Dell on Wednesday will roll out its data center vision, an effort dubbed the Virtual Integrated System architecture, that aims to cater to enterprise customers who are looking to migrate to cloud computing while preserving investments in existing legacy gear.
This Virtual Integrated System (VIS) comes as IT pros are being constantly pitched with new data center architectures. HP talks converged infrastructure. Cisco has the Unified Computing System. IBM and Oracle also have their visions. Dell is trying to position itself as a more open data center stack and one that will play well in hybrid cloud environments. The VIS move is also a coming out party for Dell's software effort since it is featuring data center management software as well applications to deploy enterprise software.
But the overall message from Dell is that its architecture isn't a "one-size-fits-all approach."
Eric Endebrock, Dell's enterprise marketing manager, said many architecture options seem to cater to already virtualized environments. The problem: "Customers aren't all virtualized yet," he said. "We aim to deliver immediate efficiency with existing gear and allow you to bring legacy along with you as you move to the cloud. Our customers have legacy stuff they can’t ignore.”
The key components of Dell's VIS includes:
- Dell Advanced Infrastructure Manager (AIM) aims to allocate server, storage and network workloads in a heterogeneous environment. In a nutshell, AIM aims to create virtualized resource pools. This tool is based on the technology acquired in the Scalent deal.
- VIS Self-Service Creator is designed to automate the way applications are deployed. A web portal will allow authorized users to deploy workloads internally as well as in Amazon Web Services and public clouds. Dell has licensed this technology and will add its own intellectual property to it over time.
- VIS Director will be an IT operations hub that illustrates the virtual environment and various dependencies to allow IT managers to plan for future capacity. This piece of Dell's architecture will arrive in early 2011.
Overall, Dell's message to be an evolutionary cloud path---and revolutionary when needed---could resonate for IT managers. The challenge for Dell will be standing out in the data center game where every vendor talking the same virtualization, automation and app deployment game.