Debuting the Rugged PowerEdge XR11 & XR12 Servers

By 2025, according to Gartner, 75 percent of data will be generated outside of the data center at the edge. This historic shift will generate a wealth of new opportunities as well as exciting and daunting challenges and unknowns. Importantly, I believe the edge will be the key to business success in the future.

Innovative transformation

Brad Haczynski, Vice President and General Manager, IoT Sales, Intel, echoes these sentiments. He believes that the industry is experiencing an unprecedented season of innovative transformation as companies begin to unleash the capabilities of edge computing to provide data and insights where it is needed most. In his view, whether it’s gateways in the field, Dell PowerEdge servers, using Intel Xeon processors in the data center, or the 5G network connecting them, this distributed compute model is driving innovation at a torrid pace as industries transform.

Hunger for insights

PowerEdge XR11Of course, data is at its most valuable, when it’s real-time and can help inform you what to do next. This hunger for insights is precisely why so many customers have moved to edge computing. By moving workloads to the edge of the network, close to where the data is generated, you can run AI algorithms to analyze and act on data locally, sending only what is needed to the cloud for further processing. It’s a win-win – quicker access to data for decision-making plus reduced transport and storage costs.

The edge

However, the edge has its challenges. Think tough environments with space limitations. For example, picture a Jeep in a dusty desert; a submarine, deep below the ocean surface; the base of a telecom cell tower in a remote area; a greasy engine room, aboard a ship or a cramped space in a retail store.

What you asked for

To perform with this range of environments, you told us you needed short depth servers that could fit into smaller enclosures and withstand shock, vibration, extreme temperature, and dust. You said you needed servers that support DC power plus NEBS or MIL-STD standards.

You were clear that you wanted more flexibility – a server that could be deployed differently with front or rear I/O port access. You told us that you needed accelerator technology for parallel computation and even faster decision execution.

We listened

We listened to your pain points. In response, we’re proud to present the Dell PowerEdge XR11 and XR12, the latest powerful additions to our family of ruggedized servers. Designed by Dell Technologies OEM Solutions, both models are designed as mountable single-socket rack servers. For maximum flexibility, the XR11 comes in a dense 1U form factor, while the XR12 is available as a 2U. Here are some additional features that we think you’ll find interesting.

Resilient and powerful

Powered by the latest 3rd generation Intel Xeon scalable processors, both the XR11 and XR12 are diminutive in size but pack a mighty punch in terms of performance. At just 16 inches, the chassis is less than half the depth of a standard server and can operate continuously while withstanding operational temperatures of -5C to 55C. Both products are ruggedized, compact, certified, and ready to comfortably deal with any challenges thrown their way.

Again, Brad Haczynski from Intel, shares my excitement about our solution. “Intel and Dell’s partnership is centered around delivering industry leading solutions that solve the most complex IT and OT challenges. With the latest 3rd Generation Intel Xeon scalable processors powering the new Dell PowerEdge XR11 & XR12 Edge servers, we will continue to provide world class solutions to mobilize the power of the edge.”

Easy access

And you can now plug cables in from the front, which makes set-up easier in tight places. Meanwhile, DC power support allows the servers to be placed in environments with stringent power requirements. Imagine thousands of shallow enclosures outside all over the globe that can now be retrofitted with an open, scalable, and secure system that isn’t solely dependent on AC power.

More powerful with flexible configurations

PowerEdge XR12For memory intensive workloads, enjoy breakthrough performance with 3,200 MT/s memory throughput and support for Intel Optane persistent memory. To enhance storage performance, you have the option of selecting NVMe drives over traditional SAS/SATA HDD with optional BOSS 1.9.

Your data center anywhere

With AI, ML, and the processing of ever-growing volumes of data at the edge, you told us that you needed more power to manage workloads. We heard you! The XR11 supports up to two GPUs as standard while the XR12 is designed to handle three.

