ROUND ROCK, TEX. – Dell cut the ribbon last week on its first Workstation Virtualization Center of Excellence here as it seeks  to make it easier for enterprises to take workstations virtual.

The CoE will provide a physical location for customers, channel partners and independent software vendors to evaluate the pros and cons of running compute-intensive applications such as engineering, oil and gas, media and entertainment and other 2D and 3D applications on an end-to-end virtual workstation solution. The centre’s facilities can also be accessed remotely.

Dell said it wants to open more virtualization centers, but didn’t say where. It has other centers of excellence, but none in Canada.

Andy Rhodes, general manager of Dell’s global workstation business, said one of the biggest barriers to workstation virtualization today is the lack of a place for industry, customers and partners to come and test their configurations.

“They want a place to come without having to buy all the equipment to do their testing, and they want to do it at Dell,” he said. “Customers can bring in their versions of these apps to our labs and do their tweaks and performance testing, work with Dell and our partners, and feel confident this is a proof of concept they can All Postsdo. Today the barriers to doing this are large because the equipment isn’t cheap.”

Even leveraging their existing solutions centre architecture at Dell headquarters, the vendor estimates it has made a seven-figure investment in the workstation virtualization CoE. The facility will also allow ISVs to compatibility test and certify existing applications for virtual workstation environments, and evolve their offerings to better leverage the benefits of the new technology in this area. The capabilities and resources can also be replicated to other Dell solution centres worldwide.

“Dell has a long history of delivering innovative end-to-end assets that help customers address real world IT challenges,” said Charles King, president and principal analyst, Pund-IT, in a statement. “Dell’s Center of Excellence is yet another example of the company’s high-touch engagement model. Customers can move their data and graphics-intensive applications to virtual environments with confidence due to Dell’s deep institutional knowledge, expertise and proven reference architectures that are certified for leading professional software applications. “

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