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Agile Computing Authors: Eric Aarrestad, Ian Khan, Liz McMillan, AppDynamics Blog, Dana Gardner

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Dell Data Center Leadership Enables Customer Value from Converged, Virtualized and Cloud Infrastructures

Dell today announced new solutions, partnerships and services that enable customers to take advantage of major transformative forces in the data center, focusing specifically on the smooth migration to and management of converged, virtualized and cloud infrastructures. As of early 2012, 50 percent of all installed workloads were running VMs, so many of the easily virtualized workloads are already virtualized, according to Gartner1. As this number grows rapidly, Dell is accelerating its commitment to open innovation and scalable architectures to enable customers to reap the benefits.

“In an effort to drive IT simplicity, efficiency and predictability, enterprises are rapidly embracing converged, virtualized and cloud environments,” said Marius Haas, president of Enterprise Solutions Group, Dell. “Dell is helping businesses rethink their approach to the data center, to help them realize the full benefits of these trends. By combining Dell’s scalable design focus and powerful data center offerings with Dell’s enterprise software assets and services deployment philosophy, Dell is uniquely positioned to help customers build an open and flexible data center of the future.”

Converged Infrastructure

As part of Dell’s customer-inspired, end-to-end solutions vision, Dell is quickly building upon its recent announcement of Active Infrastructure, Dell’s family of converged infrastructure solutions. With the announcement of the first set of workload solution reference architectures certified, qualified and optimized for the Active System 800, Dell is giving IT organizations blueprints to deploy VDI and unified communications and collaboration applications essential to any organization. These workload solutions enable IT organizations to help businesses maximize workforce productivity, deliver faster and efficient results, and enable organizations to scale. The new workloads include:

  • DVS Enterprise Active System 800 with Citrix XenDesktop Reference architecture
  • DVS Enterprise Active System 800 with VMware View Reference architecture
  • Microsoft Exchange 2010 Reference architecture
  • Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Reference architecture
  • Microsoft Lync 2010 Reference architecture

In addition, Dell expanded upon its vision for Active Infrastructure by sharing how it plans to continue to fill the gaps in the industry with intuitive, flexible and comprehensive converged infrastructure solutions for customers. By building upon scalable organic and acquired IP from Gale Technologies, Dell is creating broader business impact beyond the infrastructure to the applications and workloads that truly power businesses. Today, Dell is sharing three key elements of its Active Infrastructure vision, including:

  • The ability to provision workloads in just a matter of hours after an Active System 800 arrives fully assembled and crated at the customer site2. Typically, deploying new IT services can take months, according to IDC3. Active System Manager enhanced with Gale Technologies IP would enable IT admins to not only rapidly provision physical infrastructure but also deploy either virtual clusters in an infrastructure-as-a-service manner or highly-available instances of common business workloads using standardized templates. The business benefits from improved IT responsiveness and faster return on investment.
  • The integration of Dell Fluid Cache technology into Active Infrastructure. By introducing tier 0 storage in servers that is integrated with Dell’s Compellent storage array, Active Infrastructure customers could extend the benefits of virtualization to performance-sensitive, mission-critical applications.
  • The flexibility to support select third-party platforms and integrate into existing infrastructure deployments and management frameworks. Future versions of Active System Manager enhanced with Gale Technologies IP would allow customers to support third-party platforms that are already deployed, helping save time, money, and creating a flexible, open, modern converged environment. Dell will also enable a broad ecosystem of partners for Active System Manager as well as provide a robust set of APIs to enable custom integrations with home-grown system management infrastructure.

Virtualization

With leading innovation in server density in the PowerEdge 12th generation portfolio, Dell’s year-over-year x86 server shipment growth outpaced the worldwide industry and the other two largest competitors, according to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Q3 2012 Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker. Dell is helping customers optimize their virtualized data centers with 376 percent more virtual machines per U of rack space than HP4. Enhancements to Dell OpenManage systems management solutions enable customers to take advantage of the advanced management capabilities inherent in Dell servers, storage and networking devices, with key benefits including:

  • Simplified, remote management, with a time savings for a single system of up to 25 percent, that helps eliminate agent-based maintenance functions that rob IT resources of performance, power and productivity.
  • Enhanced automation with the ability to capture system profiles and apply them to new systems to reduce repetitive manual tasks and operational expenses for deployment. “Time to deployment” improvements increases data center resource efficiency.
  • Enhanced availability and security by decreasing service cycle down time, increasing problem identification and remediation. Dell SupportAssist, integrated with OpenManage Essentials, is a proactive capability that ensures maximum uptime by automatically transmitting troubleshooting information to Dell technical support, which in turn hastens resolution and parts replacement.

