VxFlex integrated rack is a rack-scale engineered system, with integrated networking, that provides linear scalability and enterprise-grade availability. VxFlex integrated rack is engineered, manufactured, managed, supported, and sustained as one system for single end-to-end life cycle support.
VxFlex integrated systems create a server-based SAN by combining virtualization software, which is known as VxFlex OS, with Dell EMC PowerEdge servers to deliver flexible, scalable performance and capacity on demand. Local storage resources are combined to create a virtual pool of block storage with varying performance tiers. An important building block of VxFlex integrated rack is the compute part, which consumes the storage volumes from the system. The VxFlex integrated rack enables you to scale from a small environment to enterprise scale with over a thousand nodes. In addition, it provides enterprise grade data protection, multi-tenant capabilities, and add-on enterprise features such as QoS, thin provisioning, and snapshots. VxFlex systems deliver the performance and time-to-value required to meet the demands of the modern enterprise data center.
Figure 2. VxFlex integrated rack benefits
VxFlex appliance is a preconfigured and validated for fast, easy deployment, VxFlex appliance offers a turnkey experience in an economic form factor. With VxFlex appliance, customers benefit from a smaller starting point, with massive scale potential, without having to compromise on performance and resiliency.
VxFlex Ready Nodes combine Dell EMC PowerEdge servers that are powered by Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors and VxFlex OS software to create scalable, reliable, and easy-to-deploy building blocks for hyperconverged or server SAN architecture, multi-hypervisor or bare metal environments, and high-performance databases.
VxFlex OS is software that creates a server and IP-based SAN from direct-attached storage to deliver flexible and scalable performance and capacity on demand. As an alternative to a traditional SAN infrastructure, VxFlex OS combines HDD, SSD, and NVMe media to create virtual pools of block storage with varying performance tiers. VxFlex OS provides enterprise-grade data protection, multi-tenant capabilities, and add-on enterprise features such as QoS, thin provisioning, and snapshots. VxFlex OS supports physical and virtualized servers, has been proven to deliver significant TCO savings vs. traditional SAN.
VxFlex OS consists of three primary components: Meta Data Manager (MDM), Storage Data Client (SDC) and Storage Data Server (SDS). The MDMs work the brain of the system and are responsible for managing metadata and core functions such as automated rebuild and rebalance, which ensure data access as media and servers fail. The SDC runs like an agent or daemon on a server and acts like a highly available HBA to connect to storage cluster to consume the storage as required by the application workload. The SDSs are installed on every compute node and are daemons that contribute storage to the storage cluster. SDCs communicate directly with the SDSs. When an SDC gets an I/O request from the application, it sees the cached metadata map, and sends the request directly to the SDS, which contains the requested data.
VxFlex Manager is a unified management and automation solution for the VxFlex integrated rack and the VxFlex appliance that enables template-based provisioning of infrastructure and workloads. It provides monitoring, alerting, and health status of hardware and services. It simplifies and automates lifecycle management of diverse and heterogeneous IT resources. It enables users to respond rapidly and reliably to dynamic business needs.
VxFlex Manager is a comprehensive IT Operations Management (ITOM) software purpose that is built for VxFlex to automate and simplify implementation, expansion, and lifecycle management.
VxFlex Manager brings together multiple management consoles, workflow automation, and an intuitive interface that allows customers to monitor, manage, deploy, and maintain physical and virtual resources with the click of a button. Key tenets of the VxFlex Manager architecture include:
VxFlex OS management is available using a GUI, CLI, and REST clients. There is a VMware vSphere® plug-in that allows VMware admins to deploy, upgrade, configure, and manage VxFlex OS in an ESXi environment within VMware vSphere.