Egenera Partners With Dell For Data Center In A Box

data center

The PAN Data Center in a box has yet to be announced by the Round Rock, Texas-based manufacturer, but Egenera, the Marlboro, Mass.-based company that Dell has an OEM partnership with, lifted the curtain on the solution this week.

"The Dell PAN Manager logically abstracts the assets in a data center so that a customer can manage them through drag and drop," said Christine Crandell, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Egenera. "That means the solution provides mission-critical availability at the lowest level and lowest complexity available."

Ultimately, Dell and Engenera are looking to provide an upper-midmarket and enterprise-class solution that reduces costs.

"We make managing data centers easy," said Crandell. "The PAN Manager can save customers up to 70 percent in operating expenses."

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For Bob Venero, president and CEO of Future Tech Enterprise, a Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider, the move to Egenera's solution shows that Dell continues to listen to its partners.

"Dell is listening," said Venero. "Customers are saying, 'Do more with less, reduce costs, consolidate and virtualize.' This solution helps them accomplish all of those things."

This latest move by Dell comes shortly after it expanded its partnership with Brocade to expand its footprint in the data center in a move to create revenue based on services instead of simply hardware sales, something other vendors, notably Cisco with its Unified Computing Solution, are also looking to capture.

But for Crandell, Egenera's PAN solution provides something both to Dell and solution providers that other competitors simply can't: experience.

"We've been around for about eight years now," she said. "Our solution is already installed in nearly 1,400 mission-critical sites. What Egenera brings is an industry-proven solution that, interestingly enough, does what Cisco's UCS claims it will do."

That proven track record is happening at exactly the right time for Venero, who sees a sea change occurring in the industry, with infrastructure contracting and more emphasis being placed on savings and value.

"We are at the pinnacle of change in direction in the IT industry," said Venero. "We are getting back to a consolidated environment, vs. a disparate one and that change is being driven in part by the economic climate. But the consolidation is also happening because of the complexity in supporting such a diverse data center."

The Dell PAN Manager from Egenera provides an all-in-one data-center solution that is designed to reduce cost in several ways while providing all the functionality an enterprise-class data center needs. Customers interact with PAN through a single console located in the data center that is hooked up to the racks. From that console a smaller team can manage all the hardware hooked up to the solution and provision in the cloud.

In addition, the Dell PAN Data Center in a box is designed with redundancy in mind. Now a customer can rely on a single solution for fail-over capabilities rather than going out and purchasing a second set of identical hardware to act as a backup system.

"We enable the solution to fail over to another blade in the system so customers don't have to buy all that extra hardware," said Crandell. "Customers don't have to buy extra software and can reduce head count as well."

The Dell PAN Data Center in a box is a single enclosure for up to 16 blades and hosts all the features typically found in a data center. The solution includes preintegrated SAN storage, virtual machines and N+1 high availability for physical and virtual workloads. The box also includes preintegrated converged fabric networking and reconfigurable I/O, network and storage. Automated configuration and provision comes preloaded, along with dual-redundant system controllers.

Customers and solution providers can also choose to include optional disaster recovery for all workloads, networking and I/O.

"The Dell PAN Manager all-in-one data center simplifies a customer's operation by creating a data center with a dynamic footprint," said Venero. "It has the potential to reduce expenses around cost initiatives in the data center. That's what Egenera and Dell bring to the table."