Powering Your SMB with Converged Infrastructure

Paul Mah

The days of handling multiple disparate systems and having to individually configure them to work together may soon be a thing of the past. In a media briefing held earlier today, Sumir Bhatia, Dell’s regional director of Enterprise Solutions, South Asia, highlighted the challenge inherent to managing diverse systems of varying age – a fairly common situation in smaller businesses.

Bhatia was setting the stage to illustrate how a converged infrastructure can benefit small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) and enterprises alike by combining core components such as servers, networking equipment and storage into a single solution. Unlike trends such as big data and virtualization in its earlier days, a converged infrastructure offers tangible benefits even for smaller businesses and remote offices.

Nariman Teymourian, executive director of Converged Solutions at Dell, elaborated more on how Dell’s Converged Solutions offerings resolve problems such as how rolling out new IT services often takes longer than expected. According to him, a staggering 75 percent of downtime is caused by human error, which argues for the use of automation.

Unlike competitors that may be focused on data center deployments, Teymourian says Dell’s solution looks at the entire picture, alluding to its suitability for SMBs with more diverse requirements. Ultimately, the ability to automate the delivery of workload and infrastructure within a “single pane of glass” allows for greatly simplified service delivery.

For example, Active Infrastructure 1.1 offers validated workloads and templates for products ranging from Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, SQL Server, VMware, Citrix, and others. According to Teymourian, templates can be created once and rolled out to dozens of deployments, or differing variations can be created to meet the needs of a specific location.

As a former IT administrator who has worked for a number of SMBs, I can readily identify with the various pain points that were highlighted. Though Dell’s converged solutions offerings work on both the enterprise and SMB level, it is evident that Dell has a special interest in the latter. Indeed, presentation slides from the company pointed to the 27 million small offices in the United States alone, as well as how SMBs in China make up to 60 percent of the country’s GDP.

What really caught my attention was Dell’s newly unveiled PowerEdge VRTX, which is essentially an infrastructure-in-a-box with up to four servers per chassis. According to Dell, the PowerEdge VRTX is priced with SMBs in mind, and I’ll be sharing more about it in a subsequent blog.

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