Dell's new converged infrastructure options target HP, Cisco

Dell boasts that its new Active Infrastructures platform can run full workloads in 75 percent less time than competing HP solutions.


SAN FRANCISCO -- Dell unveiled its latest updates to its enterprise strategy during an invite-only event for customers, analysts and media on Thursday morning, which included changes for PC company's overall architecture from services to software to platforms.

The new strategy is centered around Dell's new converged infrastructures offerings, which are wrapped up in a new solutions set dubbed Active Infrastructures. This suite is designed to simplify the deployment of virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs), private clouds and applications. Examples of supported applications include Microsoft Lync, Exchange and SharePoint 2010.

Marius Haas, president of Dell Enterprise Solutions, said that the Active Infrastructure family leverages investments in modular components to deliver the most intuitive and power-efficient integrated servers, storage, and infrastructure platform with an easy-to-use interface.

Haas asserted that Active Infrastructures goes from from power-on to production, running full workloads in 75 percent less time than a competing Hewlett-Packard solution. He added that this platform can also scale so fast that it can manage twice as many compute nodes as a Cisco UCS system.

Targeted towards companies using x86 server architectures, enterprise customers have two options for what they can buy:

  • Pre-Integrated Systems: Engineered, assembled, and tested systems that are ready-to-go, offered with deployment support
  • Active System Architectures: Customizable blueprints for building virtualized infrastructures

At the heart of Active Infrastructures is the Active System 800, a PowerEdge M1000e chassis filled with 12th-gen blade servers, Dell Compellent or EqualLogic storage, and a new plug-and-play blade I/O module.

Besides being able to automate and streamline steps 75 percent faster, the Active System 800 is also supposed to offer 45 percent better system performance per watt and 2.3 times more compute nodes per rack.

The Active System 800, the associated Active System Architectures, and Active System Manager will roll out in the United States first in late November, followed by a global release next year both directly from Dell and its channel partners.

Dell also announced on Thursday that it is opening a Silicon Valley "executive briefing and solution center" in Santa Clara, Calif. for the purpose of helping its customers learn about and deploy Dell's products across cloud computing, software, data center and end-user computing.

The new Northern California location is the the 12th solution center that the Round Rock, Texas corporation has opened globally in the last year. The Silicon Valley center also functions as a new hub for Dell as it continues to merge its many recent acquisitions that were based in the Bay Area, including including Everdream, Force10, KACE, Ocarina, Scalent, SonicWALL, WYSE and Zing.

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