Dell Expands Virtualization Offerings
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Dell on Wednesday introduced a number of new business products and services aimed at expanding into the mid-market with virtualization features and a focus on quick deployment.
This means expanding its server lineup as well as new storage products from EqualLogic, an acquisition that has paid for itself, and then some.
In addition, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) is introducing a new services group called ProConsult, a service that uses "electronic discovery, Web based surveys, best practices, comparative data and reference architectures" to bring down the cost consulting services.
Dell is the only major hardware vendor without a substantial services arm. IBM (NYSE: IBM) has built its own massive services group and HP (NYSE: HPQ) made the big play and bought EDS for $13 billion. Dell decided to take the homegrown route and keep it simple, as is its mantra.
It said it also doesn't plan to bleed customers dry, as is some times the case with other service contracts.
"We want our services to be a short, focused engagement," Sally Stevens, vice president of PG Solutions marketing at Dell, told InternetNews.com. "People hear about an on-site consultant and think they will never get that person out of their office. We aim for short engagements. Instead of three months, it would be two weeks."
Dell's new ProConsult service offers functions like platform optimization and virtualization, datacenter planning and management, disaster recovery, data management and facilities efficiency.
The short duration consultations are part of Dell's drive to get things deployed quickly. One emerging complaint about virtualization is that it takes months to get it running and customers some times don't have months to spare, or the money to waste getting everything deployed.
"The issue is, how do you get all of these solutions deployed as fast as possible? One of the pain points for customers is it takes weeks to get running," said Praveen Asthana, Dell's enterprise storage director.
Therefore, Dell is expanding and continuing its "Efficient Enterprise" strategy, first announced in March and aimed at offering fast deployment techniques it has developed.
This means building to order and testing everything before it's shipped, so the customer can deploy the hardware immediately.
Most of that new hardware is extensions of existing lines. That includes the PS4000 storage array and PowerVault NX3000 network-attached storage (NAS) device, along with the PowerEdge T410 and T710 tower servers and R410 rack server.
The EqualLogic PS4000 storage array is a smaller-scale array that scales up to 48 drives, instead of the usual 596 in an enterprise class unit like the PS5000, although it can be attached to a PS5000 to daisy-chain the storage devices. It will work with VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Citrix XenServer to dynamically balance workloads, allow storage consolidation, support data protection and provide disaster recovery.
The PowerVault NX3000 shares files across Windows and non-Windows clients and reduces duplicate files with Single Instant Storage (SIS) technology. Additionally, the NX3000 is capable of serving as an optional iSCSI target to support application data.
As for the servers, the PowerEdge T410 and T710 tower servers and R410 rack servers are designed for general business use by small to midsized businesses (SMBs) and remote offices, or in the case of the R410, for high-performance computing.
They are extensions of the existing T610 and R610 servers already on the market. The T410 is only 24 inches deep, ideal for cramped locations, but it can hold up to 16 drives. The R410 uses the new Xeon 5500 "Nehalem" processors for fastest performance.
The PS4000 starts at $10,000 and is available now. The T410 and R410 servers start at $999 and are also available now. The T710 will be available in a few weeks, the company said.