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SANplicity's Morgan said he has yet to see the VRTX's price point, how networking is done and how redundant it can be since it is contained in a single chassis.
He cited Dell's Active System 800 converged infrastructure solution as an example where buzz does not always meet reality.
"Dell oversells it," he said. "It said customers can get 100 virtual machines on 24 hard drives. You can't do it. You really have to dig through the marketing.
The PowerEdge VRTX is not the first converged infrastructure offering targeting the SMB market. The ExpressPod reference architecture from NetApp and Cisco, introduced last Fall, targets businesses with up to 500 users.
The new fifth-generation Dell Modular Data Center, based on high-density Dell PowerEdge servers, make use of individual power, IT and cooling modules that snap together to form an easy-to-deploy, easy-to-maintain data infrastructure, Dell's Norrod said.
"Modular Data Center is a misnomer," he said. "Our Modular Data Center is a completely engineered system from Dell that allows you to deploy on barren ground a complete data center."
Morgan said he is looking forward to getting details on Dell's latest Modular Data Center.
"This is a very niche market," he said. "But we just happen to have a customer looking to buy a modular data center."
Davenport's Clifford said his engineers are excited about the idea of a modular data center suitable for a broad customer set.
"The proof is in the details," he said. "But I think Dell makes sense. Think of what CIOs face. Every CIO on the planet is dealing with systems that can't go down, and they can't live with a degradation of performance. When you look at that complexity, if Dell can define a solution to simplify the data center, that's a powerful message. Put it in the hands of my engineers with faster deployment and simpler management and boom, they're ready to go."