GuidesDell Joins Server Virtualization Fray

Dell Joins Server Virtualization Fray

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Dell dove into the increasingly popular server virtualization realm Monday by agreeing to use VMware’s software in new configurations of its two- and four-processor servers.

Dell tabbed VMware Monday to add virtualization technologies to its PowerEdge servers and Dell/EMC storage.

Pete Morowski, vice president of software development, Dell Product Group, said on a conference call that new configurations of PowerEdge servers and Dell/EMC storage will be used to allow single physical servers to act as two or more “virtual” systems.

Morowski said using VMware’s technologies for enabling multiple operating systems operate within a single box will greatly improve Dell’s ability to “scale-out” its architecture for customers looking to build on the resources they already use.

However, he begged off on whether or not the Round Rock, Texas systems vendor chose VMware’s technology to better compete with on-demand and adaptive enterprise strategies currently employed by rivals IBM and HP, respectively. He chalked it up to providing what “customers are asking for.”

He also declined to say whether Dell would support long-time partner Microsoft’s pending Virtual Server 2004, which is the software giant’s suite to consolidate existing server farms. Some analysts expect the product to compete with VMware’s portfolio.

Morowski said Dell PowerEdge 6650 servers will be offered with VMware ESX Server 2.0.1, VirtualCenter and VMotion to run more applications to run on a single server. VMware’s VMotion technology shuttles applications to different physical servers based on business needs, such as spikes in Web traffic during holidays.

Dell will also provide a single Dell PowerEdge 1750 running the Vmware VirtualCenter Management Server, he said. In addition to adding virtualization capabilities to its servers, Morowski said his company would add VMotion across its Dell/EMC CX300 and CX500 storage systems.

The ability to run different operating systems and applications on the same physical server enables enterprises to consolidate server workloads. Should one virtual machine go down, another would step up to perform its tasks.

These are considered a key ingredient to providing a computing platform that is more automated and flexible — hallmarks of on-demand or utility computing environments.

Ultimately, this type of platform is what IBM, HP, Sun, Veritas, and others, are looking to provide to tempt customers at a time when chief information officers are being asked to simplify data center management and trim costs.

Both IBM and HP have long used VMware technology for their products and remain key partners, according to Michael Mullany, vice president of marketing at VMware.

While Dell has offered VMware product support as a partner, this expanded pact extends the company’s reach into the further recesses of the enterprise, Mullany said on the call. As a key business unit for owner EMC, VMware stands well positioned to continue its hold on the virtualization market for Intel-based systems.

The Dell configurations with VMware are available now, at a starting price of $30,579, which includes a two-processor Dell PowerEdge 6650 server, internal storage, and VMware ESX Server for two processors.

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