Dell has announced that the Dell PowerEdge FX converged architecture, introduced last November, has already helped customers around the world better manage, scale and budget for infrastructure to meet the needs of the business now and into the future. Dell also introduced three new modules for the PowerEdge FX portfolio to help organizations quickly configure complete workloads using modular building blocks of IT resources.

Dell is celebrating its 20-year anniversary providing customers its PowerEdge servers. In 1995, five percent of the company’s revenue came from server sales and Dell had just three percent market share, ranking seventh in server unit shipments(1). Fast forward to today and Dell holds the No. 2 position in the global x86 server market - a market that has grown more than 600 percent since 1996. Dell currently has 21 percent unit share, is the only top-three server vendor to gain worldwide unit share year over year(2), and is growing its server portfolio at more than two times the pace of the industry(3) with customer-inspired innovations such as PowerEdge FX propelling the company forward.

Customers and partners choose PowerEdge FX to revolutionize data centers

By combining the density and efficiencies of blade servers with the simplicity and cost advantages of rack-based systems, the PowerEdge FX architecture has enabled customers to address changing workload demands while providing high reliability, availability and serviceability. Customers such as a large e-commerce in Asia purchased more than ten thousand of FX servers over competitive solutions, while an investment management institution headquartered in the U.S. purchased hundreds to help them run their sophisticated data analysis and trading systems to better enable their customers. More specifically:

Stack Overflow, an online community for programmers that allows users to exchange questions and answers to help with everyday programming needs, needed to update their existing data center to control rack space and optimize performance for an increase in web traffic. The company decided to update their infrastructure with the latest solutions from Dell including the PowerEdge FX platform.

“By choosing to deploy Dell PowerEdge FX2 chassis with FC630s, along with Dell 13th generation PowerEdge servers, we are able to start with a smaller form factor and pack a lot of power into a more compact solution,” said George Beech, Site Reliability Engineer (SRE), Stack Overflow. “We now have a flexible IT solution that allows us to add servers with different processors and memory sizes to maximize online performance and meet workload demands.”

Tapad, a leader in cross-device content delivery, has more than doubled their business year-over-year since the company was founded in 2010. Their proprietary technology, the Tapad Device Graph, leverages a sophisticated data and analytics pipeline to enable near real time cross-device decisions. Tapad turned to the PowerEdge FX architecture to address their need for a flexible IT solution that could scale to meet business growth demands.

“The PowerEdge FX2 with FC630s’ building block design aligns well with our distributed computing architecture, helping us meet our technology requirements today while allowing us to predictably plan for continued expansion in the future,” said Ryan Tennant, vice president of Technical Operations, Tapad. “The solution uniquely combines blade compute density with the reduced failure domain, storage density, and cost advantages of rack servers. Its 2U converged infrastructure chassis simplifies management and lets us save on space and power, lowering our total cost of ownership.”

Redapt, a Dell solutions provider that delivers integration and engineering services to enterprise and hyper-scale clients, is realizing strong interest and adoption of PowerEdge FX.

“PowerEdge FX is addressing the next generation requirements of our customers. Dell’s solution, combined with Redapt services, is proving to be a compelling overall offering. Our clients are now getting more density in fully integrated and ready to run datacenter racks provided by our integration centers,” said David Cantu, Co-Founder and COO, Redapt, Inc.

Leading influencers have also credited Dell for its unique approach to converged infrastructure with PowerEdge FX. Charles King, principle analyst at Pund-IT has stated that the “PowerEdge FX architecture could re-write the book on converged design,” while a Forrester Research report by Richard Fichera states that the PowerEdge FX architecture “is a harbinger of the likely future direction of mainstream enterprise servers…it will also prove to be a wakeup call for its competitors(4).”

Dell PowerEdge FX portfolio expanded for further infrastructure flexibility

The Dell PowerEdge FX portfolio will include three new modules to offer enterprises even more options for changing application demands. This gives customers even more ability to add or swap IT building blocks–into a 2U converged infrastructure chassis. The new building blocks include:

PowerEdge FD332, a half-width storage block that provides up to 16 direct-attached small form factor (SFF) storage devices (meaning customers can provision up to 48 SFF storage devices in a 2U FX2 chassis) that enables dense, highly flexible, scale-out solutions. PowerEdge FX servers can be attached to a single FD332 or multiple FD332s, allowing customers to combine servers and storage in a wide variety of configurations to address specific processing needs.

PowerEdge FC430, a quarter-width, half-height server block that has the ability to host applications in smaller, physically discrete servers to minimize the risk of system failures. With the FC430 organizations can host more than 72 percent more virtual desktop users in 10 times less space than Cisco UCS(5) for better total cost of ownership. The FC430 features Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors, with up to 8 memory DIMMs and it has two versions – one with up to two 1.8-inch SATA flash drives that is ideal for mainstream enterprise workloads and distributed environments needing higher levels of reliability; and another with one 1.8-inch drive and an InfiniBand port that is ideal for applications needing lower levels of latency such as HPC and high frequency trading.

PowerEdge FC830, a full-width, half-height 4-socket server block that runs a wide range of database driven, mission critical applications for midsize and large businesses. The FC830 is powered by up to four next-generation multi-core Intel Xeon processors, has 3TB of memory, up to 8 PCIe expansion slots, up to sixteen 1.8-inch SATA flash drives or eight 2.5-inch drives, a dual-port 10Gb SNA and support for Express Flash NVMe PCIe SSDs. The combination of performance and data access also makes this server ideal for large-scale virtualization or the database tier of WebTech and HPC environments.

PowerEdge FX is designed with integrated management capabilities that allow customers to easily configure, manage and add capacity to complete workload-specific blocks of IT resources. Customers can choose the systems management style that best fits their needs – by managing servers individually like traditional rack servers or managing collectively as many do with blade servers.

“With PowerEdge FX, Dell gives customers more freedom than ever to build the converged infrastructure they need to solve business needs of today and into the future,” said Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, vice president and general manager, Dell Server Solutions. “By providing customers greater business agility and offering even more ways to optimize the building blocks of server, storage and networking to their workloads, we will continue to build on the great momentum we have seen to date with customers, partners and influencers.”

1) According to Dataquest Q2 1995 data
2) According to IDC Q4 2014 Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker
3) According to IDC Q4 2014 Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker; excludes Dell from industry calculations
4) Forrester Research, Inc., “Quick Take: Dell’s FX Architecture Holds Promise To Power Modern Services”, Rich Fichera, Glen O’Donnell, Andrew Hewitt, Nov 4, 2014
5) Based on December 2014 testing by Principled Technologies, commissioned by Dell–comparing the Dell PowerEdge FX2 with a FC430 webserver and FS332 storage to the legacy Cisco UCS with a B200 M2