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Dell adopts Xeon E5 v3 for software-defined storage and beyond

Dell adopts Xeon E5 v3 for software-defined storage and beyond

Technology vendor reworks its next generation computing platform around latest Intel products.

With the release of Intel’s Xeon processor E5 v3 product family, Dell is incorporating the new technology into its upcoming 13th generation computing platform.

Dell solutions strategy and architecture manager, Peter Katsoulotos, said core components from Xeon E5 v3 server technology will be incorporated into Dell’s own solutions, which is a similar route other vendors are expected to take.

Katsoulotos adds that Dell has made a conscious effort to have a core architecture that is the same across different form factors, whether it is a rack, tower or modular.

“The core technologies are very common, and that is the case for most of our server offerings,” he said.

That means a Dell blade server has the exact same CPU configuration and memory capacity as the rack variants of it.

The only difference between the two is dictated by the form factor, such as number of storage devices.

With the refresh of its platform, Katsoulotos said the focus has been on bringing “a lot of the I/O capability closer to the CPU,” which is a response to the software-defined trend in infrastructure, such as virtual storage area network (VSAN).

“What we have done is bring solid state flash devices into the units themselves, not only with traditional interfaces such as SATA, but also flash devices that are PCI Express-attached,” he said.

Taking a different path

Katsoulotos characterises the introduction of Xeon E5 v3 as a “catalyst” for the development of Dell’s next generation platform, allowing the vendor to “take a slightly different approach” this time around.

For one, the company has taken a closer view of how those platforms are going to be used, and how specific variants suited for those use cases can be designed, such as software-defined storage architecture.

In addition to application performance and applicability to use cases, the other area of focus has been on the reduction of management.

“Not only does that include the ongoing monitoring and maintenance of those platforms, but also the initial deployment conditioning,” Katsoulotos said.

Earlier in the year Dell announced Fluid cache for SAN, and Katsoulotos said more enabling technologies will be developed and released in that space.

“That came out of some of the acquisitions we made a few years earlier,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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