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No illusion … new server range raises the bar

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Mark Davison at Dell EMC World in Las Vegas – Dell has announced the 14th generation of its PowerEdge servers, designed specifically to help customers in their quest for digital transformation. The new servers are due to ship mid-year.

Dell chairman and CEO, Michael Dell, has described the launch of the new servers as one of the most significant in the company’s history. And they spared no expense showing it off. The first sighting of the new product here at Dell EMC World was when world-renowned illusionist David Blaine used it on stage to “network” two audience volunteers.

The trick went down a treat with the more than 13 000 audience.

Dell EMC says the new PowerEdge is the ideal foundation for cloud, analytics or software-defined data centre initiatives. The new portfolio delivers innovation in three key areas:

  • Scalable business architecture optimises data centres for a wide variety of new and emerging workload requirements
  • Intelligent automation via expanded APIs and the all-new OpenManage Enterprise console enable IT to spend more time on higher priority work
  • Integrated security protects customers’ businesses and data for the life of the server

“In today’s digital economy, technology must transform at the speed of business to develop and deploy new applications, optimise resources and deliver an ideal customer experience,” says Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, president, Server Solutions Division at Dell EMC. “With our leadership in server technology innovations, the newest generation of PowerEdge servers are the bedrock of the modern data centre.”

Legacy data centre technologies are not agile, flexible or efficient enough to meet the needs of businesses undergoing a Digital Transformation. In fact, the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) 2017 IT Transformation Maturity Curve study, commissioned by Dell EMC, showed that only 5% of survey respondents are currently prepared to meet the IT requirements of digitally transformed businesses with modern platforms.

PowerEdge 14th generation servers will be embedded in storage and data centre appliances, hyper-converged appliances and racks, ready nodes, bundles and other industry-leading Dell EMC solutions.

The new scalable business architecture of the PowerEdge servers enable customers to meet dynamic business needs with performance optimised for traditional and cloud-native workloads. The new portfolio is enhanced to:

  • Increase application performance and response time – With 19X more Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) low latency storage than the prior generation, Dell EMC leads the industry in driving industry standards in NVMe via Express Flash
  • Get results from PowerEdge faster – One-click BIOS tuning enables quick-and-easy deployment of many processing-intensive workloads
  • Access to the right data at the right time – With enhanced storage capacity and flexibility, customers can tailor their storage configurations to their application needs, this is especially critical in a software-defined-storage (SDS) environment.

Newly enhanced systems management features embedded in the Dell EMC PowerEdge portfolio uniquely automate productivity and simplify lifecycle management from server deployment to retirement. These new management features:

  • Unify the server management experience and provide full data center monitoring – OpenManage Enterprise is a new virtualised enterprise system management console with application plug-ins, an easy-to-use interface and customizable reporting
  • Speed troubleshooting and maximize server uptime – The enhanced iDRAC 9 provides up to 4 times better systems management performance over the prior generation
  • Enable faster remediation – ProSupport Plus with SupportAssist can reduce time to resolve parts failure by up to 90%
  • Improve power efficiency and compute density – Automatic multi-vector cooling enables more GPU accelerators in a single configuration, increasing up to 50% more VDI users per server.

The Dell EMC PowerEdge portfolio embeds new hardware and system-level security features to protect the infrastructure with a deep layer of defence and quick detection in order to recover to a trusted base, if breached. The differentiated security features in the server:

  • Prevent unauthorized or inadvertent changes – System Lockdown, an industry-first feature, prevents configuration changes that create security vulnerabilities and expose sensitive data
  • Secure data center through a cyber-resilient architecture – Features such as SecureBoot, BIOS Recovery capabilities, signed firmware and iDRAC RESTful API (compliant with Redfish standards) provide enhanced protection against attacks
  • Ensure privacy – System Erase quickly and securely erases user data from drives or wipes all non-volatile media when a server is retired.

“Dell continues to grow its server business as a combined company with EMC,” says Matt Eastwood, senior vice-president, Enterprise Infrastructure and Data Centre at IDC.

“This new PowerEdge portfolio addresses a broad set of customer needs from traditional business use cases to cloud-native applications while offering a strong foundation to support future IT and business needs. Dell EMC has continued to invest in innovative technology combinations, which has resulted in a secure, scalable infrastructure and comprehensive solutions portfolio.”