Dell unfurls $50K SMB virtualization solution

vStart 50 combines Dell servers, storage and switches and comes bundled with either VMware or Microsoft virtualization software.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Earlier this week, I interviewed an IT services firm about adoption of virtualization technology among small and midsize businesses. His company has seen a spike in these solutions over the past two years, especially as SMBs seek to shore up their backup and disaster recovery options. That is because the licensing models offered by both VMware and Microsoft have made it much easier for his services team to convince clients as to the value of this investment as they consider server upgrades.

Not surprisingly, Dell is seeking to capitalize on this movement with the introduction this week of a preconfigured virtualization solution for smaller companies, vStart 50.

Originally launched a few months ago in larger virtual machine configurations (100 and 200), the latest solution provides for just 50 virtual machines, which is more appropriate for smaller accounts. In addition, the new vStart configuration is the first one to come with the Microsoft Hyper-V Hypervisor, according to Dell SMB executives.

Tony Parkinson, executive director of SMB enterprise services and solutions, said more small and midsize customers are seeking help with exploring virtualization solutions but are intimidated by the integration and management implications of moving to a virtualized infrastructure. "Typically, the trigger point is around consolidation. ... For these guys, the biggest constraint is their own resources," he said.

vStart 50 combines two or three Intel Xeon-based, rack-mounted PowerEdge servers; up to 7 terabytes of Dell EqualLogic SAN storage; and two pairs of Dell PowerConnect switches, along with the services that an SMB might need to get the technology up and running. SMBs can opt for either VMware ESXi or the Microsoft virtualization software.

The vStart 50 solutions comes with next-day onsite service and support. Parkinson said SMBs that don't have their own technical support resources can buy premium support services that offer resolution within a four-hour or "mission-critical" time frame.

vStart 50m with Microsoft Hyper-V starts at $59,900. The version with VMware ESXi starts at $49,900. The solution is available immediately in the United States and Canada; availability in additional countries is anticipated later this fall.

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