Dell EMC Bets Big on PowerEdge Servers

Mike Vizard
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At a Dell EMC World 2016 conference today, Dell EMC launched a slew of initiatives intended to drive home the fact that PowerEdge servers are now at the center of the Dell EMC universe.

Dell EMC announced that PowerEdge servers will now be the foundational element of VxRail Appliances and VxRack System 1000 hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) originally developed by EMC. PowerEdge servers are now also being integrated into a data protection offering based on the Data Domain virtual appliances that EMC developed as well as being bundled with EMC object storage software in the form of EMC Elastic Cloud Storage 3.0.

Other tighter couplings of the product portfolio include integration between the SC series of storage arrays that Dell previously sold under the Compellent brand and EMC storage arrays and the unveiling of an all-Flash version of the Isilon network-attached storage (NAS) system.

Elsewhere, Dell EMC also announced the bundling of a variety of EMC data protection, VMware endpoint management and RSA security technologies with Dell PCs.

Finally, Dell EMC unveiled a new financing program designed to make it easier for IT organizations to acquire IT infrastructure on premise that is treated as an operational rather than capital expense.

Jeremy Burton, chief marketing officer for Dell EMC, says the biggest challenge facing Dell EMC may very well be IT organizational inertia. Most IT organizations today still integrate separate servers, storage and networking elements to create a system. The primary goal for Dell EMC is to get as many organizations as possible to acquire fully configured racks, appliances and blocks to enable IT organizations to quickly deploy a private cloud.

Driving that shift, says Burton, is a demand for much higher levels of IT agility. In order for internal IT organizations to remain relevant in the age of the cloud, they need to be able to respond to business demands with more alacrity, says Burton.


“Legacy systems, organizational structures and people are holding organizations back,” says Burton. “At a minimum, IT organizations should be moving to converged systems.”

Rather than having to rely on IT specialists to manually provision and then support individual IT infrastructure components, Burton says the majority of IT organizations can automate IT infrastructure by leveraging modern systems that IT generalists can manage at a much lower total cost of ownership. That data center environment, adds Burton, can now be a lot smaller thanks to the rise of denser servers and Flash storage technologies that consume much less space and energy. Those savings alone often pay for the cost of modernizing the data center, says Burton.

Making that shift will require IT organizations to first categorize their application workloads to determine which ones should continue to run on premise versus on a public cloud service. Burton says that workloads that have a lot of variable processing requirements tend to lend themselves to a cloud service. Workloads that require a lot of access to data are less expensive to deploy on premise. Just as significantly, Burton says, on-premise IT infrastructure is now much simpler to manage and, just like a public cloud, can be treated as an operating expense.

Obviously, the Dell EMC merger is still a work in progress. But beyond the savings that merger may have generated for the new combined entity, it’s also clear that Dell EMC is making a strong case for a different type of merger of roles inside the IT organization itself.

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