Dell Adds Management Capabilities, Services For Converged Infrastructure

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Dell on Wednesday expanded its converged infrastructure platform with the introduction of new management capabilities and services under its Virtual Integrated System architecture.

The new enhancements come less than a year after Dell entered the converged networking market, said Matt Baker, the company's senior manager for enterprise strategy.

"In early 2010, we introduced our VIS architecture," Baker said. "It's our solution to this emerging world of integrated data centers, or what some may call a cloud."

Converged infrastructure is the tight integration of server, storage, networking, virtualization, and other resources tied together as part of a single-vendor data center solution.

Such a solution can be managed as a single system. Its resources can be dynamically allocated as needed, providing higher resource utilization and availability than possible with static infrastructures.

Primary vendors fighting for leadership of the converged infrastructure bandwagon include Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM. They are either building their solutions with their own storage, server, networking, and virtualization technology, or working with partners to fill in those technologies they currently lack.

For a vendor like Dell, which has traditionally relied on hardware for the bulk of its revenue, the stakes in the converged infrastructure market are high because once a customer settles on a data center-wide solution, it is hard for other vendors to get in.

Dell's converged infrastructure strategy is two-fold. On the one hand, the company is combining its own server and storage technologies with partners' networking equipment into a single architecture. On the other hand, it is using its Virtual Integrated System, or VIS, platform to manage multi-vendor hardware as a single resource.

As part of its VIS enhancement, Dell on Wednesday introduced enhancements to its Advanced Infrastructure Manager, an application that allows a single administrator to allocate server, storage, and network resources for specific application workloads.

The biggest change with Advanced Infrastructure Manager was the introduction of a plug-in for VMware's vCenter virtualization management software that allows both AIM and vCenter to be managed from a single GUI, Baker said.

As a result, customers will be able to manage servers, storage, and networking in both physical and virtual environments at the same time, he said.


Next: Giving Users More Control Over Services

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