Cloud Storage, Open Source and Big Data Solutions

Dell announced new options for customers exploring various cloud storage options, and other new OpenStack-based products and Emerging Solutions Ecosystem partners to enable customers to take full advantage of open source cloud and big data solutions.

Dell is committed to giving customers choice with open, standards-based solutions. New choices for cloud storage include:

  • In the cloud: Dell partners Ippany B.V. and Mezeo Software have certified solutions with Dell to enable secure and mobile corporate data collaboration via private cloud solutions, based on the Dell Fluid File System and Dell DX Object Storage Platform. These solutions give customers secure access to corporate data anywhere, and help support the growing demands of IT organizations looking to support BYOD (bring your own device) initiatives while protecting the security and availability of corporate data. Ippany B.V. and Mezeo Software are part of the growing Dell storage partner ecosystem that is certified to support a range of customer requirements for storage, data management and vertical applications.
  • On-premise-to-cloud: For Dell customers using EqualLogic storage, and interested in exploring cloud storage, Dell plans to make available in 2013 an EqualLogic driver for Crowbar, the open source software framework developed by Dell to enable Dell storage with OpenStack clouds.
  • Open source cloud: Inktank joined Dell’s Emerging Solutions Ecosystem, a partnership program designed to deliver complementary and interoperable hardware, software and services components. The Inktank partnership provides Dell customers with an additional cloud-based storage option compatible with the OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution and based on the Ceph distributed storage system. Ceph is designed to enable scalable object, block and file system storage in a single cluster.

Dell is expanding its commitment to open innovation and support for its ecosystem of open partners:

  • Dell is building Crowbar 2.0, and engaging with this community to update this open source software framework, which enables customers to install cloud software across clusters and scale out systems quickly and automatically. Crowbar’s open source model is critical to Dell Enterprise Systems Group’s open innovation strategy.
  • To accelerate customers’ journey to the cloud and to enable gathering insights from their big data, Dell and Intel have partnered to enable customer access to Dell’s Hadoop big data solutions and OpenStack-powered cloud solutions within Dell Solution Centers and Dell Modular Data Centers.

And, thanks to thousands of project Sputnik beta program applications from developers, Dell has introduced a client-to-cloud developer solution – the Dell XPS 13 laptop, Developer Edition. This project was the first from Dell’s innovation program, established to enable and fund innovation from anyone in the company. The second project from this incubation program, RIPTide, is a real-time analytics solution that can assemble relevant data sets – structured and unstructured – on-the-fly, using real-time data integration enabled by Dell Boomi and real-time business intelligence capabilities for reports, dashboards, analytics, and services for easy deployment with mid-market customers.

Availability

  • The Ippany B.V. and Mezeo Software private cloud solutions certified with Dell storage are available today.
  • The Active System 800 and Active System Manager are currently available in the U.S. and will be available globally in February 2013.
  • The Active System 800 workloads solutions reference architectures are now available for VMware View, and Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Lync 2010. The workload solution reference architecture for Citrix XenDesktop will be available at the beginning of 2013.
  • The new solutions and vision described for Active Infrastructure will roll out in the second half of 2013.

Footnotes:

1 Gartner, Inc., Top Five Trends for x86 Server Virtualization, Thomas J. Bittman, March 22, 2012.

2 All Active System beta customers were able to deploy the solution within four hours of delivery.

3 According to the December 2011 IDC Converged Infrastructure Survey 2011: Out of the Clouds, Down to Earth, 57 percent of respondents said deploying new IT services can take more than 31 days. Of those respondents, 37 percent said it could take 91 to 180 days.

4 Comparisons based on February 2012 Principled Technologies extrapolation of 10U worth of Rack servers (5 servers x 4 VMs per server = 20 VMs per 10U or 2.0VMs/U) vs. 10U worth of Blade servers (16 servers x 6 VMs per server = 96 VMs per 10U or 9.6VMs/U)

About Dell

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

Dell World

Join us at Dell World 2012 – The Power to Do More. Technology professionals will learn from one another and identify key challenges and opportunities connected to the top forces changing business today. Learn more at www.dellworld.com, attend our virtual event at Dell World: Live Online or follow #DellWorld on Twitter.

Dell and PowerEdge are trademarks of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

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