Dell has announced the first set of workload solution reference architectures for its converged Active Infrastructure, providing IT organisations with blueprints for deploying VDI, unified communications and collaboration.

The new workloads include reference architectures for DVS Enterprise Active System 800 with either Citrix XenDesktop or Vmware View, as well as for Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Lync 2010.

Dell also shared its plans for Active Infrastructure in 2013, building on IP acquired from its purchase of Gale Technologies last month. These include making it possible to provision physical infrastructure in a matter of hours, integrating Dell Fluid Cache technology, and supporting third-party platforms.

“If servers and storage and networking are like the peanut butter and jelly and bread of the data centre, our Active Infrastructure is the sandwich,” said Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell.

“Active Infrastructure is the most intuitive, flexible and comprehensive converged solution in the marketplace, and true to Dell's history of being open and embracing open standards, our Active Infrastructure makes it very easy to integrate with existing frameworks, making it much less expensive for you to deploy in a virtual or cloud infrastructure.”

The company also reiterated its commitment to the OpenStack infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud computing project, announcing plans to release an EqualLogic driver for Crowbar, (the open source software framework developed to enable Dell storage to work with OpenStack clouds), in 2013.

Dell has released a technical preview of its OpenStack-based private cloud, called Dell Cloud Dedicated, which is designed to meet the strict security and regulatory requirements of the most sensitive data, such as healthcare information.

“We can stand up your private cloud, we can do it quickly and easily, and we can link it to the Dell cloud as an extension of your own environment. In this way you enjoy the best of both worlds with a hybrid deployment – seamless, fully secure and fully compatible,” said Dell.

While the drive towards convergence has been the key theme of this year's Dell World conference, the company still has plenty of “pure play” customers. In his keynote address, Dell said that the company is now number one in market share in servers in North America and Asia, and expects to become number one worldwide within the next few quarters. 

“We're only 64,000 servers away from being the number one in the world, so if everybody here buys 10 servers, we've pretty much got it,” he quipped.

Dell claims that its PowerEdge 12th generation servers offer 376 percent more virtual machines per U of rack space than HP. Updates to Dell OpenManage systems management also bring simplified remote management, enhanced automation and greater availability and security, according to Dell.