Dell on Thursday introduced a new converged infrastructure solution optimized for the SAP HANA workload.
The company also said it has integrated its Active System with automated application deployment technology it received with its acquisition last year of Gale Technologies.
The moves are aimed at making it easier for customers to deploy mission-critical enterprise applications using Dell technology, said Steve Stover, director of product management and strategy for the company.
"We're giving our customers the agility to implement the apps they use the most," Stover said. "With our application-centric approach, we're taking out customer worry about deploying and managing IT services."
The news is centered on Dell's December introduction of the Active System 800, a converged infrastructure solution available with reference architectures that lay out for Dell's solution providers and customers how to integrate complete solutions for Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View virtual desktop infrastructures, as well as with such Microsoft applications as Exchange 2010, SharePoint 2010 and Lync 2010.
The Active System 800 was Dell's first actual solution based on its Active Infrastructure converged infrastructure plans, first unveiled in October.
For the Active System, Dell is introducing Active System Manager 7.0, a new version of its software for simplifying infrastructure configuration, integrating management tools, and driving automation and consistency through template-based provisioning and automated configuration.
Active System Manager 7.0 is now available with technology from Dell's November acquisition of Gale Technologies.
That technology helps customers turn discrete server, storage and networking components into integrated solutions for high-end applications, virtualized environments and private cloud environments.
Active System Manager 7.0 lets Dell and its system integrator partners move from bare metal hardware to production applications in a matter of hours, Stover said.
It adds workload deployment and virtual infrastructure provisioning and management capabilities to Active System installations, he said.
Dell currently has 10 systems integrator partners that are working with Active System Manager but plans to roll it out to its general partner base this year, he said.
Also new is a complete range of SAP-certified configurations for SAP HANA, a high-performance analytic appliance software that uses in-memory computing to boost the performance of applications that process large volumes of data.
NEXT: Dell Certified Solutions For SAP HANA
SAP HANA is typically available through large system vendors such as Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) that integrate the solution for sales through their direct or indirect sales channels.
The Dell Certified Solutions for SAP HANA are built around Dell's PowerEdge R910 rack mount servers and Dell Compellent storage, and they are designed for non-disruptive scalability from 1 TB to up to 8 TB of capacity, which is the maximum capacity supported by SAP HANA, Dell's Stover said.
Unlike some competitive products, the Dell solution starts at 1 TB, not at 2 TB, Stover said. "We're allowing customers to grow their systems without ripping and replacing prior investments," he said.
All the "rack-and-stack" configuration of the Dell Certified Solutions for SAP HANA are done by Dell before shipping to the customer site, he said.
For now, customers can order the SAP HANA solution direct from Dell. However, Stover said, it will be available to Dell's systems integrator partners sometime this Spring.
While Dell is initially targeting its new solutions at its direct customers despite the traditional channel-only focus of the Compellent storage line that Dell acquired in 2011, smart solution providers should not have to fear a change in how Dell works with them, said Patrick Mulvee, vice president of sales and marketing at Sidepath, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and Dell partner.
Anyone can sell Compellent storage, either direct or indirect, Mulvee said.
"Partners who don't have a lot of value may get hurt," he said. "But we bring in a lot of value to Dell, so we do well. We are constantly getting requests to do professional services on Compellent storage sold by others, but we decline unless we actually sell the hardware."
PUBLISHED JAN. 31, 2013
This story was updated on Jan. 31, 2013, at 10:10 a.m. PST, to correct that the announcement was made on Thursday, not Friday; to note that Dell has introduced a new converged infrastructure, not expanded its Active System; and to specify that Dell's PowerEdge R910 is built around round rack mount servers, not server blades.