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Dell revamps appliances in private cloud push

Dell has brought advanced caching and systems management technologies to its range of Active Infrastructure on-premise appliances.
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Written by Jack Clark, Contributor on

Dell is updating its Active Infrastructure all-in-one datacentre appliances in an effort to appeal to midsize enterprises that have a small technical staff.

Dell announced the updates to the Active Infrastructure gear at its Dell World conference in Austin, Texas on Thursday.

The upgrades see the IT giant integrate technology from its acquisition of Gale Technologies into the appliances' Active System Manager software, along with adding 'tier zero' (memory-based) storage to its servers for fast data access.

Active System Manager can now deploy virtual clusters of compute and storage in an infrastructure-as-a-service manner thanks to the Gale Technologies integration, cutting the time it takes to deploy virtualised servers from days to hours, according to Dell.

The 'tier zero' storage, meanwhile, lets administrators put cached data onto a very fast memory layer that plugs into the brain of the server (the processor) via the PCIe bus, making applications far more responsive.

This technology sees Dell use its own software along with hardware from an undisclosed vendor (though ZDNet understand flash cards are from LSI) to offer a fast storage layer, reducing its dependence on technologies from other vendors like Fusion-io and EMC.

Taken together the updates reflect Dell's growing enterprise ambitions and build on the first generation of Active Infrastructures, which were released in October.

The systems will see Dell compete against integrated appliances from HP, IBM, Cisco and - to a lesser extent - NetApp.

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