XC Core HCI Solutions from Dell EMC – Part 1

Welcome to this blog series focusing on Dell EMC’s XC Core HCI Solutions and it’s integration with Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud software stack.

This series aims to answer most of the common question we come across and there’s certainly a lot to cover! We have decided to break this series into multiple parts. We hope to dispel a few misconceptions out there and leave you better informed in regards to the XC Core solution as a whole.

First off, you probably want to know who we are. Personally, I had spent 10 years at Dell Inc, prior to Dell Technologies. Upon coming back and heading into this GEOS team, I had spoken to a few of my old colleagues and friends here at Dell and said that I would be joining the GEOS team. Most of them said never heard of it.

Well GEOS, Global Engineering Outreach Specialist, is a team of Engineering Technologist that work cross-functionally to support a product line; in my case XC. We have 4 pillars of responsibility:

  • Engineering support for Presales
  • Technical Enablement
  • Broad Evangelism
  • Product Enhancement

As you can see on any given day you can catch us doing anything from engaging with account teams on customer presentations, supporting Proof of Concepts, delivering training, creating solution content, meeting with partner (Nutanix) or engaging with engineering team discussing roadmaps and feature developments/releases.

We are here for you and if you ever need to engage us you can drop us a line at xc.goes@dell.com.

Dell EMC XC Family

The Dell EMC XC solution itself are the “XC Core” nodes. An XC Core node consists of a Dell EMC PowerEdge server integrated with Nutanix’s software. This allows us to offer one of the industry’s most versatile and scalable HCI platforms. With factory-installed Nutanix software and a choice of hypervisors, XC Family systems can be deployed quickly for all virtualized workloads to reduce management complexity and total cost of ownership.

Dell EMC has coming on 8 years of experience integrating hardware and software for appliances built on PowerEdge servers across 3 generations of XC Family appliances and systems. That experience has enabled Dell Technologies to develop technologies that simplify and streamline common workflows performed throughout the XC product’s lifecycle, including:

  • Factory installation of the software stack and hypervisor
  • Software modules that deliver fast and seamless deployment
  • Tools developed specifically for HCI to simplify workflow orchestration across a cluster
  • 1 Click software, firmware and hypervisor updates without downtime or disruption of cluster operations

The bottom line for customers: rapid deployment, less time for routine management tasks, faster system restoration, and built-in, enterprise class hardware security. Why settle for anything less?

A Brief History of the Dell Technologies and Nutanix Relationship

Dell Technologies and Nutanix have been working together to offer a fully integrated offering that optimizes the customer experience since 2014. Since day 1 Dell Technologies and Nutanix have worked closely to ensure that our customers receive the best HCI solution available. Dell EMC was the first OEM to offer Nutanix Enterprise Cloud backed by the “XC” family of servers and is continuing its long-term partnership since 2014 with more than 2,200 joint customers and 32,000 XC Family systems already proven and delivered.

As you can imagine, as with any relationship, we have evolved and changed focus from time to time, but we can assure you that the relationship remains strong to this day as can be witnessed by the recent contract renewal between both companies.

Along the way we have launched solutions based on the 13G, 14G, and 15G PowerEdge platforms, integrated LCM (Nutani’x Life Cycle Management software) between iDRAC and Prism for easy 1-click upgrades of the entire solution and integrated the Nutanix Foundation installation workflow.

Dell Technologies and Nutanix are already leaning heavily into investments into 15G and 16G. Any concerns around the partnership should be allayed given again that history and where we’re at today.

In short, you can be confident that Dell and Nutanix have been and continue to be great partners that provides a broad portfolio for any workload in your environment, whether that is on premises or in the cloud.

Now, let’s put Dell EMC XC Core offering into content in terms of Dell Technologies over all HCI solutions offerings.

Dell Technologies position HCI solutions based on software alignment and level of integration, all built on PowerEdge server platforms. What does that mean?

For customers that have standardized on a VMware environment and are looking for the fastest possible IT outcomes in this space, the best option continues to be VxRail – whether deployed as appliances or fully integrated racks, with the option to include networking, and choice of core HCI with vSAN or full cloud stack with VMware Cloud Foundation.

For customers who have a mixed hypervisor environment and are looking to run a shared infrastructure or as bare metal, the best option is PowerFlex which can be deployed as either HCI or a Server SAN for a variety of high-performance applications and databases, private cloud or consolidation use cases.

And, for customers who want a partner-aligned solution based on Microsoft or Nutanix, we have:

Microsoft Azure Stack HCI appliance. Azure Stack HCI leverages Hyper-V and PowerEdge Servers to deliver a fully productized, validated, and supported HCI solution.

And, of course, we have the XC Family of servers for customers who have standardized on the Nutanix software HCI and Enterprise cloud stack.

Partner aligned offerings remain as best option for customers who prefer to maintain responsibility for software and hardware lifecycle management, but want to deploy HCI software on optimized, pre-validated PowerEdge servers.

Dell recognizes that in order to maintain its leadership position, partner aligned HCI solutions will continue to be an important element of Dell’s multi-cloud strategy to maintain its market leadership, and partners who wish to also focus on these HCI solutions will play a pivotal role.

Nutanix software and services merge the simplicity and agility of public cloud with the performance, security, and economics of private cloud — inside your datacenter. One-click operations, intelligent automation, and native resilience keep your applications always on — so I.T can focus on delivering impactful services, strategic innovation, and delightful customer experiences.

With Nutanix integrated XC Core servers at it’s foundations one can realize the benefits of an end-to-end integrated solution.

In the next post we’ll look why you should consider Dell EMC XC Core for Nutanix Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solutions. We’ll break apart the “integration” statement to dive a littler deeper on what co-engineering efforts between Dell Technologies and Nutanix brings.

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