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How Advances in HCI Are Empowering the Next-Generation of Edge Computing

Hyperconverged infrastructure and edge computing are two of the fastest growing segments in the IT market, with vast potential to deliver a formidable one-two punch in accelerating IT modernization and digital transformation initiatives for organizations of all sizes, across all industries.

More than 70% of organizations are using or planning to use HCI, according to a survey by Evaluator Group, which describes HCI as a technology that has become “indispensable.” Major drivers of HCI growth are new use cases in edge computing, hybrid cloud and Kubernetes.  

Meanwhile, according to research by Research and Markets, edge computing will grow at a compound annual rate of 34.1% through 2025, reaching more than $15 billion. IDC predicts an 800% increase in the number of applications at the edge by 2024, with more than 50% of new enterprise infrastructure deployed at the edge by 2023.

There is a clear and expanding synergy and synchronicity between these two trends: Edge computing is growing in large part because organizations and data are becoming increasingly distributed and diverse, creating a need for more powerful IT solutions that are closer to where data is created. 

There can be major performance and business benefits to processing data locally. The output is available to the edge site more quickly because it is processed locally and does not have to travel to and from a centralized data center. Often, a huge data ingest can create a small but valuable result, and that information can be acted upon quickly. 

In addition to delivering greater performance at the edge, IT teams need to ensure that the technology used at edge locations is simple to deploy and manage, fitting seamlessly into centralized management or hybrid cloud environments. Often, these locations don’t have the advantage of IT specialists on site and in some cases have no local IT staff at all.

When it comes to delivering the power, performance, capacity, simplicity, efficiencies, hybrid cloud experience and virtually every other factor that goes into building a successful edge environment, HCI has always been a good fit. But now, HCI is practically a perfect fit—and a clear first option for most edge use cases—thanks to innovations advanced through joint engineering between Dell Technologies and VMware.

HCI advances that strengthen edge computing
As edge computing becomes more integral to IT modernization and digital transformation initiatives, the pressure increases on IT teams to deploy solutions that can deliver greater performance without increasing IT complexity or sacrificing other important HCI benefits, such as physical space, energy consumption or hybrid cloud integration.

In addition, IT teams bring greater value to the business when they can support edge workloads wherever they are required, including areas that may be susceptible to extreme weather conditions or factors such as constant movement or excessive vibrations, necessitating ruggedized solutions.

With the latest innovations in Dell EMC VxRail solutions, customers can take advantage of powerful HCI systems that can leverage automated one-click upgrades for many edge use cases, including: 

  • Space-constrained locations with the cost-effective, low-profile VxRail E Series, delivering performance, full automation, operational efficiencies and a GPU option for graphics-heavy workloads.
  • Ruggedized environments with the VxRail D Series, featuring a short-depth form factor that is temperature-resilient, shock-resistant and easily portable. 

Each solution across the Dell EMC VxRail portfolio can be configured with virtually any combination of storage, CPU, graphics and software to meet the highly specific requirements of any application or workload, whether traditional or cloud native.

Dell EMC VxRail also benefits from the curated experience of being the only solution jointly engineered with VMware, for VMware, to enhance VMware. Every VxRail solution is fully tested and validated with a seamless automated operational experience across the entire stack, including VMware HCI software.

Other new features that position Dell EMC VxRail with VMware as the leader in empowering the next generation of edge computing include:

  • Technology-leading performance in VxRail 7.0.100, to maximize IOPS and throughput with reduced latency. With advances in RAID 5, vSAN compression, NVMe cache and other capabilities, VxRail delivers leading performance and efficiency for mission-critical workloads, databases, workload consolidation and more.
  • Intel Optane Persistent Memory (PMem), which is a nonvolatile storage medium with RAM-like performance characteristics that provide performance gains for a variety of use cases. In App Direct mode, PMem delivers memory-like performance with low latency and high bandwidth. In Memory mode, PMem can support larger memory footprints such as SAP HANA.
  • SaaS multi-cluster management, which provides a centralized global view of infrastructure performance and capacity use across all edge locations. Integration with VxRail lifecycle management automatically determines the component versions of every cluster, recommends optimal component upgrades and can actively push nondisruptive system software and firmware upgrades out to each cluster to deliver automation at scale.
  • A unified cloud platform from the core to the edge. With VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail, customers can now extend the cloud operating model out to edge clusters. VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu on VxRail delivers a common management model for developers and IT administrators from core to edge to cloud.
  • Customized automation for edge environments. VxRail API lets organizations integrate into existing automation solutions or use scripts for automating IT processes and tasks, enabling simple integration with infrastructure-as-code environments such as Puppet, Ansible and Chef. In addition, customers can use Dell EMC VxRail Management Pack for vRealize Operations for a single, end-to-end view of VxRail Clusters powered by the VMware vRealize Operations analytics engine. This delivers actionable performance analysis and facilitates insight into the health of all VxRail clusters.

In addition to these innovative features and capabilities, Dell EMC VxRail customers can take advantage of a wide range of other services from Dell, including on-demand consumption and deployment, consulting and support services. 

Taking the next step
Edge computing is transforming IT and businesses. With more activities taking place outside of the traditional data center—and uses such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning—every organization has the power to leverage the edge to deliver more intelligent and powerful customer experiences.

The growth of edge computing is also putting additional pressure on IT. IT teams must ensure their solutions can meet the needs of edge locations, which demand simplicity, speed, capacity, performance and agility. Using modern solutions designed to meet the specific needs of edge environments, including extensive use of automation, gives organizations a greater opportunity to innovate and achieve competitive advantage across all applications, traditional and cloud native.

 HCI has emerged as the platform of choice for edge environments. But not just any HCI solution will do. To learn about the advantages of Dell EMC VxRail with VMware for your edge computing needs, please visit Dell Technologies.

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