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  • First Dell storage blades – Dell EqualLogic Blade Arrays – provide customers the simplicity and scalability of EqualLogic storage within a compact Dell blade chassis
  • Dell Converged Blade Data Center solution combines Dell EqualLogic Blade Arrays, 12th generation Dell PowerEdge blade servers, and Dell Force10 MXL blade switching, providing customers an entire data center within a single blade enclosure to help streamline IT management and operations
  • Dell EqualLogic software releases introduce real-time data protection and automatic diagnostic data collection, plus enhanced reliability and availability for Microsoft SharePoint environments
  • Dell vStart 1000 provides an additional data center convergence solution, delivering the first inclusion of Dell Compellent storage and Dell Force10 networking for customers seeking a mission critical infrastructure platform for applications and private cloud services
  • Dell Data Migration Planning and Data Migration Services ease transition to new blade arrays and Dell storage portfolio

At its second annual U.S. Dell Storage Forum customer and partner event, Dell today announced new solutions and services designed to help customers benefit from the further convergence of storage, servers, networking and IT management for improved data center simplicity and performance. These latest offerings advance the Dell Fluid Data architecture and support Dell’s approach to deliver customer-inspired, end-to-end solutions that simplify IT management and deliver efficient results.

According to analyst firm IDC, while virtualization has reduced data center costs by 25 percent, IT organizations still spend 80 percent of their annual budget on maintaining and managing existing systems and only 20 percent on value-added activities and initiatives.[1] A converged infrastructure can provide a single, tightly integrated system that reduces the complexity of running IT systems and enables a shared service model of computing that maximizes hardware utilization, improves availability, contains management costs, and reduces time to deployment.

“Dell is redrawing the lines among servers, storage, networking and management to offer customers technology convergence that provides simplicity and improved performance while reducing the operational costs associated with running today’s data centers,” said Brad Anderson, president of Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. “Our holistic approach helps customers cost-effectively manage the physical, virtual and cloud environments that deliver flexible IT services to support their business goals.”

New Dell EqualLogic Blade Arrays Enable Blade Data Center Convergence
The scalable and easy-to-manage Dell EqualLogic PS-M4110 Blade Arrays provide customers all of the functionality and enterprise-class features of traditional EqualLogic arrays inside a Dell PowerEdge M1000e blade chassis. The new blade arrays combine with Dell 11th or 12th generation PowerEdge blade servers and Dell Force10 or PowerConnect networking switches, enabling customers to run an entire data center within a single compact blade enclosure that helps streamline IT management and operations.

Dell’s first storage blade arrays, like all EqualLogic solutions, are highly virtualized, scale performance along with capacity, and provide automated load balancing to optimize performance and reduce costs associated with running storage systems. They are designed to support virtualized environments, data center infrastructure convergence, and the general storage needs of small and medium-sized deployments.

Multiple EqualLogic Blade Arrays can be configured in less than an hour with a fraction of the set-up time required by other available blade storage solutions. The new arrays also can provide nearly double the usable capacity - 96 percent more – than competitive arrays.[2] In addition to leveraging the ease-of-use and all-inclusive software model native to EqualLogic, users can benefit from:

  • Four different EqualLogic PS-M4110 Blade Array configurations and the ability to store up to 14 terabytes of data per array, up to 28 terabytes per group inside a blade chassis, and up to 56 terabytes with two groups inside one blade chassis
  • Unique peer-scaling architecture that allows for simultaneous scalability of performance and capacity within and outside the blade chassis
  • The ability to scale outside the chassis to more than two petabytes of storage in a single group and provide approximately double the usable capacity of a competitive solution inside the chassis 2
  • EqualLogic set-up and deployment capabilities closely integrated with the blade chassis management console
  • Flexibility with blade arrays that fit into any slot within the blade chassis
  • Centralized monitoring and reporting tools that gather and provide in-depth information on performance, capacity and alerts across multiple groups of arrays, enabling improved performance and effective allocation of group resources
  • Advanced data protection, such as snapshots, clones and replicas, and advanced integration with Microsoft, VMware and Linux platforms wrapped into every solution
  • Support for multi-generational EqualLogic systems, allowing existing SAN arrays to receive continuous advancements and capabilities as storage and business requirements grow.

Combining the new EqualLogic blade arrays with the latest Dell PowerEdge 12th generation M420 blade servers and Dell Force10 MXL switches, Dell also announced the first pre-tested and certified Dell Converged Blade Data Center solution, a simplified and dense, end-to-end, 10GbE data center contained within a single Dell PowerEdge M1000e blade chassis.

With the convergence of Dell technologies, customers can support up to 48 percent more Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SharePoint users and up to 42 more users per watt of power compared to a competitive blade server and storage offering.[3] Additionally, Dell’s converged solution is notably easier to deploy, with 55 percent fewer major configuration steps to set-up storage alone.[2]

With the new Dell Converged Blade Data Center solution, customers additionally can benefit from:

  • A compact, shared footprint that reduces the need for excessive licenses, space, cable configuration and power and cooling costs
  • Flexible Dell Force10 MXL networking switches, scalable for 1GbE, 10GbE or 40GbE using interchangeable FlexIO modules
  • The PowerEdge M420, the world’s only quarter height 2-socket blade server, offering extreme computational density, performance and efficiency
  • End-to-end 10GbE Data Center Bridging (DCB) that enables fabric convergence to help reduce costs as well as enhance quality of service through Ethernet
  • An integrated approach to infrastructure management that allows administrators to manage the underlying Dell server and storage hardware from their familiar VMware or Microsoft management consoles.

