Dell said this week that it has achieved a pair of milestones: shipping one million cloud servers in addition to 100,000 Dell EqualLogic storage arrays.
Five years ago, Dell Data Center Solutions began a stealth operation of sorts within Dell, commissioned by chief executive Michael Dell as an effort to become competitive within the hyperscale data center market. By the end of 2012, the company believes it will pass 100 megawatts of total capacity shipped within the DCS business.
“We think it’s a great validation of the investment we set up five years ago to set up the data center organization,” Drew Schulke, marketing director of Dell’s DCS, said in an interview.
Shortly after forming DCS, Dell acquired EqualLogic in 2008, adding storage to the mix. Dell is one of the few companies to combine compute, storage, and networking under one roof, which the company showcased in its recent announcement of its Active System 800 aimed at midmarket data centers. The Active System ties together Dell’s iSCSI-accessible EqualLogic PS-6110 arrays, PowerEdge M620 servers, and new PowerEdge I/O Aggregator and Dell Force10 S4810 network switches.
Since its founding, Dell has grown its EqualLogic storage business from 4000 customers to 45,000, with sales of the 100,000 storage arrays. The challenge now is to shift over from its legacy as a reseller of EMC’s storage products into a vendor of its own proprietary solutions. Dell’s storage revenue fell 13 percent last quarter, but the company has seen 6 percent growth within its own IP solutions.
According to Travis Vigil, the executive director of Dell Storage, the company holds about 28 percent of the $3 billion market for iSCSI, leading the market for iSCSI for the past 18 consecutive quarters. The reasons for that include a focus on ease of use and all-inclusive licensing, as well as on applications tying together virtualization, Exchange, SQL Server, and SharePoint.
Now, the company is looking ahead to integrating flash memory into the fold. Brett Roscoe, Dell’s general manager and executive director for PowerVault Data Management, said the company is working with the technology it acquired from RNA and plans “integration points closer to the server,” according to The Register.
Probably next up for the EqualLogic line are both the EqualLogic PS6500ES and PS6510ES, which balance high-speed solid-state discs for hot data with near-line SAS data for storing high-capacity colder data. The PS65x0ES has 48 slots for either hard drives or SSDs, with up to 84.8TB of capacity. Automatic load balancing will tier the data appropriately onto either the SSD or hard disks. Both of the new hybrid arrays are due this fall.
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