Dell's new servers come preloaded with hundreds of virtual machines

Dell on Thursday served up a new choice for buying its servers: plug-and-play configurations that include up to 200 VMware virtual machines along with the networking and storage needed to run them.

Dell on Thursday served up a new choice for buying its servers: plug-and-play configurations that include up to 200 VMware virtual machines along with the networking and storage needed to run them.

Dell is also offering a ready-made virtual desktop infrastructure in the same fashion, letting users buy servers pre-configured with hundreds to thousands virtual desktops in two flavors: VMware or Citrix XenDesktop.

CLOUD NEWS: Rackspace, Dell push OpenStack cloud OS

But wait, there's more. The company tossed in an announcement about a new e-mail backup and archiving service and expanded partnership with Microsoft, then promised to build 10 new data centers worldwide in the next 24 months - three in the U.S. -- to support what it hopes will be a massive move to its cloud. In addition to hosting virtual storage, desktops and e-mail backups, Dell says these data centers will serve up VMware, OpenStack and Azure clouds. All told, the company says it is spending $1 billion  on the cloud.

Dell executives explained that despite what virtualization has done for hardware efficiency, it isn't easy to manage. "Customers are more interested in buying VMs than in buying the physical hardware they have to assemble," said Stephen Schuckenbrock, president of Dell Services, during a telephone press conference this week. He adds that research reports predict that soon "virtually half the workloads will be running on virtual machines ... but it's not that easy to do, to optimize those virtual machines."

Enter the new vStart line of servers. These are built with the Xeon-based Dell PowerEdge, VMware hypervisors, Dell EqualLogic storage and Dell PowerConnect switches (which Dell OEMs from Juniper) and includes essential virtualization management extensions. The infrastructure is pre-assembled by Dell, and delivered to the enterprise's site as a single unit, racked and cabled. Customers can own these units, though Dell is also willing to set them up as managed servers, promised Schuckenbrock.

The vStart 100 is a unit preconfigured with 100 VMs and priced at $99,000 while the vStart 200 is configured with 200 VMs and is priced at $169,000. The vStart family will eventually include configurations that offer more and less VMs, said Schuckenbrock, but these two standard configurations are available now.

MORE ON DELL: Dell servers preloaded with Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud software

Not wanting to completely tick off the mighty Microsoft, Dell also announced a vague three-year agreement with Redmond that will let virtualized systems be managed by Microsoft System Center. This agreement will one-day also allow Dell to offer Hyper-V as a VM choice. When the Hyper-V option materializes, it will be a less expensive choice, hinted Praveen Asthana, vice president, Enterprise Solutions & Strategy. "Microsoft System Center and Hyper-V will give customers more choice and radically change the economics of virtualization," he said. However configurations available today star VMware.

Plus, Dell is encouraging enterprises to take the plunge with VDI by similarly offering plug-and-play servers bundled with hundreds or thousands of Citrix XenDesktop or VMware virtual desktops. Customers can choose the number of desktops according to their needs. Dell technically announced its Desktop Virtualization Solutions (DDVS) offering in March but on Thursday reiterated that the VDI bundle can be had anyway the customer wants it: as an owned piece of gear, as a managed service, a cloud service, or some kind of custom package in between, with Dell doing all the integration work to ensure customers' apps work with it. It, too, is based on Dell PowerEdge servers, EqualLogic storage and PowerConnect networking.

Dell's new Email and File Archive service is orchestrated along the same lines. It can be purchased as a product based on Dell's pre-configured reference architectures, an on-premises managed service, through the cloud or some combination of these options.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftVMwareDellserverData Centervirtualizationhardware systemsdesktop virtualizationConfiguration / maintenanceserver virualization

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Julie Bort

Network World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?