How Silicon Labs rapidly scaled IT infrastructure capacity to meet burst and peak demands

How Silicon Labs rapidly scaled IT infrastructure capacity to meet burst and peak demands

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As dynamic fluctuations in workloads happen, the hard question of whether to overbuy or underbuy becomes inevitable.

Having an infrastructure that renders flexibility and choice, even during uncertainties, can be a game-changer. Through Dell Technologies Inc. and partner Computacenter US Inc., Silicon Laboratories Inc. is utilizing Dell APEX Flex on Demand to deliver a flexible consumption model to avoid over or under-configuring, according to Jud Barron (pictured, center), R&D infrastructure architect at Silicon Labs.

“The thing that was interesting to us about Flex on Demand is the ability to have a commit rate that the customer can work with Dell Financial Services to figure out is it 80%, 60%, or whatever,” Barron stated. “They give us additional servers that we pay just when we’re using them.”

Barron; Darren Fedorowicz (pictured, right), senior vice president at Dell Financial Services; and Steve Fazende (pictured, left), regional vice president of sales at Computacenter, spoke with industry analyst Dave Vellante at the Dell Technologies World event, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how Silicon Labs deploys Dell APEX Flex on Demand to gain more flexibility and choice, even during peak times. (* Disclosure below.)

Determining the baseline

Based on APEX’s objective of rendering choice and flexibility, Fedorowicz believes determining a baseline is crucial because it gives customers the option to pay for what they use. 

“We determine a baseline with our customers and Computacenter to understand your environment, you’re going to use this minimum amount, and that becomes your baseline … it can go as low as 25% and up to 80%,” Fedorowicz explained. “In a server environment, it is usually 70% to 80%. If you go up one month during your peak, you get charged at that peak. If a couple of months are lower, you’re going to pay only for the usage.”

As a semiconductor company, Silicon Labs used to grapple with increased workloads during tape-outs, but APEX is helping fill the void, according to Barron.

“In the past, using a traditional method … we were going to buy a bunch of servers,” he pointed out. “We tend to undershoot whatever our peaks are, because we may have a peak every couple of months during these tape-outs, but sometimes tape-outs slip. We ended up using it in Austin, and then we built a whole data center in Asia and did the whole thing on Flex on Demand.”

For an enterprise that is growing and has variability or seasonality, Fedorowicz believes APEX is the ideal consumption model. It is also spread across 35 countries.

“This is a great model because they can still control their environment either within their own domain or in a colo,” he noted. “They also have the capability to pick anything within the Dell ISG catalog and configure it to meet their environment and be able to work with a trusted partner like Computacenter.”

As one of the largest global value-added resellers, Fazende believes Computacenter’s role in its partnership with Dell enabled Silicon Labs to roll out a pay-as-you-go subscription-based model.

“We huddled with the Dell team collectively and talked about what we could offer and how we could solve the problem … APEX is a really nice brand today,” he stated.

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Dell Technologies World event:

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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