Build your new data center foundation with one of Dell’s Active Infrastructure delivery models

The old ‘’rule of 3” adage goes something like this,

  • You can have it fast with high quality, but it’s going to cost you;
  • You can have if fast and cheap, but quality suffers,
  • Or you can get it cheap with high quality, but it’s going to take until sometime late next year.

The best new products and solutions counter this rule and offer high-quality innovations with speed at a reasonable price.

Historically, data center infrastructure has leveraged custom, home-grown architectures built out with best of breed products, as decided upon by separate groups in an IT organization with different priorities. While this model offers customers lots of options, it is also a slow and cumbersome approach, as it involves lots of handoffs between vendors and teams, requires complex integration and is more difficult to support. Ultimately, this model is expensive, slow and results in lower quality infrastructure.

Within the Active Infrastructure family, Dell provides three system delivery models that provide customers with options that balance integration and speed, depending on the customer’s unique requirements.

Pre-integrated systems

Much like a sophisticated toy that arrives pre-built and ready to play with from the manufacturer, Dell pre-integrated systems offer the entire infrastructure needed to deploy workloads, and are pre-engineered, pre-assembled, pre-tested and optimized — allowing IT organizations to deploy infrastructure quickly with fewer integration hassles. Dell offers the Active System 800, vStart 50, vStart 100/200 and vStart 1000 in this offering area.

Platform Reference Architectures

Similar to an instruction manual providing detailed instructions on different things that can be built using blocks when you were little, Dell offers platform reference architectures for customers that want to build a custom solution on their own, but still like expert guidance. These architectures, the same ones used to build our pre-integrated offerings, are designed to streamline integration and offer optimal performance, but can be tailored by customers for their unique circumstances. For example, your organization may have recently made a significant investment in storage, but would like to leverage the remainder of the architecture to build out a private cloud.

Active System Matrix

For customers that already have an enterprise architecture in place, Dell also offers a system matrix comprised of high-quality Dell products designed for converged infrastructure solutions, comparable to a “Tub-O-Blocks” when you were little. This system matrix distills down the myriad offerings from Dell in the data center arena, into a focused portfolio of products perfect for building converged infrastructure. Each element in the matrix is easily discovered, configured and managed by Active System Manager. Today, the matrix comprises the PowerEdge M1000e blade chassis; PowerEdge quarter-height M420, half-height M620 and full-height M820 blade server; and PowerEdge M I/O Aggregator networking interconnect. 

Three paths to converged infrastructure success

Early on in life, we seek out different toys depending on where we’re at in our development, whether it be blocks designed to foster the imagination, a build-it-yourself set meant to encourage learning or a really cool and complex toy meant purely for fun. Similarly, as you evaluate your situation, you’ll find that Dell’s flexible delivery options are built to address your unique circumstance, whether that be a need for a turnkey pre-integrated system to quickly support the role out of a new application, or a need for top-quality building blocks to support an existing enterprise architecture.   

No matter the situation, Dell provides intuitive, flexible and comprehensive solutions designed to help you rapidly respond to dynamic business demands, accelerate IT efficiency and strengthen IT service quality. To learn more, visit

About the Author: Brent Collins