Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation Servers Building a Virtual Infrastructure on an SMB Budget
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Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation Servers Building a Virtual Infrastructure on an SMB Budget

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New, cost-effective servers give small and midsize businesses access to advanced computing capabilities once available only to large businesses. This game-changing development means SMBs can finally ...

New, cost-effective servers give small and midsize businesses access to advanced computing capabilities once available only to large businesses. This game-changing development means SMBs can finally tap into all the virtualization benefits their larger competitors have enjoyed for years. Here’s a look at how Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers level the virtualization playing field.

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Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation Servers Building a Virtual Infrastructure on an SMB Budget Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation Servers Building a Virtual Infrastructure on an SMB Budget Document Transcript

  • A UBM TECHWEB TECHNOLOGY BRIEF MARCH 2012 Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation Servers: Building a Virtual Infrastructure on an SMB Budget S mall and midsize companies want to exploit virtualization for the same reasons larger enterprises do: to streamline IT, speed service delivery, and slash operational New, cost-effective expenses. Yet the cost of servers powerful enough to support a virtual infrastructure servers give small and has kept that goal just out of reach for many SMBs. Dell’s new PowerEdge 12th gen- eration servers are poised to change the virtualization game, offering enterprise-level midsize businesses access features and performance at a price that’s within every company’s reach. to advanced computing Over the past several years, larger enterprises have made huge strides in eliminating IT inefficiency by consolidating systems and deploying virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures capabilities once available help these companies analyze data in new and powerful ways through business intelligence and only to large businesses. customer relationship management applications. This game-changing Virtualization also simplifies the challenges of supporting a highly mobile workforce that depends on a plethora of devices to interact with apps, email, websites and social media. The development means SMBs key enabling technology for private clouds, virtualization makes possible the dynamic pools of can finally tap into all the shared resources that allow companies to respond efficiently to new opportunities by providing fast provisioning, infinite scalability, support for consumer devices and simplified management. virtualization benefits For many smaller businesses, however, the cost of the computing power required to achieve their larger competitors these advanced initiatives posed an insurmountable barrier. But that situation has now changed. New, affordable Dell PowerEdge 12th generation tower, rack and blade servers are engineered have enjoyed for years. to deliver the performance and tools that SMBs need to start reaping the same virtualization Here’s a look at how benefits larger companies already enjoy. This ease of recovery stems from improvements in CPU/memory performance as well as Dell PowerEdge 12th from Dell’s new RAID controllers and third-generation PCI Express (PCIe) bus. With the newgeneration servers level the servers’ support for multiple RAID controllers, Microsoft SharePoint users, for example, can also see a significant change in response rates because RAID and I/O efficiencies allow for highervirtualization playing field. I/O transfer rates and faster processing of data in SharePoint deployments. I/O latency is also dramatically reduced because the servers include Intel® Integrated I/O, part of the Intel Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family, which helps further eliminate data bottlenecks while it streamlines operations and increases agility. SMB Virtualization Benefits Virtualization offers SMBs a path to reducing operational expenses and creating a robust and flexible infrastructure by helping companies eliminate underutilized single-purpose servers that consume too much space and power and require excessive IT administration. A virtualized infra- structure also increases availability, simplifies disaster recovery and dynamically scales to meet changing business demands. By accelerating the speed with which new applications and services Technology Brief Sponsor
  • DELL POWEREDGE 12TH GENERATION SERVERS A UBM TECHWEB TECHNOLOGY BRIEF // MARCH 2012 can be rolled out, virtualization shortens time to market.“ Virtualization offers another benefit that some SMBs find compelling: It can allow legacy applications to continue running while avoiding operat- Dell 12th generation PowerEdge servers, ing system or hardware upgrades. Why might an organization take this approach? Let’s say a business has a custom-made legacy application that based on the new Intel Xeon runs trouble free. At some point vendor support of the operating system or physical server will cease. “Forklifting” older software to new platforms is processor E5-2600 product family, deliver often a major headache, requiring extensive code rewriting for device drivers and other tools, if not for the application itself. up to 70 percent more performance per However, once a company virtualizes an application and its operating ” system, it no longer will need to migrate them to new hardware. The self- watt than previous-generation servers. contained “virtualized machine” can be used indefinitely and be provisioned to any physical device within the virtualized infrastructure. Virtualization greatly extends the lifecycle of legacy applications, because they are no lon- ger tied to a specific piece of hardware. Server Requirements for Virtual Environments Virtualized environments require