Dell expands unified datacentre lineup

Summary:The new products integrate 10Gb Ethernet across the datacentre as a way of cutting costs, building on Dell's recently strengthened partnership with Brocade

Dell has added infrastructure management software and 10Gb Ethernet products to its server and storage line-up as part of its drive toward a comprehensive unified datacentre offering.

The new products, announced on Thursday, build on Dell's move into the unified datacentre market in September. At that time, the company tightened its partnership with networking infrastructure company Brocade and added Brocade-based products to its own-brand datacentre lineup.

Dell is competing with the likes of Cisco, HP and IBM, which are offering systems that combine servers, storage, networking and management software, with the aim of making datacentres easier and cheaper to set up and manage.

The launch covers a range of products integrating 10Gb Ethernet, with Dell arguing that a consistent 10Gb Ethernet fabric across the datacentre can reduce costs. "Customers can cut a large part of their network management costs and consolidate cabling with an end-to-end 10GbE architecture," the company said in a statement.

10Gb Ethernet controllers are now integrated into the EqualLogic PS6010 and PS6510 storage arrays, giving them up to 10 times more bandwidth per port and more than twice the bandwidth per array than previous PS6000-series arrays.

In addition, Dell introduced version 4.3 of the EqualLogic firmware, which allows old and new EqualLogic storage area networks (SANs) to expand from a maximum of 12 arrays per group to 16 arrays per group.

As part of the announcement, Dell unveiled its first 1U (1.75-inch) 10Gb Ethernet switch in the form of the PowerConnect 8024F. The device has 24 ports with SFP+ and four combo 10GBase-T ports, and it is aimed at datacentre aggregation and network consolidation projects, Dell said. The top-of-rack switch is designed for dense virtualisation deployments, iSCSI storage and 10Gbps traffic aggregation.

The company rolled out its first converged network adapter (CNA) for its PowerEdge servers, based on QLogic technology. The dual-port CNA includes Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) capabilities, allowing businesses to connect their servers to Fibre Channel SANs through a 10 Gb Enhanced Ethernet fabric. The CNA is designed to aid in consolidating server cabling and adapters, Dell said.

Among the new products is Advanced Infrastructure Manager, which is meant to allow administrators to quickly allocate datacentre resources such as servers, storage and networking equipment, and to move workloads across physical and virtual infrastructure.

Also on offer are Business Ready Configurations, pre-set configurations of servers, storage and networking designed for particular needs, and version 1.3 of Dell Lifecycle Controller, an embedded management tool allowing administrators to remotely discover servers, update drivers and manage operating system deployment.

The EqualLogic PS6010, PS6510 and PS6500X will be available from Monday, while the PowerConnect 8024F is available immediately and the QLogic CNA will be available in the last week of December, Dell said.

Topics: Servers

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