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Dell Updates Tools for Converged Architecture

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An overview of the Dell architecture for virtual infrastructure (click for larger version).

Dell today introduced new tools and features for its Virtual Integrated System (VIS) architecture, adding additional management capabilities for virtualized data center infrastructure.

The updates to Dell’s strategy include a new tool to create catalogs that make it easier for end users to provision applications, and expanded support for using VIS to manage hardware from multiple vendors.

Tapping Common Pools of Resources
The Dell VIS architecture and services are designed to help customers harness virtualization and cloud technology to build dynamic infrastructures that can tap compute, storage and networking assets as a common pool of resources.

“This launch is the next click forward in enhancing our infrastructure management,” said Matt Baker, head of enterprise strategy for Dell. “What’s new is a simplified GUI and support for new technology.”

The Dell VIS architecture consists of three components:

  • Dell Advanced Infrastructure Manager (AIM): Dell’s AIM is a management system that allows an administrator to allocate server, storage and network resources against application workloads. The solution can combine hardware and hypervisors from multiple providers to create virtual pools of resources.
  • Dell VIS Self-Service Creator: One of the new tools being announced today is the VIS Self-Service Creator, which standardizes and automates application deployment. The Creator uses a web-based portal that allows authorized users to deploy and manage a custom catalog of applications, in some cases reducing deployment time to minutes, Dell says. The Self-Service Creator can orchestrate services across multi-vendor hardware and software solutions, and allows administrators granular control of user access and permissions.
  • Dell VIS Director: The Director, which will be available early next year, will serve as an operations hub for  virtual environments, providing a comprehensive view of virtual dependencies. The module includes advanced reporting (including capacity and utilization reporting) and can manage cost allocation and chargebacks.

The goal of VIS is to allow companies to dynamically scale their existing environment up or down as required without having to “rip-and-replace” to manage cloud-style infrastructure.

The Cloud as an ‘Emerging Frontier’
“Cloud computing is the emerging frontier for IT and there’s no doubt it’s providing
customers with demonstrable benefits in terms of cost savings and agility,” said Brad
Anderson, senior vice president, Enterprise Product Group, Dell. “Dell’s VIS
architecture is unique in that it works with a customer’s existing architecture and their
current products and investments – whether from Dell or another provider.”

VIS supports major hypervisors, incouding VMware VSphere 4.1, Xen Hypervisor for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Microsoft Hyper-V.

“Many organizations are looking at private clouds as the nearest doorway to cloud
computing, and to virtualization as the first step on the journey,” said David McCann, general manager of Server and Cloud Platform marketing for Microsoft. “By using technologies like Microsoft’s Hyper-V and System Center together with Dell’s Virtual Integrated System, customers are better able to provision multiple server workloads on a common, integrated framework—while increasing internal service levels.”

“Dell’s Virtual Integrated System (VIS) enables customers to evaluate a new model of end-to-end computing where IT infrastructure can be delivered as a service through private,
public and hybrid clouds,” said Gary Green, vice president, Global Strategic Alliances, VMware. “When combined with VMware vCloud Director and leveraging the Dell AIM plug-in for VMware vCenter Server, customers can extend the resource pooling capabilities of VMware vSphere to create virtual data centers to automate and expand their private cloud and enable IT organizations to act as service providers to the business.”

Dell is also offering a suite of consulkting services to implement VIS architecture for customers.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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