Dell is building off its enhanced alliance with Brocade and its partnership with QLogic to expand its vision of the converged data center. The offerings touch on management software designed to enable easier allocation of data center resources and a unified networking fabric based on 10GbE. Dell is looking to compete with Cisco, HP and IBM in the growing converged data center market.
Dell is building out its converged data center vision with new
infrastructure management software and 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to its
server and storage offerings.
Dell entered the burgeoning unified data center space in September, announcing
partnerships with networking vendor Brocade Communications Systems and
Scalent Systems, which makes automation software.
Dell on Dec. 10 unveiled the latest steps it's taking to expand its
offerings in this area as it looks to compete with the likes of Cisco Systems,
Hewlett-Packard and IBM. The vendors are
pushing solutions that combine server, storage, networking and management software
in single packages for greater efficiency and integration.
The companies are doing it through a combination of in-house technologies
and products via partnerships.
Praveen Asthana, vice president of Dell Enterprise Storage and Networking,
painted the competition's offerings as more proprietary, saying Dell's solution
offers businesses greater flexibility.
"Our competitors are trying to take short cuts by providing proprietary
stacks that create lock in and really only benefit the vendor," Asthana
said in a statement. "Dell has a completely different vision. We provide a
dynamically configurable offering that is really easy to set up or use because
it comes pre-assembled or ready for assembly based on proven reference
architectures; yet it remains fully open and works with a customer's existing
On the management front, Dell introduced software that enables IT
administrators to quickly, efficiently and dynamically allocate data center
resources, including servers, storage and networking. Advanced Infrastructure
Manager integrates with existing data center environments and lets businesses easily
move workloads around physical and virtual environments without having to
reload or reconfigure the applications.
The vendor also is offering Business Ready Configurations that include the
latest server, storage and networking technologies The configurations each come
with performance characterization, best practice and networking guides. The
first Business Ready Configuration comes with two PowerEdge M610 blade servers
running the Infrastructure Manager, an EqualLogic PS6000 iSCSI SAN
(storage area network) solution, two PowerConnect 6220M blade switches, and a
24-port Brocade Foundry 424 or Dell PowerConnect 6224 networking switch.
Version 1.3 of Dell Lifecycle Controller-an embedded management tool in 11th
generation PowerEdge servers-enables users to remotely discover servers on the
network, update necessary drivers and deploy operating systems anywhere.
A key part of Dell's unified data center strategy is a converged 10GbE
networking fabric. Officials want to make it easier for businesses already
deploying a mix of Fibre Channel and Ethernet networks to migrate to a
Dell is integrating 10GbE controllers to its EqualLogic PS6000 series
storage arrays, enabling the PS6010 and PS6510 to deliver up to 10 times more
bandwidth per port and more than two times more bandwidth per array than
In addition, Dell is increasing the scalability of its EqualLogic PS series
through its new EqualLogic PS6500X and EqualLogic Version 4.3 arrays containing
the EqualLogic PS6500X with 10K SAS drives, scaling to more than 460 terabytes
of capacity, up from 115.2TB previously.
Dell also is rolling out its first 1U (1.75-inch) 10GbE switch. The new
PowerConnect 8024F offers 24 ports and is aimed at data center aggregation and
network consolidation projects. The top-of-rack switch supports dense
virtualization deployments, iSCSI storage-including Dell's EqualLogic
offerings-and 10GbE traffic aggregation.
Through a partnership with QLogic, Dell is rolling out its first CAN
(converged network adapter) for its PowerEdge servers. The dual-port CAN is
based on QLogic technology from QLogic and offers FCoE (Fibre Channel over
Ethernet) capabilities, enabling users to connect their servers and Fibre
Channel-based SANs through a 10GbE fabric.
From the Brocade partnership, Dell is introducing a number of products,
including its first FCoE switch.