When it comes to high-performance servers, what name comes to mind first? Dell wants to be at the top of the list, and the company’s newest product might just make that happen. The newest generation of the Dell PowerEdge MX server is future-proofed with advanced technology designed to do more than just house CPUs. It is designed to support expansion in terms of GPUs and FPGAs, also.
The Purpose of the New Server
The new PowerEdge MX server is designed for use in data centers, where it will help to support new technologies currently in development that will have a significant impact on data center operation down the road. AI is an excellent example of this but there are other technologies that will demand significant resources and impact data center workloads.
What Does the Server Offer?
The PowerEdge MX offers quite a few unique benefits for data centers. Perhaps the most significant is that it features modular capabilities, meaning that it is designed to adapt to future needs by simply adding new modules and removing modules that are either no longer necessary, or that have been outdated and are being replaced.
Dell calls this approach “server disaggregation”, but it really just means that users are able to build server configurations that meet their needs using disaggregated resources that can be changed as soon as necessary. Reprovisioning on the fly is possible, and a modular approach helps avoid the prospect of wasting assets.
The secret to Dell’s modular technology is a smart I/O fabric that connects servers and storage in the form of “blocks”. Software defines the computing environment and needs, allowing complete tailoring to workload-specific requirements at all times. Note that this technology is designed for use specifically in software-defined data centers.
In a statement released to the public, Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, Dell’s president and general manager of Dell EMC server and infrastructure systems, explained, “PowerEdge MX enables a modular approach to flexibly build and combine compute, storage and networking, so organizations can transform their IT in a way that optimizes resources and offers investment protection for future generations of technological advances.”
The future-proofing on offer from Dell comes directly from the modular capabilities of the new PowerEdge MX server. The system lacks a mid-plane, which allows direct compute to I/O module connections. This in turn fosters the ability to upgrade the system as needs dictate in the future without disrupting operations. Memory-reliant server devices, such as additional memory and storage, or additional GPUs and FPGAs, can be added simply and easily, without a mid-plane upgrade.
Ultimately, the new server should offer the ability to accommodate new CPUs, new GPUs, and other new technology far into the future, minimizing the need to invest in new servers, and allowing data centers to focus more on building the right systems to meet their clients’ needs, without the system being obsolete by the time it has been built and installed.
The purchase of a new PowerEdge MX server entitles a data center to the MX7000 chassis, but also both MX740c and MX840c compute sleds. Both of these can be replaced with an MX5016s storage sled if the customer prefers. It also includes ethernet and Fibre Channel switching modules.
For data center operators itching to put the new PowerEdge MX to work on their behalf, the system was due to hit the market by mid-September 2018. Pricing for the server has not been published at the time of this writing, although it will vary based on the devices installed at the time of purchase.