Introduction to VxRail Dynamic Nodes and PowerFlex

VxRail Dynamic Nodes are a part of the VxRail family, designed to provide compute resources in a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) environment.
Unlike traditional VxRail nodes, Dynamic Nodes do not contribute storage to the vSAN datastore. Instead, they are compute-only nodes that leverage external storage arrays, providing flexibility and scalability in storage management. 
Dynamic Nodes have the same value proposition of standard vSAN based VxRail nodes, as they provide a fully integrated, pre-configured, and pre-tested solution that offers non-disruptive scaling, seamless integration and automated lifecycle management.

PowerFlex, is a software-defined storage (SDS) solution from Dell Technologies. It is designed to deliver extreme performance and flexible scaling across a wide range of deployment models, including HCI and two-layer architectures. PowerFlex creates a server SAN by combining the direct-attached storage (DAS) resources from multiple servers into a single, shared pool of block storage.
PowerFlex is a versatile platform that supports a wide range of hypervisors, kubernetes and operating systems. It integrates seamlessly with vSphere, allowing VxRail Dynamic Node cluster to manage their infrastructure using vSphere as their management tool of choice.

Storage Connectivity to PowerFlex

PowerFlex uses a distributed, scale-out architecture that combines the storage resources of multiple servers, known as Storage Data Servers (SDSs), into a unified storage pool. Each SDS contributes its internal storage to the pool, which is then divided into logical volumes that can be accessed by applications running on the same or different servers.

The servers that consume storage from the PowerFlex system are known as Storage Data Clients (SDCs). Each SDC runs a lightweight driver that presents the logical volumes to the host as if they were local SCSI devices. This means that applications can access storage on the PowerFlex system just like they would access local storage, with no need for any special APIs or modifications.

PowerFlex’s architecture allows it to deliver high performance and low latency, making it an ideal storage solution for demanding applications like databases and analytics. Moreover, its ability to scale out linearly means that you can add more storage and compute resources as your needs grow, without any downtime or disruption.

VSI Integration in vCenter Server

The Dell EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) is a plug-in for VMware vSphere that simplifies storage management in virtualized environments. With VSI, you can view, provision, and manage datastores on Dell EMC storage systems directly from the vSphere Client.

VSI integrates with vCenter Server, allowing you to manage your storage resources alongside your virtual machines and other virtual infrastructure components. This means you can perform tasks like creating and resizing datastores, provisioning new virtual machines, and monitoring storage performance, all from a single interface.

VSI supports a wide range of Dell EMC storage systems, including PowerMax, PowerStore, XtremIO, and Unity. 

In the following example, we are provisioning PowerFlex volumes directly from the vCenter Server plugin to our VxRail nodes.


The combination of VxRail Dynamic Nodes and PowerFlex offers a powerful, scalable, and flexible solution for modern data centers. The integration of VSI in vCenter Server further enhances the management and monitoring capabilities, making it a robust solution for managing virtualized environments.

This blog post provides a technical overview of these technologies. For more detailed information, please refer to the official Dell Technologies documentation.