advanced hardware that’s capable of running complex, demand- ing workloads. Dell 12th generation servers, built on the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 family, form a solid foundation for a virtual infrastructure thanks to the following advanced features: Enhanced performance. Dell 12th generation PowerEdge servers deliver up to 70 percent more performance per watt than previous-generation servers.1 These versatile processors deliver signifi- cantly faster performance across a range of workloads with greater core count and cache sizing. Improved Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 enables the operating system to adapt to spikes in workloads by dynamically adjusting core frequencies. Memory capacity. Memory is the first resource that is exhausted in virtual environments; the more memory a server has, the more virtual machines it can support. Twelfth generation PowerEdge server models can be loaded with 24 dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs) — 768GB in total — which is more than double the memory provided in the previous server genera- tion and 12 times the capacity of 10th generation servers. More memory allows for a server to run more virtual machines without degrading performance. Faster Storage and I/O. Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers can be provisioned with solid state disks (SSDs) to accelerate applications. All models have plentiful PCI Express (PCIe) SSD slots to improve I/O throughput and scalable storage capabilities for balanced performance. Intel Integrated I/O reduces latency by up to 30 percent by minimizing network and storage bottlenecks.2 Flexibility. Because every business’ needs are unique, Dell engineered its 12th Generation PowerEdge systems to accommodate a range of options. For example, the new PowerEdge servers have been optimized for future versions of Microsoft Windows Server ensuring opti- mal integration and performance with future operating system and Microsoft Hyper-V™ virtualization software improvements. In addition, these servers support Select Network Adapters, flexible network fabric cards that give customers the ability to choose vendors and technology (FCoE, iSCSI, SFP+, Base-T), while integrating with 12th generation iDRAC server management for simplified monitoring. Dell’s new PowerEdge systems running 1Gb and 10Gb Intel Ethernet Server and Desktop PCI Express Adapters are optimized for leading virtualization solutions, including VMware ESX, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix Xen. These network adapters ship with point-and-click configuration tools that make it easy to manage Ethernet connections in servers and client computers. Built-in network partitioning capabilities help with network consolidation, while a CacheCade RAID accelerator automates data tiering at the server level. To ensure availability, every 12th generation server in the initial release ships with redundant embedded hypervisors on dual SD cards that fail over when necessary. 1. Based on Intel internal measured estimates using an Intel® Canoe Pass platform with two Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2680, Turbo Enabled, EIST Enabled,  Hyper-Threading Enabled, 64 GB RAM, Intel® Compiler 12.1, THP disabled, Red Hat* Enterprise Linux Server 6.1. 2. Intel measurements of average time for an I/O device read to local system memory under idle conditions. Improvement compares Xeon processor  E5-2600 product family (230 ns) vs. Xeon processor 5500 series (340 ns). // 2 //
  • DELL POWEREDGE 12TH GENERATION SERVERS A UBM TECHWEB TECHNOLOGY BRIEF // MARCH 2012 Simplified Management for Virtualized Infrastructures Virtualization makes it possible to streamline IT environments with automated tools that moni- tor and adjust systems to operate efficiently. Simplified management holds particular appeal for companies that don’t have a large IT department. Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers use a single console for common systems management functions, including monitoring hardware, remotely deploying and updating servers, initiating non-disruptive remedial action and updating system software and firmware.“ Specific virtualization management enhancements in PowerEdge 12th generation servers include: Virtualization makes it possible Embedded management tools. “Agent-free” embedded management in to streamline IT environments with Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers is made possible with the Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC7), an out-of-band management tool automated tools that monitor and with its own processor, memory, and network connection. Being agent-free means administrators can monitor systems and receive alerts even when the servers or operating system is offline. adjust systems to operate efficiently In the past, hardware manufacturers required IT administrators to access management functions such as provisioning, deployment, configura- without requiring a large IT ” tion and updating from easily lost CDs and DVDs. With embedded manage- ment, no software agents need to be installed and tested. CPU overhead is department. reduced, and IT is freed from having to manage agents in Windows, Linux and virtual operating systems. Administrators can monitor and manage servers more consistently. Introduced in the 11th generation PowerEdge servers, iDRAC7 helps busi- nesses save time and money by permitting administrators to configure machines remotely through a supported Web browser. The entire 12th generation family now shares the same management code, which simplifies and accelerates tasks like deploying, updating, monitoring and maintaining systems. Because management toolsets are embedded in every server, administrators can select the tool they want and activate it by software license. The embedded management features have been markedly enhanced from the previous generation. For example, the optional Lifecycle Controller, which automates management tasks, is loaded with the latest drivers so IT staff can quickly configure system settings and deploy the operating system. The iDRAC console