Dells Overall Strategy: Flexible Computing

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-10-28 Print this article Print

Flexible computing, in a nutshell, is Dell's strategy to provide alternative client computing models.

"A trend that we're seeing is an increasing number of client workloads moving back into the data center," Jeremy Ford, Dell senior technology strategist, said. "The lines between the desktop and the data center are beginning to blur. One thing we think is key is to only move the components back into the data center that are most critical-specifically, the data."

In other words, Ford said, "just because you can move compute back into the data center,  you shouldn't necessarily do that because of data center [power and space] constraints, and power draw and cooling issues involved. To that end, we've come up with the flexible computing model."

Dell's flexible computing package is strictly network-based and makes good use of desktop virtualization. At the same time, it enables IT staffs to retain full control of data and application management without sacrificing end-user performance or productivity, Dell claimed.

Dell's flexible computing package includes:

  • On-Demand Desktop Streaming, for use in data centers only. This was launched a year ago and is being implemented in the new OptiPlex desktops. The hard drive is removed from the client device, with the overall image being moved back into the data center and housed on a partitioned server. The image is then streamed over a LAN (local area network) to a diskless client on the desktop, which does have local graphics processing ability. "As a result of this [design], you don't have the latency that's usually found in virtual desktops," Ford said. "And the savings in power and cooling in the data center can be substantial."
  • Virtual Remote Desktop. These data center-hosted virtual client desktops can be accessed from a variety of devices-including handhelds-and locations.
  • Dedicated Remote Workstation. This is a PC-over-IP product that connects to a Dell Precision R5400 rack-mount workstation in a data center for high-performance users in harsh or highly secure environments. 
Dell also announced a series of new managed services that complement existing factory customization options for the new products. Go here for details.

The OptiPlex desktops, flexible computing package (the Virtual Remote Desktop is available in the United States only) and several new services are available directly from Dell and through the company's PartnerDirect channel partners.


Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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