With VMware Explore this week, we wanted to cover something that we are going to be looking at a bit more in-depth soon. QCT is perhaps best known for servicing cloud providers with compute, storage, networking, and AI solutions. The company is also pushing into the enterprise with solutions for both VMware as well as Microsoft. We are going to be taking a look at some of the servers soon, so we figured we would do a quick piece discussing some of the solutions.
New QCT VMware Solutions
This week QCT discussed its VMware solutions such as QxStack for VCF, QxVDI for its VDI offerings, and QxStack Tanzu for Kubernetes. It also puts a special emphasis on AI.
Something that was common in the pre-validated solutions launched this week is the use of systems like the QCT QuantaGrid D54Q. Here is a picture of the coolest one we have seen, the liquid-cooled version. We are going to have more on the QCT liquid-cooled servers in a few weeks, but this is a big push for QCT. The same air-cooled QuantaGrid D54Q servers that run its VMware solutions also have variants that are liquid-cooled.
VMware is pushing into the hybrid cloud world, and for that, there is the QCT VMware HCI solution. That means that the hardware has been pre-certified to work with VMware vSphere, vSAN, and other components. We know some STH readers build their own VMware clusters, but for enterprises that want support, having pre-certified supported solutions is important.
VMware Cloud Foundation solutions also have their own set of pre-validated hardware solutions based on the D54X-1U and D54Q-2U. Just to give some sense, it can take 340+ hours of testing time and months to certify a single SKU.
We found pictures of the D54X-1U and one can see a very cloud-like ease of service and symmetric layout with PSUs and expansion slots on opposite sides of the chassis.
There are many different storage options, but here is a view of the QuantaGrid D54X-1U with E1.S EDSFF SSDs.
Beyond these servers, QCT also has dedicated visualization GPU servers for Horizon VDI.
QCT Enterprise AI Solution
This week VMware made some noise with a new Enterprise AI suite. QCT has been making AI servers for so long for large hyper-scale companies that it is taking that expertise, plus VMware and its Enterprise AI offering, and turning that into a solution for enterprises.
Just to give some sense, there are a huge number of large ($100M+) AI deals out there in the market right now. QCT’s position as a long-term AI systems vendor is helping it get supply to meet the hardware requirements of these AI solutions whereas some of the traditional large enterprise OEMs are struggling to meet the AI systems demand.
QCT Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Solutions
Just to balance this out, QCT also has Microsoft Azure Stack HCI solutions. Microsoft not only has the on-prem cloud resources but also the ability to scale to the Azure public cloud as well as other clouds.
Part of that is also that QCT has its own Windows Admin Center extension. This is in some ways table stakes for getting into Azure Stack HCI, but it is important. There are several large OEMs/ ODMs that focused on the cloud markets but never developed this capability.
While we focused a lot on VMware here, QCT has options for the Microsoft folks as well.
QCT for years has made some really cool servers for cloud providers. Now it is bringing those solutions to the enterprise market by doing things like creating certified solutions for VMware and Microsoft. Right now, enterprise server spending is being dominated by things like AI servers. There, QCT is one of only a handful of vendors that has been active for years and has a full set of AI servers. That handful of vendors is not the legacy enterprise OEMs who are 2-5 years behind in their AI server designs at this point. QCT’s focus now is to expand its portfolio to not just service cloud providers, but also enterprises that use VMware and Microsoft.
Hopefully, the teaser in this one will make folks excited. We are going to get to see some of these nodes in action in two weeks. Expect more as we get that written up.