The new EqualLogic Blade Arrays and Dell Converged Blade Data Center solution are complemented by new releases of EqualLogic software that tightly integrate SANs with hosts and applications. With an all-inclusive software licensing model, EqualLogic storage systems include all supporting software applications and tools without additional licensing fees. New software releases include:

  • EqualLogic Array Software 6.0 - provides real-time data protection with synchronous replication, improved data security, and increased efficiency with snapshot borrowing, volume unmap, and volume undelete features
  • EqualLogic SAN Headquarters 2.5 - monitoring and analysis tool introduces the Dell Integrated Support feature for automatic diagnostic data collection and transmission to Dell for improved customer experience
  • EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for Microsoft 4.5 - offers enhanced reliability and availability for Microsoft SharePoint deployments with new Auto-Snapshot Manager for Microsoft SharePoint.

New Dell vStart 1000 for Dell Private Cloud Speeds Application and IT Service Delivery
As customers’ virtualization needs grow, a fully integrated system can simplify virtualization infrastructure. Dell vStart systems include the servers, storage, networking and management tools to help customers quickly create or enhance a virtualized IT environment. With Dell’s latest vStart 1000 for Dell Private Cloud, customers can focus on delivering IT services by taking advantage of Dell’s ability to rapidly provide a pre-integrated, virtualization and private cloud infrastructure while lowering risk from a tried, pre-tested and certified configuration.

The vStart 1000 for Dell Private Cloud includes the first Dell Compellent storage and Dell Force10 networking-based vStart solution, providing the latest example of Dell technology integration from recent acquisitions into its end-to-end solutions portfolio. The new vStart systems include Dell’s VIS Creator cloud automation software that improves IT responsiveness through highly personalized private, public and desktop cloud services by leveraging existing systems and processes. Dell vStart 1000 also is Microsoft Fast Track Private Cloud validated with Microsoft System Center 2012.

By leveraging the new PowerEdge M620, Dell Force10 networking and Compellent fibre channel storage, vStart 1000 provides a mission critical application and private cloud platform with incredible scalability, resiliency and performance.

New Migration Planning and Data Migration Services Ease Move to Dell Storage
Dell Global Services also today announced new Data Migration Planning and Data Migration Services to assist customers with an easy transition to the new EqualLogic blade array as well as Dell’s broad storage portfolio. To streamline the data movement and validation process, the new migration services can help customers affordably mitigate risk, reduce data migration time and increase overall savings of moving to Dell storage solutions.

Using Dell intellectual property gleaned from thousands of storage services engagements, Dell Global Services experts apply an understanding of the risks and complexities of the entire IT environment to plan and execute smooth and successful migrations.

This set of services, available worldwide, enables Dell to uniquely address a broad range of data migration opportunities from small projects to large, complex custom engagements.

Additional quotes:
“Dell continues to execute very well, first with strategic additions to its enterprise portfolio and then with timely integration of acquired technologies with these offerings. The company’s ability to seamlessly converge servers, storage and networking provides the substantial value of data center simplicity for IT organizations and their businesses,” said, Laura DuBois, program vice president at IDC. “Dell’s growing end-to-end capabilities put the company in a compelling position to truly help customers reduce the complexity of IT and provide bottom line savings through reduction in space, power and operational management.”

“The Dell EqualLogic Blade Array is extremely easy to use. The way it integrates with the Dell Chassis Management Console makes the initial set-up and deployment of the array very quick and easy,” said Sean Barnes, IT Operations Manager for Forum Energy Technologies, a Dell customer. “Dealing with multiple blade chassis, multiple arrays, iSCSI networks, LAN networks, and all of the cabling can be tedious. I like that I don’t have to contend with excess cabling or a separate external network with the blade array. Having this entire converged solution in one box is great.”

Availability:

  • The EqualLogic PS-M4110 Blade Arrays, Dell Converged Blade Center solution, EqualLogic Array Software 6.0 and SAN Headquarters 2.5 will become available in Dell’s third quarter.
  • EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for Microsoft 4.5 is planned for availability this year.
  • Dell vStart 1000 will be available in the U.S. in July and worldwide this year.
  • Dell Data Migration Planning and Data Migration Services are available worldwide today.

About Dell
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

[1] Source: IDC White Paper, “The Evolution of the Datacenter and the Need for a Converged Infrastructure,” sponsored by IBM, doc #228536, June 2011.
[2] Source: Principled Technologies, Inc. “Data Center in a Box Performance Test: Comparing Dell and HP Blade Solutions,” an August 2012 report commissioned by Dell.
[3] As compared to a comparable HP converged infrastructure solution in a remote office workload environment. Source: Principled Technologies, Inc. “Data Center in a Box Performance Test: Comparing Dell and HP Blade Solutions,” an August 2012 report commissioned by Dell.