Telecom and military standard-compliant

Naturally, both the XR11 and XR12 are fully NEBS, MIL-STD, and Marine-compliant and come with reverse I/O port access and airflow as standard. This combines to make both servers the perfect choice for telecom, military, retail, restaurants, remote offices, and back offices, and indeed any environment where edge applications matter.

Secure global supply chain

And, importantly, every PowerEdge server is designed and built with intrinsic security from concept to retirement. Based in silicon with our Root of Trust, security starts at design and continues through the global supply chain and lifecycle, all from a single, trusted vendor.

Exceeding your needs

Whether you’re providing compute in a busy store, installing satellite communications halfway up a mountain, conducting military operations in the desert, rigging offshore, or working underwater, you can rely on the PowerEdge XR11 and XR12 to keep your operations up and running. And for peace of mind, a full range of installation, deployment, service, and support options are available globally.

If you need flexibility plus extraordinarily high levels of Tier 1 compute in the tightest spots at the toughest Edge, these servers are for you. Wherever you go, bring rugged with you – your datacenter anywhere. The PowerEdge XR11 and XR12 are available globally.


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    Simplify Lifecycle Management with Dell EMC PowerEdge & VMware

    Co-author: Damon Earley

    IT Admins can realize significant time savings with up to 98% less hands-on time to update hypervisor and firmware¹

    We’ve often heard that the most precious resource is time. What if we told you that Dell EMC PowerEdge and VMware have teamed up to help your IT staff get a little more time back in their day? No, it’s not magic, although you may feel compelled to work on your next virtual party trick with all of the time savings that your IT staff will reap from using Dell EMC OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter (OMIVV) and vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM). Better yet, use the time saved to access more exciting content from the first-ever virtual VMworld 2020, including the PowerEdge and VMware on-demand technical session.

    Dell EMC PowerEdge and VMware have jointly innovated to give your IT staff the virtualization mathematics that really add up to true time savings. Earlier this year, VMware launched VMware vSphere 7 as vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM), which enables IT to deploy, manage and update both software and drivers in conjunction with a hardware support manager for hardware firmware using a desired state model. Dell EMC PowerEdge was one of the first server manufacturers to implement this epic new feature with our own hardware support manager, Dell EMC OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter (OMIVV). The results include some pretty impressive time savings for your IT staff, who like the rest of the world, are strapped for time. We’ll dive into those time savings but first, let’s talk about OMIVV.

    OMIVV is the systems management plug-in from Dell for vCenter, providing a unified view of physical and virtual servers for PowerEdge hosts running vSphere. With it, monitoring and lifecycle management of the physical server can be brought into the native vCenter user interface, helping provide a holistic view of your server resources. With vLCM and OMIVV, you can see a significant decrease in the total time it takes to run these updates. Benefits include:

    • Reduced manual steps by setting up templates
    • Repositories that can be used repeatedly across many servers
    • Communication with vCenter to work with its software policies, like ProActive HA, DRS, and vSAN
    • Capability to leverage live migration policies, including for VMware vSAN

    Customers have maximum flexibility and control when patches and updates are deployed, with unified software and firmware lifecycle management. And they can do it simply within vCenter, a familiar and comfortable tool. With Cluster Profiles, both for legacy vSphere and with vLCM, monitor for compliance and drift automatically, and schedule updates from within vCenter.

    Based on this report by Principled Technologies, with vLCM and OMIVV, it took 98% fewer steps to update the hypervisor and firmware on an 8-node PowerEdge cluster.

    Number of steps to update both hypervisor and firmware across a cluster. Fewer steps are better. Source: Principled Technologies

    A lot of the steps to this process – defining the software image, what drivers are needed, what firmware needs to be applied – are generally done only a handful of times based on the specific servers are in the cluster. Leveraging vLCM’s new functions for setting the ESXi baseline and driver add-ons, along with hardware templates for server firmware, lets you set these things once, then use them across the environment. The overall time, as well as hands-on time, was also significantly reduced, per the chart below. Essentially, the admin time was reduced to under 4 minutes versus 3.5 hours manually.

