First Read

A first take on enterprise IT technology news and events.

Dell, FireHost Partner on Secure Converged Infrastructure System

The integrated solution will combine Dell's server, storage and networking products with FireHost's secure cloud computing platform.

secure cloud

Dell Services and FireHost, a managed cloud services provider that highlights its platform's security capabilities, are partnering to develop a converged infrastructure offering comprising Dell's data center hardware and FireHost's cloud technology.

The solution will enable businesses that, for compliance or security reasons, may not be able to store sensitive information in a cloud environment to get the same sort of capabilities in a secure integrated offering. It fills what FireHost CEO Jim Lewandowski called a "critical industry gap" for businesses.

"As increasing numbers of cloud providers and vendors jockey to differentiate themselves, it is clear that we must provide cloud solutions that are truly secure across a variety of compliance-driven industries," Lewandowski said in a statement. "Together with Dell, we will provide a secure managed private cloud service that effectively addresses a critical industry gap for customers."

Dell and FireHost officials point to health care companies, government agencies, financial services firms and retailers as the types of organizations that will gravitate to the solution.

The joint system can be used in single- or multi-tenant environments and managed either on-premises or off, according to FireHost officials. In addition, the tightly integrated solution relieves businesses from having to do the integration, maintenance and support themselves, they said.

The solution will be built on Dell infrastructure, including the company's PowerEdge FX2 converged infrastructure. Dell over the past several years has been aggressive in partnering with the likes of Oracle and Microsoft to develop integrated offerings for a range of workloads, such as database and storage workloads.

The company unveiled the PowerEdge FX architecture in November 2014 at the Dell World show. The integrated solution can run a mix of Intel-based server, storage and networking products within a 2U (3.5-inch) enclosure. It's also designed to be highly flexible to ensure businesses can manage the fast-changing workloads driven by such trends as mobility, big data, cloud computing and the Internet of things.

The Dell-FireHost solution also fits in with a larger industry trend toward converged architectures. IDC analysts said that in the third quarter 2014, revenue for the integrated infrastructure market jumped 28.1 percent over the same period in 2013, to $2.3 billion. In addition, it came the same week that both EMC and VCE announced new converged offerings.