performance, replacement-part reconfiguration and inven- tory collection has been optimized to help IT organizations manage more effectively and with improved error notifications. Embedded management and Dell update packages ensure that the latest BIOS, firmware and drivers are installed quickly and safely and can be monitored and managed remotely via iDRAC7. Dell Management Console. A standard feature on all Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers, the Dell Management Console (DMC) provides a comprehensive, unified view of IT infrastruc- tures. Administrators gain visibility into the IT environment, with detailed views into configuration and inventory data, software patch revisions and compliance information. Systems management tasks (such as discovery, inventory, monitoring and updating) can be performed from a single console, helping avoid the need to use multiple tools and interfaces. Automation of common management tasks streamlines systems management and increases efficiency. Dell OpenManage Server Administrator. The Dell OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) makes it easier to administer servers and their internal storage arrays. OMSA provides detailed information on system configuration, health and performance, as well as online diagnostics that administrators can use to identify and resolve problems, locally and remotely. Built-in connections make it easy to integrate Dell OpenManage with other popular management tools, including CA NSM (formerly CA Network and Systems Management), HP OpenView Network Node Manager and IBM Tivoli Enterprise Console. Dell OpenManage Essentials (OME). New to PowerEdge 12th generation servers is OpenManage Essentials, an easy to use interface that reduces the complexity of basic management tasks. Simple to install and maintain, OME is optimized to allow IT generalists to monitor and main- tain server, storage and networking devices, reducing the need for staff with specialized skills. OME delivers a high-level view of IT systems, enabling administrators to monitor the health of // 3 //
  • DELL POWEREDGE 12TH GENERATION SERVERS A UBM TECHWEB TECHNOLOGY BRIEF // MARCH 2012 devices, gain insight into hardware alerts and update drivers and firmware on“ servers. Device trees, alert consoles, patch and driver compliance reporting, As a building block of a modern, server software updating and hardware inventorying are all integrated into a single portal. virtualized environment, Dell PowerEdge Advanced Infrastructure Manager (AIM). Any company that plans to vir- tualize will likely need to manage heterogeneous hardware while eliminating 12th generation servers reduce the time isolated silos of servers, storage and networking. Dell 12th generation serv- ers support Dell AIM, an open standards-based tool that reduces the risk of administrators spend managing systems migrating applications from physical to virtual infrastructures. AIM provides visibility and control over virtualized environments. IT and free them to focus on more revenue- managers can use AIM to create a shared pool of resources that can be ” dynamically allocated to meet the constantly changing needs of workloads. generating activities. AIM automatically moves workloads among physical and virtual machines to maintain availability after server failure. It also is a valuable tool for simulating disaster recovery and failover in test/dev environments. VIS Creator. PowerEdge 12th generation servers are designed to run Dell’s Virtual Integrated System (VIS) Creator, a workload catalog — with itemized costs — that matches applications with architecture and allows IT staff and authorized users to self-provision predefined workloads. By automating the process of launching business services, VIS Creator reduces the time it takes to allocate resources from weeks to hours. Business groups can select cataloged workloads that match their project budgets to determine the costs of varying levels of service. Plug-ins for virtual environments. Small and midsized companies will appreciate the simplic- ity with which 12th generation servers can integrate with virtualized management frameworks like VMware vCenter and Microsoft System Center 2012. Dell offers Management Plug-ins for both vCenter and Microsoft System Center, allowing IT administrators to natively manage vir- tualized environments from a single console. The open computing architecture of PowerEdge 12th generation servers enables them to run most common hypervisors and operating systems. Gaining Control of Network Traffic Virtualized environments increase the volume and complexity of I/O traffic. Sometimes, bottle- necks that impair application performance result from the increased traffic. 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) delivers the performance and bandwidth that virtualized environments require. Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers use Network Interface Card Partitioning (NPAR) to ease the move to 10GbE networking, while reducing I/O bottlenecks. NPAR allows administrators to divide a single 10GbE adapter into multiple, independent partitions that run both network and storage protocols, including TCP/IP, FCoE and Internet iSCSI. This “switch agnostic” approach eliminates the need to deploy multiple dedicated 1GbE networking ports for different traffic types within a single server. By consolidating numerous 1GbE ports into a single partitioned 10GbE port, NPAR lowers CPU utilization, simplifies cabling, expands capacity to run additional applications, and reduces management complexity. NPAR allows administrators to dedicate bandwidth for VMs and their applications, helping to optimize network performance. And, because NPAR does not require special OS or hypervisor support, it can easily be incorporated into existing IT infrastructures. Improving Operational Efficiency The goal of any virtualization project is to improve IT efficiency, and reducing operational expenses is one of the key benefits SMBs derive from virtualization initiatives. PowerEdge 12th generation servers are designed to streamline IT operations at every level, from agent-free embedded hardware intelligence to single console management to an integrated infrastructure that automates routine tasks and accelerates workload provisioning. As a building block of a modern, virtualized environment, these new servers reduce the time administrators spend managing systems and free them to focus on more revenue-generating activities. Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers protect current investments in systems man- agement solutions by seamlessly integrating them into management architecture. Moreover, 12th generation servers are purpose-built to deliver industry-leading energy efficiency, enabling IT groups to compute more and consume less. // 4 //
