Dell hasn't let Cisco's entry into the data centre space knock it back. The company has released a set of servers, workstations, storage arrays and a new integrated heterogenous management console that Dell claimed went a lot further than any of its competitors.
The company couldn't give too much technical detail on the PowerEdge 11g servers, which are based on the new Intel chips, code-named Nehalem, which are being announced on Monday. "I'll get back to you on detailed performance," said Rick Becker, VP of software solutions at Dell Enterprise Group. But the company is stressing the servers' energy efficiency (although it's not clear how much of this is down to Nehalem and how much is down to Dell's own work) and the way that they have been optimised for virtualisation.
"One third of the servers that we're currently selling are being used in virtualisation environments and that total is rising," said Hugh Jenkins, enterprise marketing manager for Dell UK. For this reason, he said, the company has offered an integrated hypervisor for all the servers, customers choosing between VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V or Citrix. The hypervisor will be contained on a one gig SD card within the server, he said.
There are fiver new servers: the T610, M610, M710, R610 and R710.
A key part of Dell's strategy is the Dell Management Console (DMC), developed in conjunction with Symantec. The company said that this would enable server administrators to manage an array of products from a "single pane of glass" said Raj Kushwara, vice president of global services at Dell. He went on to say that the management software would manage servers, storage arrays and desktops and would handle non-Dell products too. He added that DMC would be able to manage both physical and virtualised environments.
In addition to DMC, the company has introduced what it calls ImageDirectServer, meaning that all the server's drivers and configuration information is integrated into the product. "No more hunting around for lost CDs, said Dell's Mark Maclean. The new feature means that product information can also be held at Dell, meaning that new servers could be ordered and delivered within days.
Dell has also launched a new range of storage products, again, stressing the power efficiency. The company has added a new set of features to the EqualLogic PS6000 Series arrays, including a new SSD option, designed to process data more quickly while consuming less power.
The launch has been completed by a new range of workstations. The new Precision T7500, T5500 and T3500 tower workstations have been developed for engineering, media, entertainment and biosciences industries.
Dell promised more details on the server range next week when it would release more technical detail and UK prices.