When you think of servers, your first thought is likely to be a pristine data center with clean walls and floors, ventilated to prevent overheating. But nowadays as technology becomes more reliable and connected and with the emergence of industry trends such as IoT, companies want to deploy solutions outside the walls of the datacenter – enabling productivity regardless of the environment.
For instance, servers on factory floors must endure dust and varying temperatures. And military vehicles, aircraft and ships need servers for processing intelligence data or surveying terrain. As you can imagine a military armored vehicle must withstand a wide range of temperatures, shock and vibration resistance, so its components – and technology – must be able to sustain under those pressures too. The Dell PowerEdge R420xr does just that. Designed for shock and vibration resistance, optional advanced dust filtration and the ability to operate in high temperatures and altitudes, it enables customers to deliver virtualization-ready power to demanding deployments constrained by size, weight and power (SWaP).
That’s why in addition to producing world-class data center solutions, companies like Dell also offer solutions that are ruggedized to help organizations find reliable solutions for field and non-traditional datacenter deployments use cases . But how do you find the right vendor for these applications? Choosing the right OEM partner is critical to help companies fulfill their customer needs for a rugged OEM solution. Whether you’re building solution for oil and gas or telecommunications industries, or building a solution for military use – performance, durability, reliability, and cost are critical for these organizations.
Customers need to have confidence your solutions can deliver unparalleled performance even in harsh environments; this is especially true for delicate technology components. This may mean you have to meet a specific industry certification or demonstrate your systems can withstand a list of required conditions. However, this can be a costly (and time consuming) endeavor.
One example where rugged OEM solutions have been helping partners and their customers exceed their needs for on-the-field applications is Dell’s work with Tracewell Systems. The two organizations came together to develop a line of solutions that deliver high performance data solutions as well as other mission critical applications, delivering “beyond the back office” computing to defense agencies. Previously defense strategists and technologists designed solutions for their back office mission needs and then cobbled together costly custom computing products for the field. With the rugged solutions that Dell and Tracewell designed, defense agencies, are able to benefit from one powerful, high performance computing platform for all of their needs and fitting within any sort of space constrained, harsh or unusual environment.
“The Dell PowerEdge FX architecture represents the next generation computing platform for the military and aerospace industry. Our T-FX2 product combines our engineering and manufacturing expertise to create a solution that specifically addresses the size, weight, power and environmental needs of this industry,” says Matt Tracewell, VP of Tracewell Systems. “In addition, working in partnership with Dell enables our customers to rapidly integrate new servers and modules throughout the PowerEdge product lifecycle,” he added.
Converged infrastructure, or multiple IT components grouped into a single, optimized server, are quickly becoming a popular way for those requiring rugged packages for their compute needs. The Tracewell T-FX2 converged solution is based on the Dell PowerEdge FX2 converged infrastructure platform.
By using Tracewell’s Form Factor Engineering, Dell FX modules are engineered to meet customer demands related to SWaP. In addition, improved cooling and resistance to shock and vibration enable the Tracewell T-FX2 to be deployed in non-traditional datacenter environments. The collaboration between Dell and Tracewell is allowing OEM customers to take advantage of a powerful FX platform that enables rapid scalability with the needed performance and certifications to meet workload demands in the environment that best suits customers’ needs.
The other thing to consider when choosing an OEM is the hidden costs. Between costly compliance testing and growing competition, you’re also likely to face constant pressure from your customers to cut prices — and from your internal team to cut costs so that you can increase profits, something you’ll be hard-pressed to handle on your own as you juggle multiple suppliers. This is another key reason to consider going with a tier 1 OEM partner, and choosing to design your solutions on products that have already been certified against industry standards such as MIL-STD-810G, MIL-S-901D, NEBS Level 3 and others.
To balance these pressures, many companies have turned to an increasingly broad array of suppliers in an effort to remain profitable, but that leads to increased complexity and doesn’t always yield the savings intended. However, a true end-to-end provider has a rugged solutions ecosystem. In addition to rugged server technology, Dell offers rugged client solutions such as the new Embedded Box PCs that are fanless and ruggedized client solutions, used for everything from vehicles to industrial environments to retail kiosks to manufacturing spaces. Dell OEM Rugged technology is designed for companies whose solutions require rugged computing technology — along with the security, manageability and support that customers demand – helping your business to avoid these issues.