Part IV Dell Technology World 2018 PowerEdge MX Gen-Z Composable Infrastructure

May 9, 2018 – 7:40 pm
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Part IV Dell Technology World 2018 PowerEdge MX Gen-Z Composable Infrastructure

Part IV Dell Technology World 2018 PowerEdge MX Gen-Z Composable Infrastructure
This is Part IV Dell Technology World 2018 PowerEdge MX Gen-Z Composable Infrastructure that is part of a five-post series (view part I here, part II here, part III here and part V here). Last week (April 30-May 3) I traveled to Las Vegas Nevada (LAS) to attend Dell Technology World 2018 (e.g., DTW 2018) as a guest of Dell (that is a disclosure btw).

Introducing PowerEdge MX Composable Infrastructure (the other CI)

Dell announced at Dell Technology World 2018 a preview of the new PowerEdge MX (kinetic) family of data infrastructure resource servers. PowerEdge MX is being developed to meet the needs of resource-centric data infrastructures that require scalability, as well as performance availability, capacity, economic (PACE) flexibility for diverse workloads. Read more about Dell PowerEdge MX, Gen-Z and composable infrastructures (the other CI) here.

Some of the workloads being targeted by PowerEdge MX include large-scale dense SDDC virtualization (and containers), private (or public clouds by service providers). Other workloads include AI, ML, DL, data analytics, HPC, SC, big data, in-memory database, software-defined storage (SDS), software-defined networking (SDN), network function virtualization (NFV) among others.

The new PowerEdge MX previewed will be announced later in 2018 featuring a flexible, decomposable, as well as composable architecture that enables resources to be disaggregated and reassigned or aggregated to meet particular needs (e.g., defined or composed). Instead of traditional software defined virtualization carving up servers in smaller virtual machines or containers to meet workload needs, PowerEdge MX is part of a next-generation approach to enable server resources to be leveraged at a finer granularity.

For example, today an entire server including all of its sockets, cores, memory, PCIe devices among other resources get allocated and defined for use. A server gets defined for use by an operating system when bare metal (or Metal as a Service) or a hypervisor. PowerEdge MX (and other platforms expected to enter the market) have a finer granularity where with a proper upper layer (or higher altitude) software resources can be allocated and defined to meet different needs.

What this means is the potential to allocate resources to a given server with more granularity and flexibility, as well as combine multiple server’s resources to create what appears to be a more massive server. There are vendors in the market who have been working on and enabling this type of approach for several years ranging from ScaleMP to startup Liqid and Tidal among others. However, at the heart of the Dell PowerEdge MX is the new emerging Gen-Z technology.

If you are not familiar with Gen-Z, add it to your buzzword bingo lineup and learn about it as it is coming your way. A brief overview of Gen-Z consortium and Gen-Z material and primer information here. A common question is if Gen-Z is a replacement for PCIe which for now is that they will coexist and complement each other. Another common question is if Gen-Z will replace Ethernet and InfiniBand and the answer is for now they complement each other. Another question is if Gen-Z will replace Intel Quick Path and another CPU device and memory interconnects and the answer is potentially, and in my opinion, watch to see how long Intel drags its feet.

Note that composability is another way of saying defined without saying defined, something to pay attention too as well as have some vendor fun with. Also, note that Dell is referent to PowerEdge MX and Kinetic architecture which is not the same as the Seagate Kinetic Ethernet-based object key value accessed drive initiative from a few years ago (learn more about Seagate Kinetic here). Learn more about Gen-Z and what Dell is doing here.

Where to learn more

Learn more about Dell Technology World 2018 and related topics via the following links:

Additional learning experiences along with common questions (and answers), as well as tips can be found in Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials book.

Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials Book SDDC

What this all means

Dell has provided a glimpse of what they are working on pertaining composable infrastructure, the other CI, as well as Gen-Z and related next generation of servers with PowerEdge MX as well as Kinetic. Stay tuned for more about Gen-Z and composable infrastructures. Continue reading Part V (servers converged) in this series here, as well as part I here, part II here and part III here.

Ok, nuff said, for now.

Cheers Gs

Greg Schulz – Microsoft MVP Cloud and Data Center Management, VMware vExpert 2010-2017 (vSAN and vCloud). Author of Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press), as well as Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press), Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier) and twitter @storageio. Courteous comments are welcome for consideration. First published on https://storageioblog.com any reproduction in whole, in part, with changes to content, without source attribution under title or without permission is forbidden.

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