You can say one thing about Dell -- it sure is learning the art of the schmooze. While the company used to present new products very directly ("This is our new server and here's what it does"), the lead-up to the company's forthcoming data center solution has been as smooth as they come.
It started last fall with word that the company was looking to make a splash in the enterprise market. Word kept circulating all winter that something was up, so there was a lot of anticipation at a media event in San Francisco on Friday to announce "Project Hybrid." But based on attendee's reports, the event was more a testament to the art of offering something while actually offering nothing -- a rarity outside the world of politics -- rather than an actual product announcement.
From what I've been able to piece together, Project Hybrid will be an all-in-one data center, using virtualization, blade technology, open systems, and every other trick in the book. And it will kick the bejesus out of HP and IBM in price, performance and just about any other measure.
What we don't know, however, is what it will look like. Dell has a server technology in mind, and it even showed off a box on Friday, but it can't say anything about it. The system also will use a more efficient virtualization stack than anything available today, but it can't share details just yet. Any information on storage solutions? Nope. Routing and network architecture? Nope. Processors? Nope.
So basically, Dell has announced the system's name, but not much else about it, except to say that you're gonna love it.
I'm sure we'll all be filled in on the details by next fall when the system is scheduled to debut. But in the meantime, Dell at least seems to have worked out how to gin up interest in the system. Smooth.