  • DELL POWEREDGE 12TH GENERATION SERVERS A UBM TECHWEB TECHNOLOGY BRIEF // MARCH 2012 Power consumption and cooling costs are a growing concern for all businesses, regardless of whether they run a few servers in a closet or dozens racked in a data center. PowerEdge 12th generation servers reflect Dell’s holistic approach to energy efficiency, delivering maximum per- formance per watt from the chipset and system to server racks and data center environments. For example, a chassis loaded with Dell PowerEdge M915 blade servers consumes 35 per- cent less power at idle and achieves up to a 92 percent higher performance/watt ratio than a chassis filled with HP ProLiant BL680c blade servers. The same Dell blade server chassis consumes 24 percent less power at idle and delivers 11 percent higher performance/watt ration than a chassis full of IBM BladeCenter HS22 blade servers.3 Dell OpenManage systems management suite monitors, reports and controls power con- sumption, enables policy-based power capping, and optimizes workload power usage to drive down energy costs. Dell OpenManage PowerCenter takes advantage of Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager to optimize power and cooling resources in the data center, allowing custom- ers to increase rack density up to 40 percent.4 These tools track and report energy usage at the memory, processor and system-level, as well as limit power to these entities according to policies defined by IT management. All PowerEdge 12th generation servers use right-sized power supplies, which intelligently maintain efficiency while ensuring availability and redundancy. These power management capa- bilities conserve energy without adversely affecting performance. Similarly, advanced thermal controls direct airflow only to where it is needed and adjust fan speeds for the best efficiency. Accomplish More with Virtualization Designed to reduce the entry cost for deploying virtualization, Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers ship with the performance to power business success. This new server family delivers capabilities that were previously priced out of SMB range, including enormous memory capacity, SSDs and network interface card partitioning. These features make PowerEdge 12th generation servers an ideal platform for reducing operational expenses and improving hardware utilization. In addition to offering the memory, disk technology and advanced processors required to run complex and demanding workloads, the new servers’ simplified management capabilities give small businesses a solid platform from which to launch or extend virtualization initiatives. For the first time, SMBs have the same opportunity as large enterprises to automate and streamline processes, improve application speed and performance, and transform IT into a stra- tegic enabler that contributes to the bottom line. ■ ◆ ABOUT DELL Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. Dell™ offers end-to-end IT solutions and services that empower IT organizations to reliably plan, implement, manage, evaluate and protect both simple and complex IT environments, while controlling the costs of infrastructure and operations. This broad portfolio of IT solutions, combined with unmatched expertise in architecting, implementing and analyzing these solutions, makes Dell the ideal partner to help you design and bring your IT strategy to life, while fulfilling your organization’s unique requirements. For more information, visit www.dell.com. Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s comput- ing devices. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom and blogs.intel.com. Dell and PowerEdge are registered trademarks of 3. Dell internal test results found that the 8-node Dell PowerEdge M915 blade servers achieved a SPECpower_ssj2008 result of 2,425 overall ssj_ops/  Dell Inc. in the United States and other countries. Watt, compared to the 4-node HP ProLiant BL680c G7 blade servers with a SPECpower_ssj2008 result of 1,260 overall ssj_ops/Watt score. Testing also determined that the 8-node M915 consumed only 1,492W at the Active Idle Point, compared to 2,291W for the 4-node BL680c G7. The 8 node M915 Intel and Xeon are registered trademarks of Intel achieved 14,982,232 ssj_ops@100% target load and a SPECpower_ssj2008 result of 2,425 overall ssj_ops/Watt, compared to the 4-node BL680c G7 Corp. in the United States and other countries. with 7,996,829 ssj_ops@100% target load and a SPECpower_ssj2008 result of 1,260 overall ssj_ops/Watt. Microsoft and SharePoint are registered trademarks Dell internal testing determined that a chassis loaded with 8 Dell PowerEdge M915 blade servers consumes 24% less power at idle than a chassis full of IBM BladeCenter HS22 blade servers. The 8 node M915 consumed only 1,492W at the Active Idle Point, compared to 1,973W for the 14 node IBM of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and BladeCenter HS22. The 8 node M915 achieves up to 11% higher performance/watt ratio than a chassis full of IBM BladeCenter HS22 blade servers. The other countries. 8 node M915 achieved a SPECpower_ssj2008 result of 2,425 overall ssj_ops/Watt, compared to the 14 node IBM BladeCenter HS22 with a SPECpower_ ssj2008 result of 2,181 overall ssj_ops/Watt score. © 2012 UBM TechWeb, a division of United Business Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. 4. 40% increase in density per published proof of concept http://communities.intel.com/docs/DOC-4212 // 5 //