New Dell Systems Management Capabilities bolster customer successes for fast-growing Dell PowerEdge FX2 Modular Infrastructure

Via Dell

Jul 21, 2016

  • Dell PowerEdge FX2 drives industry blade server market with triple-digit percentage growth year-over-year in revenue and unit since its launch in 20141

  • Updates to systems management portfolio help further maximize IT productivity and business continuity

Dell today announced updates to the systems management portfolio for the Dell PowerEdge FX2 modular infrastructure to help customers further maximize IT productivity and business continuity. The new features enhance provisioning and infrastructure visibility, plus add support for Nagios users and open source applications.

Dell’s overall blade server growth is bolstered by the PowerEdge FX2, which is significantly outpacing industry blade server growth. The PowerEdge FX2 has demonstrated triple-digit percentage growth year-over-year in unit and revenue over the previous four quarters, contributing substantially to PowerEdge blade server gains, since its launch in 20141 . According to IDC, Dell PowerEdge blade servers experienced 34 percent year-over-year revenue growth and grew 17 percent faster than the industry in the first quarter of 2016.2

"Our customers are interested in making their IT infrastructure more flexible and efficient to address evolving business and workload demands in real-time." said Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, vice president and general manager, Dell Server Solutions. "With strong systems management capabilities, the PowerEdge FX2 can help customers meet their goals by supporting traditional applications and new workloads driven by social, mobile, analytics and cloud computing in a modular infrastructure. These attributes combined with recent customer successes is driving unprecedented growth."

Improved Management and Industry Software Integration for Dell PowerEdge FX2

Dell has enhanced its systems management software to take advantage of the unique engineering of the Dell PowerEdge FX2 and is designed to simplify and automate critical hardware management tasks. New capabilities and updates enhance the user experience with improved ease of provisioning for virtualized workloads, plug-ins for Nagios users, and comprehensive infrastructure visibility and flexibility to run open source applications. This includes:

  • Dell OpenManage Essentials 2.2 enables fast provisioning of I/O aggregators with template-based processes that easily and uniformly replicate the assignment of vLANs during the blade port mapping process, which ensures simplicity and accuracy in network set-up. The new geographic view feature enables quick, easy location access to PowerEdge FX2 systems onsite or across the globe with manageability across 5500 devices. Additionally, seamless integration with SupportAssist 3 provides proactive, predictive support and automated case creation to resolve hardware issues up to 90% faster with ProSupport Plus4
  • The new OpenManage plug-in for Nagios XI 1.0 extracts detailed PowerEdge FX2 infrastructure information from the Dell Chassis Management Controller and server embedded intelligence, iDRAC with Lifecycle Controller, delivering a unified set of alerts and health monitoring details to Nagios XI administrators. As a result, customers can continue using their Nagios XI console to monitor Dell hardware without additional tools or training while achieving a higher return on their investment.
  • New Active System Manager (ASM) 8.2 capabilities enable fast and easy on-boarding and deployment of IT services across multiple chassis, server, storage and networking devices. The port view provides a visual mapping of physical and virtual infrastructures and any connectivity issues to allow for quick troubleshooting to help IT teams maintain business continuity and deliver more consistent, reliable IT services. Additionally, a new software developer kit (SDK) simplifies creating and deploying complex applications using readily available open source modules.

Customers and Partners Choose PowerEdge FX2 to Revolutionize Data Centers

With the Dell PowerEdge FX2 and Dell system management software, customers across 70 countries are taking advantage of the integrated building blocks of servers, storage and networking that help them achieve data center flexibility and efficiency without having to overhaul their existing infrastructure. Examples include:

Tracewell Systems , an Ohio-based Dell OEM partner, makes it possible for defense agencies, commercial businesses and OEMs to deploy Dell’s powerful FX architecture "beyond the back office," in settings where standard systems are not designed to operate, such as space-constrained or rugged environments. Engineered from the ground up, in partnership with Dell OEM Solutions, the Tracewell T-FX2 products feature identical compute, network, storage and system management tools, making them fully interoperable with Dell PowerEdge FX technology. The T-FX2 family of products currently includes three distinct platforms: T-FX2 for solutions that require Dell’s FX2 in a smaller form factor; T-FX2s for solutions that require integration with full-size, high-power PCIe cards or specialty hardware; and T-FX2e for the next generation of hyper-converged, storage-intensive applications.

