+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10
Hardware Thread, Looking to go virtual - been suggested the Dell VRTX for everything? in Technical; We are trying to move away from our one-physical-server-per-role approach to a virtualised setup, where 2 physical servers running vmware ...
  1. #1
    dgsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Merseyside, England
    Posts
    1,111
    Thank Post
    119
    Thanked 90 Times in 78 Posts
    Rep Power
    37

    Looking to go virtual - been suggested the Dell VRTX for everything?

    We are trying to move away from our one-physical-server-per-role approach to a virtualised setup, where 2 physical servers running vmware would be sufficient and initially have been looking at a dual HP-Proliant-380 setup with a SAN connected via switches to achieve this which I believe has been a typically standard approach.

    However, we were made aware of the Dell VRTX server (never really considered dell previously) but this does actually sound too good to be true.. "everything" in a single box including the ability to expand physical servers and have the equivalent to our SAN on it too without compromising on anything?

    What we don't want to do is seriously consider it if it's got flaws (lesser powered, limited expandability, minimal upgrade potential etc) in comparison to having actual full height, dedicated physical servers. Is there any reason why we wouldn't want to consider the VRTX? Besides the fact that when I look on the spec they still have Sandy Bridge processors only available, is there any "gotchas" we need to be aware of?

    I was always of the thought "if it sounds too good to be true.." so need to ensure we are aware of any pitfalls if they exist.

  2. #2

    FN-GM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,374
    Thank Post
    906
    Thanked 1,811 Times in 1,559 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Rep Power
    468
    Its really a mini blade enclosure. The issue is your limited on capacity. If you run out of space for blades and storage you will have an issue. Something really good about these is they are nearly silent and don't throw out a great amount of heat, excellent for branch offices. I don't think it can be rack mounted.

    I don't think the VRTX has 10GB uplinks. Would be an issue.
    Last edited by FN-GM; 6th March 2014 at 12:42 PM.

  3. #3
    AndiMarv's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Banbury, Oxon
    Posts
    52
    Thank Post
    11
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    Rep Power
    6
    I had a two node VRTX setup installed back in the summer and I love it!

    I am only using 10 out of a potential 25 HDD slots in mine and this comfortably holds all of my VMs, file storage, and backup to disk locations.

    With a small registry change Microsoft HyperV will accept the VRTX Drives for Fail-over clustering which is blisteringly fast when it comes to fail-overs.

    I've got a single web console for everything now; both of my nodes, the storage, the networking... it is brilliant.

    Oh, and the VRTX is rack mountable - mine is free standing as my server cab is moving in a year or so but your Dell dealer will be able to arrange a mounting kit.

    (sorry this sounds a lot like an advert but I have been so impressed with the entire thing and I still have tons of room to expand with another two nodes and shed loads of hard disks)

  4. #4

    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Ribchester
    Posts
    1,986
    Thank Post
    362
    Thanked 349 Times in 280 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    203
    If you wanted a larger system for expandability We could do you a HP C7000 Chassis with as many blade servers and storage blades as you wanted (Up to 16 in total)

    That should be an all in one solution for you!

  5. #5

    seawolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    969
    Thank Post
    12
    Thanked 287 Times in 219 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    176
    Looks pretty impressive actually. The one thing that seems to possibly let it down is the lack of 10GbE. If you don't have 10GbE uplinks or plan to in the next few years to though that point is moot.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Heywood, Lancs
    Posts
    226
    Thank Post
    7
    Thanked 54 Times in 49 Posts
    Rep Power
    29
    We have been looking at these and was very impressed looking at one at BETT. We are seriously considering using one of these to transition our Citrix VDI cluster which is currently spread over three Dell 720's. They really seem to me to be a an impressive product, and I think Dell are underselling them a bit as they seem to be targeting the "branch office remote site no space for a proper server room" market. I'm pretty much committed to getting one for us to install over the summer.

  7. #7

    sonofsanta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK
    Posts
    5,375
    Thank Post
    958
    Thanked 1,630 Times in 1,103 Posts
    Blog Entries
    47
    Rep Power
    711
    According to PC Pro's review you can get 10GbE mezzanine cards.
    For networking, each VRTX node has a 10GbE mezzanine card, which links directly via the midplane to an eight-port switch at the rear. This is a basic L2 Gigabit switch and Dell plans to offer a 10GbE version as well.
    I assume that was the review unit as configured, so may just be an option. EDIT: rereading more closely, your actual networking is limited by that 8 port switch - so it may be that 10GbE is in the near future, then.

    Our virtual server infrastructure isn't due for replacement for a couple of years yet (been in three) but this is an interesting solution... should make getting the servers & SAN to talk to each other a damn sight easier, anyway.
    Last edited by sonofsanta; 6th March 2014 at 01:40 PM.

  8. #8

    FN-GM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,374
    Thank Post
    906
    Thanked 1,811 Times in 1,559 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Rep Power
    468
    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    According to PC Pro's review you can get 10GbE mezzanine cards.


    I assume that was the review unit as configured, so may just be an option. EDIT: rereading more closely, your actual networking is limited by that 8 port switch - so it may be that 10GbE is in the near future, then.

    Our virtual server infrastructure isn't due for replacement for a couple of years yet (been in three) but this is an interesting solution... should make getting the servers & SAN to talk to each other a damn sight easier, anyway.
    The coms between servers in the enclosure is 10GB but the connection to an external switch is limited to 1 x 8GB. You could team these up so it would be like a 8GB connection.

  9. Thanks to FN-GM from:

    sonofsanta (6th March 2014)

  10. #9
    AButters's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    562
    Thank Post
    187
    Thanked 126 Times in 97 Posts
    Rep Power
    46
    I'd still prefer multiple dual CPU servers. You are putting all your eggs in one basket with the dell vrtx which is never a wise idea (though, it is a _really_ nice basket...)

  11. #10
    dgsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Merseyside, England
    Posts
    1,111
    Thank Post
    119
    Thanked 90 Times in 78 Posts
    Rep Power
    37
    It's something that on the face of it seems like the perfect solution to us, as we were only looking at having 2 physical servers to virtualise on anyway and this provides provision for 4, plus the higher transfer rates to storage that would otherwise be on an external SAN.

    I am just finding it hard to get my head around having the entire network.. literally everything.. on a box which doesn't seem much larger than my desktop tower (depth aside).

    Seems that the max CPU Dell will do is from the Ivy Bridge family, and whether or not the chassis will allow for newer blades to be inserted I am not sure, but everything points to a solution that is just ideal and I am trying to find what is normally the inevitable "but"s yet can't find anything particularly deal-destroying. Could it really be as it seems??
    Last edited by dgsmith; 6th March 2014 at 04:01 PM.



SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Heads up for anyone looking to go over to the dark side
    By roymorden in forum Educational IT Jobs
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25th January 2013, 12:10 PM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 7th June 2010, 01:13 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12th May 2010, 12:46 PM
  4. Replies: 12
    Last Post: 23rd February 2010, 11:46 AM
  5. Replies: 19
    Last Post: 25th September 2008, 01:18 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •