Dell Aiming to Steal a Little VMworld Thunder

VMware is launching VMworld this week in hopes that it’ll attract the attention of the world’s datacenter experts, but another rival is using the conference to try and draw a little attention to its own products.

Dell plans on offering what it calls Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) to retailers. That’s it—a routine product offered through the reseller channel, the better to help downstream companies get into the virtualization business without quite as many hardware headaches.

Dell launched the private-label resellable service a month ago, using Dell’s DaaS on-demand service as a platform for resellers. It added a new switch for highly virtualized datacenters that has almost twice the port density of earlier versions, processes almost twice as much data, and uses half the power.

The switch is genuinely tied to VMware, in this case by providing an L2 gateway for the new version of VMware’s NSX virtual-networking software.


The network virtualization platform VMware introduced today is designed to let datacenter managers forget about the hardware and do all their damage to the network using management software alone, according to VMware.

NSX is built on a hypervisor kernel, which allows virtualization all the way from the apps on a PC to its I/O gateway. Though the new version is unproven, VMware predicts it will be able to handle as much as 1TB/sec of network traffic per cluster, with each cluster having 32 hosts.

NSX is an adaptation of the SDN technology of Nicira, which VMware acquired in 2012. NSX comes with a host of enhancements compared to versions announced earlier than VMworld.

In addition to VMware NSX, the company introduced VMware Virtual SAN, VMware vCloud Suite 5.5 and VMware vSphere with Operations Management 5.5, all of which it presented as parts of a well-managed and software-configurable datacenter. The Virtual SAN is different than the virtual SAN VMware cuttently offers, according to company officials, though details are too scarce to be sure. The vSAN is headed into beta testing now and is likely to be available during the first half of 2014.


Image: Dell