Dell VRTX Datacenter in a box announcement

Earlier today, Dell announced the VRTX (http://www.dell.com/Learn/us/en/555/shared-infrastructure) which is their new remote / branch office datacenter in a box solution.  Breaking it down into bullet points may make understanding exactly what they’re doing a little bit easier…

Dell PowerEdge VRTX Features

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  • Up to four 2-socket, half-height M520 & M620 server nodes combine superb performance with exceptional flexibility
  • M620 – 50% more memory than nearest competitor for greater consolidation and virtualization
  • M520 – outstanding platform for mainstream business applications
  • Enterprise-class high availability features
  • First to market with dual SD cards for redundant hypervisors
  • RAID options for specific needs
  • Optional hot plug and swappable power supply units, HDD’s and fans in the VRTX chassis
  • Comprehensive, intelligent systems management
  • 5U Tower Chassis (Rackable)
  • Front KVM access / LCD Display / USB / Optional DVD-RW
  • Office level acoustics & power (100V – 240V)
  • Hot Plug HDDs: 12 x 3.5” or 25 x 2.5”
  • 8 Flexible PCIe slots – assignable to compute nodes
  • 3 FH/FL with DW card support (225W)
  • 5 LP/HL 75W
  • Ethernet (1GbE)
  • 1GbE internal switch module is standard
  • Optional Pass-Thru Module with 8 1GbE ports
  • Switch QoS provides priority of traffic
  • 1100W AC at RTS
  • Optional redundant management controller

[/unordered_list]

Now if you’ve gone through and read that you’re probably thinking to yourself “Holy hell that’s a ton of stuff inside a single box!”  And you’d be right.  But it’s an interesting move on Dell’s part and here’s why.  Traditionally branch / remote offices have been relegated to the dark and cold basement corner that no typical IT department wants to think about.  They don’t want to have to keep track of storage, networking and compute power across tens or hundreds of sites, and often times are stressed enough managing their primary facilities which is why the VRTX makes so much sense.  Included in the VRTX packaging is a geographical dashboard of deployed boxes which makes management and insight into what each office is doing effortless.

Instead of having a dedicated network rack in these remote / branch offices you can now deploy a single 5U device which by default comes in a tower configuration with acoustics that are on par with typical office workstations but includes networking, storage, and up to 4 M620 blades for high availability.  Depending on the pricing, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about the VRTX announcement, and if / how you would utilize the device in your infrastructure.

Read on past the break where I give you a couple of reasons why I think the WAN optimization company SilverPeak may be Dell’s next acquisition.

Is SilverPeak Dell’s possible next acquisition?

If memory serves me correctly I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned SilverPeak here before, but who knows I could be wrong.  Basically SilverPeak is a datacenter focused WAN optimization company.  They create physical and virtual appliances that can accelerate and optimize WAN connections from 1mbps to 20gbps and as a personal rule are my go to company for recommending DC to DC optimization appliances.

Now why do I think SilverPeak could be Dell’s next acquisition?

First off even though SilverPeak is a partner with nearly everyone under the Sun, it always seems that they announce new products featuring one of Dell’s storage or server products.  Case in point? about 5 minutes after word of the VRTX was announced by Dell, SilverPeak threw up this video on their YouTube account highlighting their virtual WAN optimization appliance and how it can integrate with the Dell VRTX.

Now you may be asking yourself, why on earth would Dell have a need for a WAN optimization company under their umbrella of recently acquired companies?  Well let’s look at what exactly is under that umbrella…

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  • Compellent
  • Equallogic
  • Quest Software
  • SonicWall
  • Force10 Networks
  • AppAssure

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Taken separately these acquisitions don’t really show any trend in particular, but look at them as a whole and you begin to see what Dell has been up to.  They’re creating a cloud & big data focused company and getting away from pure hardware sales.  Dell’s master plan is to sell you everything you’d need to enable you to build out a public or private cloud infrastructure from a single vendor and the Dell VRTX is the latest example in their new consolidation mindset.  Now, with the advent of big data, clouds, and ever increasing requirements for things like disaster recovery solutions what’s the one thing you see missing from this picture?  That’s right, an efficient way of getting data from one site to another.

In my opinion SilverPeak is in a prime position to be acquired by Dell in an effort to fill the need of data transference from one point to another.  And honestly if it weren’t for the recent snafu with the privatization effort being driven by Mr Dell it probably would have happened already.  Now I could be wrong, but to me it makes perfect sense as one of the final pieces in Dell’s acquisition portfolio.

As always I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.