Dell Partnerships with Microsoft, VMware Result in vStart Cloud System

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-01-25 Print this article Print

vStart is a new preconfigured cloud system server that can host up to 200 virtual machines at a time using vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V.

Back in April 2011, Dell got into two marriages to co-develop private cloud systems with Microsoft and VMware. As nature would have it, nine months after the consummation of the deal, the partnership with Microsoft is resulting in new offspring.

On Jan. 25, Dell and Microsoft came out with vStart 100m and 200m configurations, new preconfigured cloud systems that the companies claim can host up to 200 virtual machines at a time using Microsoft Hyper-V.

vStarts run on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 using the company's Datacenter licensing. This license grants unlimited virtualization rights, which undoubtedly will be a big selling point to data center managers worried about VM proliferation. A lot of managers are worried about this, which has already become the single biggest virtualization issue in the business, thanks to increasing data flows.

vStart, which comes in three models (50m, 100m and 200m), includes three years of "one-throat-to-choke" support from Dell. The Microsoft-based systems are sanctioned to work with Microsoft System Center solutions for the cloud management. At this time, vStart 100m and 200m are available for only North American and Brazilian markets, but other markets are in the plans.

As an option, Dell offers its own Advanced Infrastructure Management software, which is already integrated with Microsoft System Center.

vStart systems are all-inclusive, using Dell-supplied hardware, including server (PowerEdge), storage (EqualLogic), networking (PowerConnect), backup power system and everything else that's needed.

"The early customers who have used the vStarts like the fact that it's easy to get into operation, that the management integration is really quite superb, and that it's easy to use once it's in operation," Benjamin Tao, director of Dell Virtualization Solutions, told eWEEK.

Configuration details on the vStarts are as follows:

vStart 100m (can run 100 VMs): 4x PowerConnect switches; 3X R710 PowerEdge Servers (host VMs); 1X R610 PowerEdge Server (Management); 1X PS 6100 series EqualLogic array; 1 UPS; full license for Microsoft Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V; pricing starts at $119,900.

vStart 200m (up to 200 VMs): 4x PowerConnect switches; 6X R710 PowerEdge Servers (host VMs); 1X R610 PowerEdge Server (Management); 2X PS 6100 series EqualLogic array; 2 UPSes; full license for Microsoft Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V; pricing starts at $209,000.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify the nature of the partnerships involving the three companies.

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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