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Dell has done a fantastic job of building a converged infrastructure platform, said Paul Clifford, president of Davenport Group, a St. Paul, Minn.-based solution provider and Dell partner.
"The twelfth generation of Dell servers is awesome," Clifford said. "Dell's Force10 is an incredible networking solution. And Dell EqualLogic is the second-best storage on the planet, after Dell Compellent. If it meshes together like Dell says it will, it's a powerful solution."
Clifford said he can't wait to start selling the Dell Converged Blade Data Center solution.
"This solution goes at the heart of Cisco's UCS business," he said. "UCS looks great on paper. But the pricing? High. And the idea of buying everything from one vendor? That's why we ran from IBM in the 1980s because one company controlled it all. With Dell, you get the data center in a box, but it's open. If you buy from Dell, you can still buy other products, from anyone you want. If you want UCS, it becomes a Cisco-only infrastructure."
The new Dell Converged Blade Data Center solution is perfect for the midrange customers with which Davenport typically works, Clifford said. "This can go into a divisional operation or in remote offices and becomes their data center," he said.
The heart of the new Dell Converged Blade Data Center solution is the company's new EqualLogic PS-M4110 blade arrays, which are based on the same technology powering the company's existing EqualLogic storage. The PS-M4110 blade arrays include two controllers and up to 14 2.5-inch SAS hard drives or up to five SSDs and nine SAS hard drives.
The PS-M4110 fits into Dell's 10U PowerEdge M1000e blade chassis. Customers can choose a single blade array, two blade arrays grouped together in a load-balanced group, or two groups of two arrays for up to 56 TBs of storage in a 10U chassis.
The arrays are scalable to up to 2 petabytes of storage when external EqualLogic storage is attached, said Travis Vigil, executive director for Dell EqualLogic.
"This is the only storage in the industry that's a fully redundant, enterprise-class storage array inside a blade chassis," Vigil said.
Each EqualLogic PS-M4110 blade array supports up to 450 virtual desktops, while two of the arrays together support up to 6,000 Microsoft Exchange users, Vigil said. The arrays are scheduled to ship in the third quarter.
NEXT: New Networking, Storage Technologies For Converged Infrastructure