Dell unveiled two new data center rack enclosures, the Dell PowerEdge 4220 and PowerEdge 2420, designed to support the Dell portfolio of servers and storage systems.
The company also announced that its data center consulting practice will henceforth utilize Future Facilities 6SigmaDC software suite to help customers maximize data center space utilization and energy efficiency, via features such as virtual design and 3-D modeling.
"We have a pretty holistic understanding of the ecosystem of the data center," Albert Esser, vice president of data center infrastructure for Dell, said in an interview. "For each device we design, we put it within that context."
The PowerEdge 4220 and PowerEdge 2420 incorporate several features, including flexible rear and side-rack power distribution unit (PDU) options that make it easier to access power outlets within the rack, and air dams at the front mounting posts to prevent hot air from leaking back to the front of the servers and increasing server inlet air temperatures.
Cable management has also been simplified, with adjustable cable rings and removable tail-bars at the top and bottom of the rack back frame. The PowerEdge 4220 rack has a static load bearing of 2,500 pounds, while the PowerEdge 2420 has a static load rating of 1,500 pounds.
Dell maintains that these improvements will translate into increased energy efficiency for the data center infrastructure.
The company has made a concerted effort to beef up its virtualization, server and storage offerings over the past few months. In September 2008, they rolled out the Dell PowerEdge M905 and M805 blade servers, and offered expanded support for Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer and VMware ESX.
A Feb. 25 report from IDC showed that Dell, along with Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sun Microsystems, suffered from declining server systems revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008, dragged down by a U.S. economy in recession.
By utilizing Future Facilities' 6SigmaDC software suite for its data center-consulting practice, Dell hopes to leverage Virtual Facility, which creates a mathematically precise 3-D representation of the data center. In theory, this would allow the creation of a more energy-efficient data center, and prevent the costly purchasing of unnecessary equipment.
Dell and Future Facilities claim that the use of Virtual Facility will allow issues to be identified before facilities are built, also saving costs.