Dell VxRail systems offer a choice of Dell PowerEdge servers, powered by Intel Scalable or AMD EPYC processors, accelerated by NVIDIA data center GPUs and variable RAM and storage capacity. The VxRail system uses a modular, distributed system architecture that starts with as few as two nodes and scales near linearly up to 64 nodes. Single-node scaling and storage capacity expansion provide a predictable, “pay-as-you-grow” approach for future scale up and out as business and user requirements evolve.
Additional services that come with VxRail include Dell RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines (RecoverPoint for VMs) replication and Dell Secure Connect Gateway (SCG).
The VxRail software layers use VMware technology for server virtualization and software-defined storage. VxRail nodes are configured as VMware ESXi hosts, and VMs and services communicate using the virtual switches for logical networking.
VxRail systems are optimized for VMware vSAN software, which is fully integrated in the kernel of vSphere and provides full-featured and cost-effective software-defined storage. vSAN implements an efficient architecture, built directly into the hypervisor. This architecture distinguishes vSAN from solutions that typically install a virtual storage appliance (VSA) that runs as a guest VM on each host. Embedding vSAN into the ESXi kernel layer has advantages in performance and memory requirements. It has little impact on CPU utilization (less than 10 percent) and self-balances based on workload and resource availability. vSAN presents storage as a familiar datastore construct. It works seamlessly with other vSphere features, such as vSphere vMotion and Storage Policy Based Management, to provide the flexibility to easily configure the appropriate level of service for each VM.
vSphere is a well-established virtualization platform, a familiar usable entity in most data centers. Dell uses vSphere for ESXi based virtualization and VM networking in multiple product offerings, which support a common set of VMware and Dell services. This common set of services enables a VxRail implementation to integrate smoothly into VMware centric data centers and to operate in concert with Dell converged, hyperconverged, and traditional storage offerings. NSX for software-defined networking can optionally be added to the VxRail solution. VMware NSX Data Center transforms the network, similar to how vSphere and vSAN transform compute and storage respectively. NSX Data Center provides greater flexibility, agility, and security to overcome limitations of the physical network architecture.
For more information about VMware software, see Additional resources.