Days after announcing its converged infrastructure platform, the Active System 800, Dell is already dropping hints about its future development path, confirming its intention to use the tech it acquired with RNA Networks to deliver new storage options.
Speaking at the Dell Storage Forum in Sydney last week, Ben Roscoe (Dell, General Manager – PowerVault Data Management) said the company is looking to use the technology acquired with RNA Networks to provide “integration points closer to the server”. This builds directly from the presentation that Don Ferguson (Dell CTO Dell Software Group) and Jai Menon (Dell CTO Enterprise Solutions Group) gave at the Dell Enterprise Strategy Update in San Francisco last week where Dell introduced the Active System 800. Ferguson and Menon shared their vision on how pooling server-side flash across multiple Active System nodes would speed performance of database and web apps.
Dell was in San Francisco last week to host its Enterprise Strategy Update, staking its claim to the x86 top spot with the announcement of its big converged infrastructure platform, the Active System 800.
Three years ago, Dell was just another PC/server maker fighting for market share in a commodity market. The ultra-lean manufacturing processes that had previously allowed it a significant price advantage over its competitors had been eroded as other manufacturers emulated Dell’s approach, leaving it with little to differentiate it from its competitors other than memories of past advertising campaigns. While its reputation for poor support and burning batteries was behind it, my personal perception of Dell, strongly colored by the large number of Dell laptops that expired at my hands, was not good.
However, in the last two years my view of Dell has been slowly changing. A new focus on data center technologies, a string of successful acquisitions and some fresh blood in key leadership positions has revitalized the company, forcing me to reassess Dell’s position in the enterprise technology ecosystem. Suffice to say, this is not the Dell I used to know.
After a series of delays, communication failures and marketing mis-steps that left many customers frustrated and confused, VMware finally shipped View 4.5 on September 9th.
Anticipating the formal announcement was a widely leaked report that View 4.5 would ship without Virtual Profiles, the user profile management solution that VMware OEMed from RTO Software in fall 2009. VMware finally confirmed that the leak was correct on the first day of VMworld 2010, but even then held back from announcing its interim solution until after the formal product launch. Then rather than simply offer View customers a copy of Virtual Profiles as a standalone product, VMware chose instead to partner with Liquidware Labs to enable them to offer Liquidware Labs’ ProfileUnity to View customers at a substantial discount. While VMware’s position is that Virtual Profiles will ship with View 4.5 at some point in the future, the decision to offer ProfileUnity instead did nothing to address the concerns of potential customers, especially those who might finish up paying twice for a profile management system. The only good news for View customers is that ProfileUnity’s agent-less and database-less architecture should make the future migration to Virtual Profiles a simple matter when the time comes to move.