUI, RACADM (Telnet, SSH), or WSMAN ?
Web GUI and RACADM (SSH)
WSMAN is an emerging scripting interface
web gui and ssh
Web GUI mostely unless we need automation
We have integrated a lot of storage managementin web GUI
if you want people to start using WSMAN you need _great_ documentation on how to use it, perhaps with powershell
powershell is very important
@erson, yes, we are preparing a lot of good documentation fro WSMAN
I even see that swicthes can be Micrsoft certified now for configuration with System Center and PowerShell
Arista & CISCO on board
You can use winrm from powershell
for the storage, you can assign VDs for blades only or LUNs can be used ?
Powershell has a WSMAN provider so you should definately look into that
would be great to get this from DELL
it is all playing an ever bigger deal in selecting hardware in the Windows world
@Khaled, you can assign VDs to blades
You first create VDs from physical disks using CMC user interface
and then assign the VDs to blades
@Khaled: The LUN are grouped into RAID containers, then VD are assigned out of the RAID containers.
What is the current estimated delievery time from order in EU on a VRTX?
Are SATA, NL-SAS, SAS 10k, SAS 15k and SSDs all available for the VRTX?
SATA is not
Rasmus: you can't even order it yet :)
What are the preferences for LCD usage vs GUI?
ahh, there's the list on bladesmadesimple
so no SATA but NL-SAS
@erson Kevin Houston to the rescue!
NL SAS should work right?
drive list here --> http://bladesmadesimple.com/2013/06/a-detailed-look-at-dell-poweredge-vrtx/
The VRTX LCD is more interactive
and you can share a VD between two or more blades ?
It can be used to setup IP settings
LCD interface can be used to switch KVM
Question - Do you guys use the LCD on the front of the M1000e ? If so, what do you use it for? Any suggestions for improvements?
Didier, NL-SAS and 200/400GB SAS... there's your SS storage tiering
There is also an LCD interface on VRTX, and the team would like to know if you find it useful
I use it when it glows orange to see how worried I should be
using the LCD on VRTX was really simple/fast for initial CMC setup when we had it in the lab
Dell TechCenter: hardly use it, good for some basic information though
Yes, you can share VDs betwewen multiple blades
@MichaelD - we LOLed at that one in the room
@Khaled: You can share a VD between any of the blades
Is SPERC the only non-redundant part?
faric a switch
or fabric a pass-through
@Babu and @MichaelB thanks
There are two PCie switches
Hardley use it unless something else is wrong, sort of a backup option
Did you guys know that there is a shared DVD drive on the VRTX that is assignable through the LCD? Very useful for OS deployments
One for fab B (first mezz card), 2nd PCie switch connected to fab C (2nd mezz)
Dell TechCenter: USB >>> DVD
The CMC is also redundant, there are two CMCs
@erson, yes, you get USB and DVD in teh chassis, which can be switched between baldes:
@erson, yes, you get USB and DVD in teh chassis, which can be switched between baldes'
Are the front USB ports shared?
@dennis: USB ports shared, no
The USB ports are assigned to whatever blade you have assigned the KVM to
We have a few minutes left on the chat - any final questions?
A compliment to finish
The DVD can be assigned seperatly from the KVM
The USB ports can be used for connecteing muse, keyboard, USB key, DVD driver, etc
It's a great formfactor
I assume they are USB 2.0?
yes usb 2.0
But they don't have power at the boot here at TechEd to power it up so I couldn't enjoy it's silence
@Didier - thanks for the compliment after all of the hard questions earlier
@Didier - haha. extra silent then
any plans to support booting from shared storage?
Looking forward to setting up my first VRTX when its released
It really is super quiet though, we couldn't hear it at all over the M1000e fans in the Dell TechCenter lab
@Rasmus, boot from shared, we are investigating. Its a tough challenge due to driver support, etc.
Any boot from memory card?
It would be local to the blade for the memory card
@didier: What memory card are you refering?
Great job by the Dell crew answering all our questions! And hopefully bringing back all the opinions we had about the very promising VRTX that clearly has the potential to fill other roles than just ROBO and small virtualization clusters and specialized application duties like Exchange.
You know like the interal USB or memory card for the hypervisor
BTW, you can go to teh Dell VRTX link by clicking on the VRTX picture on teh right
Yes, the blades have those slots
@DTC I can hardly hear my music over our M1000es when they kick the fans onto high power :P
mean the internal USB ports
The VRTX is about as quiet as my desktop at home
AS well as the SD slot for hypervisor
second what Dennis said - it's about as quiet as a regular desktop PC
how many fans used inside ?
4 blowers outside
OK we're coming up on the end of our time... last questions then we're shutting it down in a few minutes
Boss, I need a new computer
we have just the ticket for you
40-45dB is a bit over a regular desktop :) But quiet compared to other servers :)
LOL nice desktop pc ;)
I didn't say mine was regular desktop
@hypervfan - you won't go deaf after sitting next to it
can't say the same for M1000e
@Peter, I know
thanks everyone for showing up to the chat
Could store nice amounts of poxx, iso files for various Windows installations ehem
@hypervfan - i know all too well too, my old lab had a few next to my head
thanks for answering all these questions
Yes great to meet "the man" Babu!
everyone, we're going to wrap up now. as always the transcript from this chat will be online in the next couple of days. Thank you very much for your feedback
Great info about a great product that has a lot of potential
we hope you found this useful
no chat slated for next week?
Been fun. Thanks for all the feedback!
wee are getting kicked out of this conference room !
Thanks guys, talk to you all later
Thank you all
See you all
thx for the session