The definition of a VxRail Dynamic node: ‘VxRail systems that are compute-only nodes used to form a vSphere cluster.’

This essentially means that a VxRail Dynamic node cluster relies on having external storage acting as primary. Support for HCI Mesh and FC based external storage compute-only clusters was introduced as part of the VxRail 7.0.240 release. These compute-only ESXi VxRail clusters can leverage FC based external storage attaching to DELL EMC storage arrays for example PowerStore, PowerMax, and Unity XT storage. Dynamic nodes as per all VxRail nodes include a pair of mirrored internal BOSS SATA M.2 cards used to boot ESXi on the node. Due to the fact these are compute-only clusters with no internal storage a vSAN license is not required for VxRail Dynamic-Node clusters. VxRail dynamic nodes are also supported with VCF On VxRail beginning with VCF 4.3.1 on VxRail 7.0.240, this applies to the VI Workload Domains only as the Management Workload Domain continues to require VSAN as primary storage.

Dell EMC External Storage Options:

  • PowerStore
  • Unity XT
  • PowerMAX

The available 14G VxRail Dynamic node options as per the VxRail 7.0.240 release are as follows:

  • VxRail E560F
  • VxRail P570F
  • V570F

List of supported FC HBA cards (please refer to the support matrix):

  • Emulex LPE 35002 Dual Port 32 Gb HBA​
  • Emulex LPE 31002 Dual Port 16 Gb HBA​
  • QLogic 2772 Dual Port 32 Gb HBA​
  • QLogic 2692 Dual Port 16 Gb HBA​

New VxRail day-1 bring-up deployment options including FC Array options (FC Switch zoning & VMFS LUN presentation completed in advance):

From a lifecycle management perspective the VxRail HCI System Software owns the LCM of the dynamic nodes, the FC HBA cards may have their firmware/drivers updated as part of this process provided VxRail vLCM has been enabled. The LCM of the storage array and FC switch is handled separately.

Reference Material:

TechBook—Dell EMC VxRail System

Dell EMC VxRail™ 7.0.x Release Notes

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