Dell debuts new enterprise offerings

Dell Inc. announced on Wednesday a rash of new products and services for the enterprise market, including 11th Generation PowerEdge servers and Precision workstations, Dell M-series blade architecture, and Dell Management Console.

“Our customers want us to help them become more efficient, especially as their costs are being restrained,” said Steve Schuckenbrock, president of Dell Large Enterprise. “We’ve heard that they want to simplify the infrastructure, and standardize, standardize, standardize.”

The new PowerEdge servers and Precision workstations are based on the new generation of Intel Inc. Xeon processors. “We’re moving towards having 15 billion connected devices, which will drive us up to 15 million servers. We need the performance, while reducing the idle power and adding more processing states and core states,” said Kirk Skaugen, vice-president and general manager with the server platforms group at Intel.

Businesses that start standardizing on this level of performance could expect to see a drop in their operating expenses within eight months, he said.

The PowerEdge servers will come with the Dell Lifecycle Controller. “This is a different take on systems management,” said Brad Anderson, senior vice-president at Dell. “Before, you’d tear it open and see seven or eight CDs.” This comes with everything pre-loaded, and will also ease branch deployments, he said.

Dell partnered with Symantec for the Management Console, which brings different management systems under a single centralized console. The new Dell ImageDirect Server is also constructed to cut down on IT maintenance time, as well as improve image management.

The new Dell Precision T7500, T5500 and T3500 tower workstations will be geared towards those in engineering, media, entertainment and biosciences, with some models earning the Energy Star 5.0 certification.

“We are indeed receiving strong confirmation from our customers that they are extending refresh cycles for normal workstations to five to six years, and they are not upgrading machines due to upgrades to Office 2007 or Windows Vista, because they are not doing those upgrades, either. So focusing on specialty machines , like Dell’s Precision T series, is likely to be the right products (for) business during this recession, with no upgrades of normal machines,” according to Tim Hickernell, associate senior research analyst with the Info-Tech Research Group Ltd.

Virtualization was a key focus of the announcement. The virtualization capabilities of the PowerEdge series, as well as the new EqualLogic PS6000 storage arrays, were touted. Steve Hassell, vice-president and CIO of Emerson Electric Co., used some of the new products in beta during its move to a more virtualized environment and a private cloud, and was able to achieve an 18-to-one reduction of servers, he said.

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