Winning the Red Queen’s Race with Kinetic Infrastructure

Are you running fast just to stay in the same place?

In Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Through the Looking Glass, when Alice meets the Red Queen, she runs as fast as she can, but then realizes they remain under the same tree where they started.

“You may call it nonsense if you like,” but the Red Queen’s race can be an all-too real experience in the data center.[1] You are evolving, not to gain advantage, but simply to stand still in a world that is constantly changing. Maintaining the status quo might help you survive, but you won’t thrive.

You must constantly innovate to get ahead

If you want to get “somewhere else” you need to take the Red Queen’s advice, “you must run at least twice as fast as that.”[2] This is a good analogy to innovation in today’s business environment. With the digital economy, there can be no equilibrium, only unremitting innovation. Success will belong to those that continually innovate and transform through digitalization of their core businesses, implementation of new organizational and operational models, and investment in state-of-the-art technologies. This innovation is made real with IT modernization, architectures and infrastructure that will make you more nimble, intelligent, adaptive, and competitive. This is how to pull ahead.

You must modernize to build the lead

The path to digital breaks all the traditional compute infrastructure that has been deployed over the last 10 to 15 years. Advanced technologies like data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL) require specific infrastructure resources that can grow and evolve alongside them.

To support this wave of next-gen applications and workloads a modern infrastructure is required.[3] And to achieve a significant competitive advantage,[4] you need to invest in modernizing the compute [5] portion of this infrastructure to include:

  • Scale-out architecture to support data-intensive workloads with very few resources in ways scale-up systems can’t.
  • SSDs/NVMe,[6] and ultimately persistent memory[7], dominate storage because it delivers the faster, denser, and more reliable performance required by next-gen applications with better economics than spinning disk.
  • Accelerators in forms like GPUs, FPGAs and ASICS are used to augment conventional CPUs to speed up workloads.[8]
  • Open industry-standard APIs, like Redfish, replace complex and vulnerable traditional management interfaces.
  • Foundation of trust, which means it is secure and highly available, with world-class support.

This modern infrastructure scales to keep pace with business demands to enable faster time to market. It decreases complexity and downtime and provides a more secure and enduring foundation versus traditional hardware.[9] This is how you can put some distance between you and your competitors.

You win with composable and kinetic infrastructure

As applications and workloads become more dynamic, infrastructures must become more dynamic as well. As interest has grown in a more modular, integrated, fluid infrastructure, attention has turned to composability.[10] With composable infrastructure, all the data center resources are essentially brought together into a single pool from which the applications can draw whatever they need to run most quickly and efficiently. When the resources are no longer needed, they are returned into the pool. This means a more optimized infrastructure for IT. There is no need to overprovision. There are no stranded assets.

This is not about virtualizing the operating system (whether it be one for a server, a storage array, or a switch) to set it apart from the underlying hardware. Rather, it composes the compute, storage, and networking fabric to essentially create on-the-fly hardware capacity. It looks and feels like malleable bare metal. It breaks the tight coupling between CPUs and main and auxiliary memories.

Dell EMC uses the term “kinetic” to describe true composability.[11] It includes not only a modular infrastructure design, but also goes deeper by extending the idea of composability to individual storage devices. Eventually, it will be expanded to memory-centric devices like a DRAM, persistent memory, and accelerators, which currently are trapped in the server.

The new Dell EMC PowerEdge MX, kinetic infrastructure on modern server architecture allows for the composition of compute and storage resources through its built-in SAS infrastructure. Its unique “no mid-plane” design will enable the adoption of the latest interconnect technologies, like Gen-Z, IOs and CPUs as they become available. These technologies will enable full composability of all resources including new emerging “sub-microsecond class devices” like persistent memory.

PowerEdge MX kinetic infrastructure that instantly responds, adapts and evolves with shifting needs, will keep you out in front in the Red Queen’s Race.

[1] Lewis Carroll, “Through the Looking-Glass,” Chapter 2, 1872 (public domain)

[2] Ibid

[3] Dell EMC, Become A Digital Innovator, Modernize Your Infrastructure, December 2018

[4] Forrester Consulting, Modern Compute Is The Foundation For Your IT Transformation, commissioned by Dell EMC and Intel, February 2018

[5] Dell EMC, Igniting Innovation with PowerEdge Server Solutions

[6] Solid state drives/non-volatile memory express (SSDs/NVMe)

[7] Persistent memory is often referred to as storage class memory (SCM)

[8] Graphics processing units (GPUs), field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs)

[9] Forrester Consulting, Insights From Modernized IT: How To Achieve The Greatest Success As You Automate, commissioned by Dell EMC, November 2018

[10] Dell EMC, What is Composability and Why It Matters to Your IT’s Efficiency (video), August 2018

[11] Dell EMC, PowerEdge 101:  What is Kinetic Infrastructure & Why Does It Matter? (video), September 2018