Dell Aims New Server Unit at Large Scale-Out Customers
The DSS business builds on the DCS program Dell launched eight years ago for hyperscale companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Baidu.Dell eight years ago launched its Data Center Solutions business, a unit aimed at delivering customized and optimized solutions to the handful of organizations that make up the hyperscale computing market, including Google, Facebook, and a few Chinese companies such as Baidu and Alibaba. The driving idea behind Data Center Solutions (DCS) was that these companies, which also include Microsoft and Amazon, were looking for optimized hardware to run their particular workloads while also addressing various demands around performance, power, cooling and space. They also buy a lot of hardware. Now Dell is targeting the next level down from these top-tier cloud providers with a new business called Dell Scalable Solutions (DSS). These companies—which include hosting organizations, telecommunications service providers, oil-and-gas firms and research organizations—have the same needs as their hyperscale counterparts, but not the same financial or engineering resources, according to Jyeh Gan, director of product management and strategy with DCS. They also deploy massive numbers of servers in the data centers. "They're all massive, but not as big as the other guys," Gan told eWEEK during last week's Intel Developer Forum. "They might not have the large engineering staffs that the big guys do. … We're focusing on the next layer down."
That next layer down represents a significant opportunity. Gan said the scale-out market is growing three times faster than the traditional x86 server space—at about 14 percent a year—and that it represents about a $6 billion total addressable market. In 2013, it represented about 17 percent of the overall x86 server market. That will grow to 25 percent by 2017, he said.