Due to more options and growing complexity, managing IT infrastructure in a data center is becoming increasingly difficult. Changing data center infrastructure that has evolved over time can significantly affect stability, performance, costs, and upgradability.
Dell EMC Ready Stack solutions are proven, tested, and optimized to help organizations meet long-term data center needs for a variety of mixed workloads. This Ready Stack solution provides the simplicity of a complete, yet flexible, validated converged infrastructure (CI) that is based on the following components:
- Dell EMC Isilon storage
- Dell EMC Unity XT storage
- Dell EMC PowerEdge servers
- Dell EMC PowerSwitch S-Series switches
- VMware vSphere virtualization platform
This solution provides:
- One trusted vendor for all CI stack components—compute, storage, networking, and data protection
- Design and deployment guidance that incorporates validation, interoperability testing, and best practices
- Design guidance that focuses on scale, flexibility, and high availability
- A reference architecture that incorporates physical topology diagrams and general connectivity guidelines
- Unified management and system monitoring through VMware vCenter
The challenge: managing unstructured data
Unstructured data is growing at a far faster rate than that of traditional transactional-based storage. Unstructured data either has no predefined data model or no predefined manner of organization, or both. Anything that cannot be expressed in a spreadsheet can be thought of as unstructured data. Examples include videos, PDF files, social data, social media inputs, sensor inputs, and language data.
Unstructured data can come from various sources: mobile/web applications; social media; logistical, tracking, and supply chain capture points; and the Internet of Things, such as smart sensors and intelligent devices.
An organization's unstructured data might be scattered across numerous locations among various teams and suborganizations. Siloed data has limited usefulness because it cannot be used by all the departments and business units that could extract value from it. Adding Isilon storage to your traditional storage environment can help unlock the value of your unstructured data through better consolidation, optimization, organization, collaboration, and insight through business intelligence and analytics.
The Isilon OneFS operating system provides the power and tools to consolidate, administer, and manage the growth of unstructured data efficiently so that it can be used prescriptively across your entire organization. This capability enables you to analyze the data, unlocking value beyond the recording of an event or timestamp. Analysis can reveal patterns, trends, and associations that serve a business purpose, including targeted advertising, real-time analytics, business intelligence, predictive analytics, and performance monitoring.
This Ready Stack provides the following key benefits:
- Resiliency—The Ready Stack architecture ensures that no single point of failure exists. Redundancy is incorporated in the critical aspects of the Ready Stack, which includes server high-availability features, redundant networking, and multipath storage.
- Virtualization support—We designed this Ready Stack for general-purpose virtualized workloads. Each server is equipped with suitable processing power, memory, and connection options to support Ethernet or Fibre Channel (FC)-attached storage. Each server also supports multiple transport protocols for added deployment flexibility. Various integration points provide for advanced functionality and increased visibility of your end-to-end virtualized environment.
- Scalability—You can configure this Ready Stack to suit your virtualized infrastructure needs. The Ready Stack supports flexibility in the form of various options, such as server model, number of compute servers, server processor model, server memory capacity, type of Isilon and Unity XT storage, and storage capacity.
- Storage intelligence—Dell EMC Isilon scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) solutions combine three layers of traditional storage architectures—file system, volume manager, and data protection—into one unified software layer, creating a single intelligent distributed file system that runs on an Isilon storage cluster. The Isilon OneFS operating system is ideally suited for file-based and unstructured data applications in enterprise environments, including large-scale home directories, file shares, archives, virtualization, and business analytics.
This Ready Stack includes the Unity XT All-Flash storage platform for cost-effective and efficient handling of traditional block storage. With all-inclusive software and increased density, these all-flash systems deliver consistent performance with low response times and are ideal for mixed virtual workload requirements.
- Integrated Dell EMC management—This Ready Stack includes the following Dell EMC management tools:
- Dell EMC OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter—A virtual appliance that enables administrators to view physical host details in VMware vSphere.
- Dell EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI)—A vCenter plug-in that enables administrators to view, manage, and optimize storage for vSphere servers and hosts.
- Dell EMC Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller 9 (iDRAC9)—An out-of-band (OOB) management tool for Dell EMC PowerEdge rack servers. iDRAC9 has its own HTML5-based UI and can be accessed through various methods, including SSH, RACADM, and the Redfish API. iDRAC9 Group Manager provides a one-to-many console for accessing the details of multiple servers. Administrators can also use Dell EMC OpenManage Enterprise to manage server content that is accessible through iDRAC9.
- Dell EMC OpenManage Enterprise—A systems management and monitoring application that provides a comprehensive view of the Dell EMC servers, storage, and switches on the enterprise network. The application’s intuitive one‑to-many HTML5 management console is deployed as a virtual appliance for VMware ESXi and other platforms.