Dell Fine Tunes Servers And Services For The Cloud

Jeffrey Burt is a senior editor for eWEEK and contributor to TechWeekEurope

Dell has taken the wraps off new hardware, software and services offerings that are optimised for cloud computing environments

Dell has unveiled a host of new hardware, software and services geared for cloud computing environments.

Dell officials are launching the new offerings at an event in San Francisco on 24 March, and it will include new servers optimised for cloud computing, a new partner program and new services designed to help businesses migrate to the cloud.

The new offerings are based on work the Dell Data Centre Solutions group has done over the past three years, Valerie Knafo, senior manager of business development and business marketing for the DCS unit, said in an interview before the San Francisco event.

DCS has built customised computing infrastructures for large cloud service providers and hyperscale data centres, Knafo said. Now the company is looking to take what it’s learned from those engagements and make these solutions available to enterprises.

“We’ve taken that experience and brought it to a new set of users,” she said.

Microsoft will be a partner in this effort. Dell officials said they have worked closely with Microsoft on the software giant’s Windows Azure cloud platform, and that Microsoft will work with Dell to develop joint cloud-based solutions. The two companies will continue to collaborate around Azure, including offering services. In addition, Microsoft will continue to buy Dell hardware for the Azure platform.

Included in the new offerings are turnkey cloud solutions, which include pre-tested and pre-assembled hardware, software and services packages that businesses can use to quickly deploy and run their cloud infrastructures.

First among these PAAS (platform as a service) solutions will be a cloud solution for web applications, which come with their own sets of challenges, including unpredictable traffic, concerns about underprovisioning, and the migrating of the apps from development to production, according to Dell officials. The offering will combine Dell servers and services with web application software from Joyent.

Dell also is offering a new Cloud Partner Program, which officials said will expand options for customers looking to move into private or public clouds. Dell also announced three new software companies as partners: Aster Data, Greenplum and Canonical.

In addition, Dell is unveiling its PowerEdge C-Series servers that are designed to be energy efficient and offer features – such as high performance and memory capacity – that are important to hyperscaled environments, including HPC (high-performance computing), social networking, gaming, Web 2.0 functions, and cloud computing.

There are three servers in the family: the C1100, aimed at clustered computing environments, the C2100 for data analytics, cloud computing and cloud storage, and the C6100, a four-node cloud and cluster system that offers a shared infrastructure.

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