In bid to boost datacenter foothold, Dell debuts IT management tools

Efficient IT management? Workload intelligence? Dell keeps chipping away at the datacenter market with its latest batch of tools.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

In time for the Interop 2012 conference, Dell announced on Tuesday new additions to its Virtual Network Architecture portfolio as it continues to make headway in the datacenter market.

The company continues to execute on its plan to reap higher margins by selling to enterprises, rather than focusing on consumers. Its latest announcement includes the introduction of the Force10 MXL 10/40GbE switch, its first 40 gigabit blade server switch for the PowerEdge M1000e blade system, as well as new features for the Force10 operating system, which are in essence intended to help it scale and stay nimble.

It's all about the cloud, whatever flavor your company might have. Dell is targeting large enterprises, government networks, education and research institutions and high performance computing -- starting with the new switch.

Highlighted features:

  • Built-in Ethernet stacking technology. Enables up to six switching modules within a single enclosure or spanning multiple enclosures to be managed as one logical device. The idea: consolidate ports for a pay-as-you-grow strategy.
  • Connectivity options. FlexIO modules offer support for 40GbE QSFP+, 10GbE SFP+, and 10GBase-T ports.
  • Integrated storage support. Flexibility of converged input/output (I/O) support for end-to-end IP storage (iSCSI and datacenter bridging) into a single 10GbE connection.
  • Software. Features for enterprise data center networking, fabric management and network management.

Meanwhile, the Force10 OS gains support for virtual link trunking, Ethernet switch stacking, datacenter bridging and automated workload mobility (through the auto-provisioning of virtual LANs when virtual machines are migrated without intervention).

Dell also announced its Fabric Manager, used to configure, manage and monitor Dell Distributed Core deployments in datacenters. It offers a single, system-level view into deployments, which should cut down on configuration time and general management headaches. It will be available this summer.

Finally, Dell debuted the fifth version of its Open Manage Network Manager, a nerve center of sorts for managing and automating network functions. The new version has a redesigned web-based interface, traffic flow analysis and resource group management. It's available now.

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