The new program "serves as an apt reflection of Dell's ability to aggressively target prime market opportunities amid its standing as a private company," Christian Perry, an analyst with Technology Business Research, wrote in a research note. "This agility parallels the intended operating model of DSS itself, which aims to be quick and agile with optimized hardware designs, improved fulfillment models and accelerated product introductions. The imprint of Dell's successful, proven DCS heritage is readily apparent in the DSS announcement, as Dell's long-established business practices in the hyperscale space echo in the DSS plan."
Dell, the world's second-largest server vendor, according to Gartner and IDC analysts, is competing in a space that includes not only other OEMs—for example, Hewlett-Packard is partnering with Chinese manufacturer Foxconn to build inexpensive cloud systems for service providers—but also original design manufacturers (ODMs).
"But where ODMs fall short on the experience beyond the hardware, including consulting, strategy, integration and support, Dell excels through its well-oiled DCS machine that leans on proven, repeatable processes and designs developed across Dell's wide network of data center engagements," Perry wrote.
According to Dell's Gan, the company has been operating the DSS business since early last year, under the code name "Strike Force." Dell officials wanted to have the business up and running and have projects underway that officials could point to before announcing the program publicly. In one example, Dell built custom solutions for a global service provider that has an extensive test matrix to figure out what configurations are optimized for its workloads. In another, DSS worked with an oil-and-gas customer to build an alternate-cooling solution built on Dell's infrastructure offerings that helped the organization maximize performance while driving down power consumption while running seismic processing workloads.
Dell's Gorakhpurwalla said the company wanted to be able to talk about results before announcing DSS.
"Dell is not a vaporware company," he said.
Dell officials said the vendor will roll out the first DSS-branded products in the fall, with the first offerings aimed primarily at the China market.