Over the last few months as VxRail has taken off, VxRack SDDC has been launched, the Dell EMC position on the XC platform has become more clear – and finally as people have internalized that HCI and CI (VxBlock) will coexist for years... I’ve started to get a question that is a real head-scratcher for me, and I’ll paraphrase:
“Is VxRack FLEX important, what is its future, and what are the use cases?”
The answers to the compound question are simple: “Is it important? Heck yeah. What is it’s future? Bright. What are the use cases? There are many.”
Making it really clear, the role of VxRack FLEX is right in the name. It’s FLEXIBLE.
- VxRack FLEX is FLEXIBLE in the sense that it is a rack-scale HCI system that is heterogeneous – not only able to support multiple hypervisors, multiple physical OSes and bare-metal container use cases – but also able to support them simultaneously.
- VxRack FLEX is FLEXIBLE is the sense that it is a rack-scale HCI system can scale compute and storage as almost completely independent variables.
- VxRack FLEX is FLEXIBLE in the sense that the compute, storage, network resources can be applied and redirected without being bound by the natural “boundaries” of any given stack (cluster boundaries for example).
Now – FLEXIBILITY and SIMPLICITY are design centers that pull product teams and offers in opposite directions (and if you think otherwise, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn that someone wants to sell you)
Yes, good design, and good software/automation can make any given offer simpler (or if you do it wrong, more complex) – but as a general principle, you gain simplicity as you start to “pin down” independent variables and assign fixed values – reducing optionality, but increasing system level integration and simplicity.
Put otherwise, VxRack FLEX is always going to require more expertise than an HCI rack-scale system that “pins down” the core abstraction/virtualization layer to always being vSphere for example (like VxRail, VxRack SDDC).
Covering the whole market requires that we cover these two ends of the HCI spectrum (flexibility and simplicity) with the best offers in the market – so VxRack FLEX plays a critical role both today and tomorrow.
Read on past the break to understand more. I’ll deconstruct each of the 3 points, and also share where we are taking VxRack FLEX next!