Disruption comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, you can't even see it. Regardless, a cool name doesn't hurt a disruptive force, and can actually enhance its impact. Such is the case with the mCloud Helix, a wild-sounding mechanism that offers a bold promise: private cloud in a box. Granted, the cloud is all about servers, so in-and-of-itself, this offer isn't terribly novel. But when you peek under the covers, coolness does appear.
Created by a partnership of Dell and Morphlabs, the mCloud Helix comes configured with OpenStack software, and is reportedly the first cloud vendor to bring forth such a full-scale open-source offering. It's also stacked to the gills with processing power, Solid State Drives, massive storage and more.

In our recent Briefing Room with Morphlabs, Dell and Analyst Shawn Rogers of Enterprise Management Associates, here's what we discovered:

  • Morphlabs made sure to focus on a read-oriented approach to solid-state drives, thus avoiding that oft-mentioned problem of write entropy that has plagued some SSDs;
  • Dell's "Cloud Taxonomy" consists of administrative, infrastructure, abstraction and physical layers, and covers the range of analytical and operational functionality customers might want, including analytics, reporting, security, legacy systems and more;
  • The Crowbar Software Framework is used to build the Cloud taxonomy for a particular environment, ideally expediting setup;
  • The mCloud Helix comes with 80 vCPUs (100% SSD), 3TB ZFS Storage, 224 GB RAM and a price tag of $75,000
  • Enterprise Management Associates recommends a "hybrid data ecosystem" for working with the broadening range of information systems;
  • If you buy two boxes for redundancy purposes, that's called the mCloud DoubleHelix (#coolness).
Here is a URL to the archived recording of this Webcast:


Past Briefing Room episodes are available here.