Dell Unveils Highly Dense, Optimized Converged Architecture
However, Dell officials argue that the density offered by FX and the architecture's ability to be optimized for myriad workloads differentiates it from other offerings. Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT, agreed. "The density of it is interesting," King told eWEEK, noting that customers can squeeze up to 16 servers and 128 cores into a single enclosure. "The sheer flexibility of it is also interesting." It's also a good solution for Dell's increasingly important channel partners, he said. Michael Dell said the company derives as much as 40 percent of its revenues from direct sales, and King said many businesses would prefer to work through the channel rather than directly with an OEM. However, most converged solutions are put together by the system makers in their factories and shipped directly to users. The high levels of optimization and customization available in the PowerEdge FX make it a solution that adds value to resellers, he said."It's a place they have to get into, especially with all the hyper-converged system players" already in the market, Perry told eWEEK. Along with the PowerEdge FX solution, Dell officials also announced new storage offerings, including all-flash enterprise arrays that are priced in the hard-drive range, reducing a key hurdle for SSD adoption. The SC4020 Entry-Level All-Flash configuration gives customers improved performance over spinning disks at a starting price of $25,000. Dell also is offering Flash-Optimized Solutions include all-flash storage that can be complemented with one or more tiers of spinning disk added into the same array. The PS4210 Series of arrays are the first in Dell's PS series to offer a hybrid flash-and-HDD model, and are aimed at SMBs.
Christian Perry, an analyst with Technology Business Research, said Dell getting into the highly modular solution space was a smart move for the company, given the business opportunity and the similar move made by some competitors.