Dell Integrated System for Azure Stack HCI (Azure Stack HCI) is an ideal solution for organizations that are refreshing and modernizing their aging virtualization environments to support high-value, highly performant workloads. This all-in-one validated hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) system includes full-stack life cycle management, native integration into Microsoft Azure, flexible consumption models, and solution-level enterprise support and services expertise.
Azure Stack HCI offers a broad portfolio of intelligently designed AX nodes that are workload-focused and validated with deliberately selected hardware components and BIOS, firmware, and driver revisions. High-performance architectures leverage technologies such as 25/100 GbE RDMA networking and all-NVMe storage configurations. Our engineering organization also validates scalable and switchless storage networking topologies using Dell PowerSwitch network switches. We also provide prescriptive guidance on expanding clusters to accommodate future workload demand.
Dell OpenManage Integration with Microsoft Windows Admin Center enables automatic cluster creation with the Dell HCI Configuration Profile and one-click full-stack life cycle management using Cluster-Aware Updating. This ensures that Azure Stack HCI is deployed in a guided and consistent way and helps maintain the latest quality, security, and performance enhancements. Microsoft and Dell Technologies provide extensions and snap-ins that reduce risk, eliminate guesswork, and liberate IT administrators to focus on performance tuning and other high-value activities.
Azure Stack HCI's native integration with Microsoft Azure allows IT administrators to leverage feature-rich management and governance services such as Azure Monitor, Azure Security Center, and Azure Policy. These services are consistent with and complementary to Microsoft Windows Admin Center, which serves as the edge or local, always-available management console. Microsoft continually adds new innovative functionality to Microsoft Azure services to ensure that even the most complex and demanding VM-based and containerized applications are properly monitored and performing at the levels that are required to meet SLAs.
In this white paper, we demonstrate how the architectural components of the Dell Integrated System work together to deliver extraordinary value to high-performing workloads. We performed synthetic testing on an Azure Stack HCI cluster running four AX-7525 nodes, each populated with two AMD EPYC 7742 64-core processors, 24 NVMe drives (PCIe Gen 4), and 100 GbE RDMA networking. This configuration delivered the following results:
- 5,727,985 IOPS at 1.3-millisecond latency using a 4 KB block size and 100% random-read I/O profile.
- 700,256 IOPS at 9-millisecond latency using a 4 KB block size and 100% random-write I/O profile.
- 105 GB/s and 8 GB/s throughput for 100% sequential-read and 100% sequential-write I/O profile, respectively, using 512k block sizes.
- Even with two nodes failed, the cluster delivered 3,842,997 IOPS at under 1-millisecond latency using a 4 KB block size and 100% random-read I/O profile.