An emerging industry trend in recent years has been the convergence of a chassis platform that combines server compute nodes, storage and networking.
It's a trend that Dell is now jumping into with its new PowerEdge VRTX platform. The VRTX combines up to 4 compute nodes in a single box. Those nodes can be Dell M620 or M520 blades powered by the Intel E5 processor family.
Brian Payne, Executive Director of Dell Server Solutions, explained to ServerWatch that the VRTX will also be able to support future Intel-based blades as they come out. Intel is currently in the process of rolling out its Haswell-based chips for servers and consumer desktops.
Payne said that while the VRTX might look like a server design that has been seen in the past, it is actually something new and unique. For example, when it comes storage, the VRTX offers the traditional benefits of a SAN, but with the ease of deployment that comes from direct-attached storage.
The VRTX can include up to 12 x 3.5-inch drives for a total of 48 TB of storage. Alternatively the system can be configured to support up to 25 x 2.5-inch drives for smaller form factor SSD options.
Dell is also leveraging components of its 12G server management portfolio, including OpenManage Essentials, to support the management of VRTX deployments.
Initially the VRTX will be a Microsoft Windows-only server platform with support for Hyper-V as well as VMware's ESX. Moving forward the plan is for Dell to support Linux on the system as well.
Payne explained that Dell will be offering a number of different packaged combinations of the VRTX as well as reference architectures.
The move toward converged systems is one that Cisco has done with its UCS, HP with AppSystem and IBM with PureSystems. Payne stressed that the Dell VRTX is not for data centers. Rather, the VRTX is an office solution that has been built from the ground up for office use, as opposed to being a stripped down data center solution.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.