Dell Commences Cloud Computing Charge

At its massive "Solutions for the Virtual Era" product launch in San Francisco on Wednesday Dell revealed a host of new products and services. As part of the launch, Dell pulled the curtain off of its new turnkey cloud solutions play. The offerings piggyback on the roughly three years of experience Dell has amassed with cloud offerings in its Data Center Solutions group.

The Round Rock, Texas-based company said it is offering new integrated solution stacks, services and hardware to ease the deployment and management of cloud environments.

In a blog post outlining Dell's new cloud solutions, Dell cloud evangelist Barton George said the company's new solutions feature tested and supported cloud solution stacks tying together hardware, software and services that ease customers' ability to deploy and manage cloud environments.

First to market will be Dell's cloud platform for Web applications. Working with cloud software provider Joyent, Dell will offer a turnkey private Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution comprising pre-tested, pre-assembled and fully-supported hardware, software and services -- all sold and supported by Dell. The PaaS offering will thwart key challenges of Web app development and deployment like unpredictable traffic and fear of under-provisioning and migration. Dell said the solution is aimed at enterprise application developers looking to develop applications in the cloud to be deployed in the cloud, George wrote.

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Dell also added new ISV partners to the mix to help lead customers through deployments. George said the Cloud Partner Program will be available to cloud ISVs, through which Dell will offer cloud solutions and blueprints optimized and validated for Dell's cloud platforms. At first, Dell will work with three partners: Aster Data, which will provide Web analytics; Canonical, which offers an open source Infrastructure-as-a-Service private cloud; and Greenplum, a self-service data warehousing vendor.

Dell said it will continue to work with VMware and Microsoft on the "Evolutionary" cloud side, and Microsoft and Dell will work together on joint solutions on the Windows Azure platform with Dell offering services and Microsoft investing in Dell hardware for the Azure infrastructure, Dell said.

Dell also launched a new line of hyperscale-inspired PowerEdge C servers, which includes the PowerEdge C1100, C2100 and C6100 targeting HPC, data analytics, gaming, social networking and, of course, cloud computing. The servers are based on Dell-created designs that are in use by large Web companies and cloud providers. The C1100 is a high-memory, power-efficient, cluster-optimized compute node server; the C2100 is a high performance data analytics, cloud computing platform and cloud storage server; and the C6100 is a four-node cloud- and cluster-optimized, shared infrastructure server.

Lastly, Dell unveiled a suite of professional cloud servers geared toward helping customers prepare for and implement cloud computing solutions. Dell's Integrated Solution Services will deliver cloud lifecycle management and also include cloud readiness assessment services, and additional services around cloud design, deployment, management and maintenance.