"The Tracewell T-FX2 family of products is perfect for customers who want to deliver workloads optimized for the data center – big data analytics, software-defined storage, VDI – on converged platforms that can operate in small or unusual places," says Matt Tracewell, vice president at Tracewell Systems. With the Dell PowerEdge FX2, we can deliver modular building blocks that are configurable in multiple combinations of compute and storage nodes, and combine the density and flexibility of blades with the advantages of rack-based systems. These capabilities, combined with simplified management tools, such as iDRAC and Dell OpenManage technology, have helped us deliver an unrivaled solution and significantly enhance our customer satisfaction."

Accelerated Technology Laboratories , Inc., in North Carolina, needed to upgrade its infrastructure to support its laboratory information management systems solutions that automate more than 400 laboratories. The company recently deployed the Dell PowerEdge FX architecture to consolidate its data center footprint for savings in rack space, power and cooling.

"The Dell FX2 architecture supports our whole business in a 2U space, and it is critical that it is extremely reliable for our employees and our customers," said Mark Burke, chief information officer at Accelerated Technology Laboratories, Inc. "With the Dell FX2 as the center of our end-to-end Dell solution, our infrastructure gives us the flexibility to expand storage and compute as our company grows."

ATS Automation , in Canada, used the scalable Dell FX2 architecture to achieve full disaster recovery and enhance scalability for future growth while also enhancing performance and simplifying management. With assistance from partner Scalar and Dell Deployment Services, ATS deployed six Dell PowerEdge FX2 chassis with 23 Dell PowerEdge FC630 servers, which has enabled the company to shrink its data center footprint while isolating and troubleshooting issues quickly and efficiently.

"We’ve been using Dell PowerEdge servers for a long time, so when the Dell FX2 was presented to us, we instantly moved forward with it," said Brian Bayne, technology services manager at ATS Automation. "The density of the Dell FX architecture saved us space as well as money spent on power and cooling. In the future, we know that our Dell PowerEdge FX2 architecture will be easy to expand to support our ever-growing workforce."

Clayton Public Schools , in New Jersey, wanted to support new district IT initiatives and eliminate application performance issues by upgrading its IT infrastructure to a Dell PowerEdge FX2 server enclosure with Dell PowerEdge FC630 servers. With access to a new IT infrastructure based on a modular 2U converged platform that provides quick performance, the district can stream HD video and digital learning tools, so students and teachers are allowed more time for creativity and learning.

"Even though we’re a small school district, we’re now running an enterprise-level infrastructure here because of the Dell solution, which means we can give our students and teachers the tools they need to spark their creativity and prepare for the workforce," said Dan Marakowski, technology coordinator at Clayton Public Schools. "With the Dell FX2, we are seeing a 50 percent time savings on IT administration because of our consolidated environment and the increased performance and reliability we get with the Dell technologies."

MEIZU , in China, is a smartphone manufacturer that was looking to switch from a traditional desktop environment to a virtualized desktop infrastructure to increase customer service productivity. MEIZU deployed six Dell PowerEdge FX2 chassis and 24 Dell PowerEdge FM120x4 micro servers to replace a disparate environment where previously applications and data were run locally across multiple desktops. With instant access to data, MEIZU enhanced customer service satisfaction while reducing the time needed for IT management at a cost-efficient rate.

"The converged infrastructure is a hit with the IT team as it helps them reduce the management burden, is simpler to scale, and supports growth," said Li Kechen, R&D and IT Director at MEIZU. "With the FX2 solution, MEIZU expects developers will gain faster and more reliable access to their testing environments while delivering significant savings that can be reinvested in other areas of the organization. The Dell ProSupport Plus agreement helps maximize reliability over the long term."

Rising Sun Pictures , in Australia, wanted to have a future-ready IT environment to stay at the forefront of the movie industry with cutting-edge movie visual effects. By teaming up with Dell partner Vlnet Solutions, Rising Sun Pictures deployed a compact, high-density and high-performance computing solution with 40 Dell PowerEdge FC630 servers across 10 Dell PowerEdge FX2 chassis with Dell ProSupport for Enterprise. These artists now have the tools they need to focus on visual effects innovation.

"The Dell PowerEdge FX2 solution was a great fit because the technology is modular and very flexible, which allowed us to protect our investment with the option of changing the server modules down the line as Dell brings new servers on stream," said Mark Day, director of engineering at Rising Sun Pictures. "Now we can play a greater role in the storytelling process because our artists have reliable Dell technology that opens up new opportunities for movie visual effects."

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