    Time (h::mm:ss) to update both the hypervisor and firmware across a cluster. Less time is better. Source: Principled Technologies

    While we cannot jointly innovate or engineer more hours in the day, our commitment to our PowerEdge server customers using VMware vSphere, vSAN and Cloud Foundation is to help simplify and accelerate your hybrid cloud with new features such as vLCM. Learn more about our approach to lifecycle management with this on-demand PowerEdge and VMware breakout session at VMworld 2020, or visit our PowerEdge and VMware website.

    ¹Principled Technologies report commissioned by Dell EMC, “New VMware vSphere 7.0 features reduced the time and complexity of routine update and hardware compliance tasks,” August 2020.


    Dell EMC PowerEdge Brings Flexibility & Freedom To Your Workloads

    Most IT professionals know too well the balancing act of wanting to implement cutting-edge, modern solutions while still maintaining control of the overall IT landscape. Your IT organization is committed to supporting the workloads that the business depends on for success – whatever that takes. But ideally, whatever new deployment your critical workloads demand won’t chip away at the control over your IT environment that your team has worked hard to establish.

    Those of you who have read our past blogs on optimizing your organization’s infrastructure for critical workloads have heard us go through some of the benefits of modernizing your infrastructure with an eye towards end-to-end optimization. We’ve explored how workload placement strategy requires continued attention over time, and how a hybrid approach to IT will set your organization up with the flexibility that needed as applications mature and new demands come up. But you may still find yourself asking how you can best leverage a variety of options in your IT purchasing – without losing control. Is there a way to engage in that freedom of choice, without sacrificing your command over your organization’s IT landscape?

    One thing that all IT organizations have in common – no matter the size, the location or the industry – is this desire to avoid making a choice that pigeonholes your future decision making or creates a siloed IT experience. Whenever a new workload is prioritized, IT should not have to upend long-term strategies to support it. But when looking at your deployment options, choice with control may seem out of reach.

    We hear from customers across the global that they see Dell Technologies as a unique technology provider for their organizations because we can scratch this exact itch. Folks keep turning to our portfolio time and time again because our wide range of servers, data storage and data protection systems given them the flexibility that their infrastructure decisions require when needs change. Dell Technologies can provide you with that range of choice you desire, without disrupting on the overall IT vision your organization has worked hard to support.

    As applications mature and needs change, your team will be best prepared to react if they have a flexible and secure infrastructure behind them. Take our extensive line of Dell EMC PowerEdge servers as a prime specimen. The PowerEdge platform can help you establish the right hybrid infrastructure for your IT organization, providing you with the choice and the control that you need as you determine the best placement options for each of your critical business workloads over time.

    Drive workload and analytics success with modern PowerEdge servers that allow your team to optimize the overall infrastructure by running the same capacity and performance on fewer servers, freeing resources to tackle application transformations. Our leading servers run your critical workloads with ease, so that you can keep the focus on supporting pressing asks from the business and helping to drive your overall organization forward. Configure to meet your needs and meet workloads where they need to be.

    Whatever workload is the priority for your organization, PowerEdge allows you to tailor the experience for your IT team. With one-click BIOS tuning, we enable quick-and-easy deployment via workload-optimized server configuration profiles. This allows you to deploy and run without delay – so that your IT staff can support requests from the business without interruption. From edgeto coreto cloud, PowerEdge can support even your most advanced workloads needs with a familiar experience across them all. Learn how one company found the ideal IT infrastructure solution with the Dell EMC PowerEdge MX platform and OpenManage systems management:

    All of our advanced offerings – including the advanced Dell EMC PowerEdge platform – are available with flexible payment options through Dell Technologies On Demand. And Dell Technologies On Demand also includes value-added services with ProDeploy, ProSupport and Managed Services, which can be paired with all financial consumption models offered. By working with a technology provider who can offer you a seamless experience from end-to-end, you too can meet your organization’s most critical workloads where they need to be – on demand – and with all your public, private and edge clouds within reach.

