When they said that Dell Storage Forum 2011 would be big, we didn’t doubt it, considering all that Dell’s doing to improve in its cloud services arena. It was definitely one giant kick off unveiling in front of hundreds of Dell customers and channel partners in Orlando, Florida. The company debuted a new storage array, updates on desktop virtualization and tapping foreign markets for expanding the cloud.
First in the long list of announcements is Dell’s revelation of a new storage solutions line-up built on Fluid Data Architecture, to chiefly minimize costs. This array includes Dell EqualLogic FS7500, a storage gateway appliance that promises 10 times more file-sharing functionality compared to traditional offerings, and enables NAS-capability to EqualLogic iSCSI SAN, the PS6000 and PS4000 storage series.
Another is the EqualLogic software version 5.1 that will address networking support with the use of Data Center Bridging (DCB) to improve current performance of converged networks. They also demonstrated the 16Gbps Fibre Channel infrastructure interoperability of Dell Compellent and the addition of Fibre Channel to PowerVault assembly via Dell PowerVault MD3600f/MD3620f. The majority of the products will be available in the market by third quarter of this year, and seek to be more competitive with offerings from HP, Oracle, Cisco and others.
The inaugural event also showcased Dell’s partnership with CommVault to create new virtual storage architecture that they call Converged Virtual Infrastructure Building Block. They are also tapping Ireland’s resources to establish a new research and development facility that would create more than 150 jobs for the locals. This will be Dell’s frontier in global research for cloud computing.
Financially, the company also looks formidable. Dell is tackling the competition well in the market, for the better part of the year now. Margins are up for the second quarter as Dell posted $945 million in revenue, a huge leap from the $341 million profit from the first three months of the year. The recent stock market figures still show a strong rally of Dell shares.
This Storage Forum is Dell’s first conference of this sort. The next day is still looking good and will be loaded with cloud-centric products and services releases. With the promising turnout of this event, will this be able to seal the deal of Dell’s comeback as the industry’s company-to-beat again.