Dell Details New Products And Services For Converged Infrastructure

Dell is upping the ante in the coming war with such vendors as HP and Cisco over converged infrastructures by introducing new storage and server products along with pre-configured solutions using virtualization technology from VMware and Microsoft.

Dell on Wednesday unveiled new EqualLogic and PowerVault storage arrays along with new PowerEdge blade servers, several of which include SSDs for high-performance storage operations.

The company also unveiled six new Dell Business Ready Configurations which offer pre-configured solutions including servers, storage, networking, and VMware or Microsoft virtualization.

The new hardware and solutions come at a time when some of the top IT vendors are trying to lock data center customers in and competitors with converged infrastructure plans.

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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.

The importance of getting a piece of the converged infrastructure business is made more urgent by the fact that, as businesses start adopting cloud computing, the vendor with the bulk of a data center's IT business will be the front runner for connecting to the cloud.

Next: Dell Fills Out Its Converged Infrastructure Technology

Wednesday saw Dell introduce six new Business Ready Configurations consisting of server, storage, networking, and virtualization technology as part of a single solution that integrates with customers' existing architectures.

Those new pre-configured solutions can be paired with new storage, virtualization, and support services from Dell, including data management consulting services and proactive maintenance services for Dell's EqualLogic storage line, and new virtualization consulting services aimed at consolidating and automating data center processes.

Dell on Wednesday unveiled two new Dell EqualLogic storage arrays which include both SAS connectivity and solid state drives (SSDs). The EqualLogic PS60000XVS includes dual Gbit Ethernet iSCSI controllers, while the EqualLogic PS6010XVS includes dual 10-Gbit Ethernet iSCSI controllers. Both have capacities of up to 44 TBs using up to eight 100-GB SSDs and eight 450-GB SAS drives.

Also new are a pair of Dell PowerVault arrays aimed more at SMB customers.

Dell also unveiled two new PowerEdge blade servers, including the PowerEdge M710HD, with its high memory density and support for redundant embedded hypervisors and hot-swappable SAS drives or SSDs, and the PowerEdge M610x with expanded graphics capabilities via NVIDIA's new Tesla "Fermi" or Fusion-IO's new ioDrive Duo solutions.

The company also introduced a new rack-mount server, the PowerEdge R715, based on the AMD processor and featuring up to 24 processor cores in a 2U form factor.

Dell is also taking advantage of a new OEM agreement with Juniper Networks to offer that company's PowerConnect J-Series of data center, cloud computing, and branch office switches and gateways.

The company also introduced new 10-Gbit Ethernet switches from Brocade, as well as new Ethernet switches in its own PowerConnect networking family.

Dell's new PowerVault arrays and PowerConnect switches are expected to start shipping next week, with the other new data center products scheduled to be released in July and August.

Dell executives were unavailable to provide further information.