    And of course – any organization who partners with Dell Technologies benefits from even more points of seamless integration across the digital landscape thanks to our extended Dell Technologies family. For example, PowerEdge servers support the latest VMware stack, including VMware vSphere® 7 with Kubernetes®, VMware vSAN™ 7, and VMware Cloud Foundation™. You may have heard us say that our story began with two technology companies and one shared vision: to provide greater access to technology for people around the world. That mission continues forward proudly to this day.

    Dell Technologies can provide you with the freedom of choice that you deserve, without making you sacrifice the control that your team needs and deserves. With the right technology in the right place, Dell Technologies and our powered-up portfolio will empower your IT organization with choice and control as your team as you build, run and manage your hybrid cloud.


    Dell Technologies Named a Leader in the Gartner 2020 Data Center Backup & Recovery Solutions Magic Quadrant

    A Constant in a Sea of Change

    Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher once said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” These words ring truer now perhaps more than any other time in our lives. The recent health, economic and social watershed events of 2020 bring into stark reality how the fabric of our lives can change in an instant.

    Despite these dizzying changes, one thing has not changed – the criticality of data. In fact, data has never been more critical than it is right now. That’s why we are humbled to be recognized by Gartner as a Leader in the 2020 Data Center Backup & Recovery Solutions Magic Quadrant – a distinction we have earned in every Gartner Magic Quadrant for data center backup and recovery solutions since 1999.¹

    Our 21-year position as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant is, we believe, a continuing affirmation of the trust our customers place in us, not merely as just a provider of leading data protection solutions, but as a partner committed to their long-term success.

    That commitment begins with taking a customer-first approach in everything we do – from investing in our people, to investing in our communities, to investing in innovation.

    And it all begins with data. Unlocking the next great discovery begins with creating, curating, protecting and securing the vast amounts of data being born across core, edge and multi-cloud computing environments.

    Therefore, safeguarding data to ensure it is highly available, efficiently protected and secure from cyber threats wherever it lives, is a mission we are deeply committed to.

    For example, three key areas where we are helping our customers today are:

    1. Cloud Data Protection – delivering solutions to protect any workload across any cloud while providing the lowest cost to protect in the cloud. Today, we have over 1,000 customers protecting over 2.7 Exabytes of data in the cloud.²
    2. VMware data protection – delivering deep integration with VMware to simplify and automate data protection for virtual and containerized workloads for increased agility.
    3. Cyber Recovery – secure infrastructure that optimizes cyber resiliency to ensure rapid recovery from destructive cyberattacks.

    And going forward, we have even more ambitious plans to continue to drive innovation across our entire data protection portfolio. With our PowerProtect Data Manager platform, we plan to increase IT simplicity, increase data protection efficiencies and increase automation of data protection and recovery operations, so that our customers can focus on delivering the innovation and change needed to help them transform, modernize and compete more effectively in the data era.

    ¹ As Dell EMC, 2017-2019; As EMC, 2005 – 2016; As Legato, 2004; As Legato Systems and EMC, 2003; As Legato Networker and EMC Data Manager (EDM), 2001; As Legato and EMC, 1999-2000

    ² Based on information provided by public cloud providers, Feb 2020


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    New Expanded HCI Options Deliver Flexibility and Choice

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    The Evolving Workplace

    Business leaders and industry experts have given their views on how recent events have reshaped the workplace and their future technology strategies. I recently participated in the “The Evolving Workplace,” a virtual CxO round-table, hosted by Dell Technologies and Intel on 16th June. Michael Imeson, a Contributing Editor at FT Specialist, set the tone for the discussion when he stated, “The workplace before COVID-19 was rapidly evolving anyway, driven by technology, communications, environmental considerations and people’s changing attitudes to work,” and, “A professor at King’s College London told the FT that COVID-19 had brought forward two … READ MORE


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    Serving OEMs Through the Channel

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