Dell is launching a new series of products to cater for the drive towards virtualisation. In common with companies like HP and Cisco, Dell is looking to develop an all-encompassing architecture within the data centre, supporting servers, storage, networking and virtualisation.

The company's Virtual Integrated System (VIS) has been designed to support organisation's existing data centre architecture while moving to a virtual environment.

"VIS is not a product," said Ed English, Dell's head of product marketing for large enterprises. "It's a strategy, not a solution in itself. But there are products within VIS. We launched our Advanced Infrastructure Manager (AIM) earlier in the year and we're announcing two new components: Creator and Director."

The Dell VIS Self-Service Creator, as its name implies, is a way for organisations to pick and choose business applications. It works by offering a customised catalogue of IT applications and resources, reducing the time it takes to deploy a workload to just minutes. English said that a data centre manager looking to allocate resources has a headache when it comes to dealing with individual requests as they must be managed. "It's much simpler if you can create small individual templates for specific departments."

"But," he warned, "this can't be about creating a free-for-all, that creates problems of its own. However, by pricing those templates and giving departments budgets, it manages the process. In addition, it gives orga nisations an opportunity to introduce chargeback."

VIS Creator is available now but the other new product from Dell, VIS Director, won't be available until next year. Dell VIS Director is an operations hub for the virtual environment, providing organisations with a monitoring and capacity planning tool, as well acting as a product to handle utilisation reporting. According to English, Director would also offer integration to existing management tools such as Tivoli, if this were the customer's preferred option.

English said that Director does two things allowed the administrator to look backwards." It looks at templates and the workload that has been deployed on those templates." He said that in the longer term, the company was hoping to allow automatic fixes. " If, for example, if a workload was too large or too small for the template. Then the system would automatically implement instant remediation y kicking off a request to Director to allocate more resource, However, this is not something we're going to introduce immediately," English warned.

As well as the new products, English said that Dell was introducing a set of consultancy services to complement the new launches. "We're very conscious of the fact that customers have real challenges moving from rack and stack," he said.