How Dell Plans to Sell The Converged Infrastructure

Dell’s Marketing Director of Converged Infrastructure Solutions Ben Tao sat down on theCube to talk with Wikibon’s Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman at Dell World 2012 (full video below).  Starting the discussion on Dell’s product line, Tao says that vStart was their first step towards converged infrastructure and that it focused on packaging. It used some of their existing managing tools and was designed to give a fast time to value for the customer. The new offering of Active System goes beyond packaging and comes at converged infrastructure from the solution level in its engineering. Active System Manager is an all-new tool that manages converged infrastructure as a single virtualized compute unit. Dell focused on converging all the common tasks that an admin does day to day when developing the manager.

On the matter of scaling, Tao feels that converged infrastructure is not just about scaling up, but rather it is about changing workloads and configuration. He feels that Dell has an advantage when it comes to their offerings because they own all elements of the infrastructure. “Upstarts” are primarily focused on software solutions. While this has its benefits, software alone cannot address the entire issue. Dell has the software and hardware. The dedicated team at Dell can optimize across converged infrastructure, the private cloud, and workloads.

Tao says that the 4 ways customers consume and introduce converged infrastructure are:

  • Introduction of a new application or upgrading an application
  • Broader private cloud initiative
  • Datacenter modernization and consolidation
  • Any infrastructure operations efficiency initiative

Dell allows customers to have an evolutionary model before they change their operations. They designed their offerings with some flexibility. The customer can buy the Active System infrastructure without the manager. Dell’s fast time to value and production ready architecture are selling points to buying the entire bundle.

Tao feels that larger or global companies are going to be slower at adopting a pre-engineered converged infrastructure because they have been building their own for years. Their legacy environments and specialized workloads make them more reluctant to changing over. The mid-level companies are more open to change due to less politics and the fact that they are used to purchasing packaged products.

Check out the full interview below.