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Dell Active Infrastructure explained

15 May 13

Modular and automated converged infrastructure solutions combining servers, storage, networking and infrastructure management into an integrated and optimised system that provides general purpose virtualized resource pools.

Active Infrastructure overview

Today, many IT organisations are missing deadlines or cannot respond fast enough to customer demands, have insufficient IT budgets to deliver against the most critical business initiatives, or have to manage tradeoffs when it comes to driving efficiency, performance or resiliency.

In response, convergence in the data center is an emerging trend in IT to address the growing needs for agility, efficiency and quality to support the delivery of applications and IT services.

IT organizations are rapidly adopting converged infrastructure solutions to lower the cost of running critical workloads, enable faster infrastructure deployments, and drive simplicity and speed of management.

Dell’s converged infrastructure family combines servers, storage, networking and infrastructure management into an integrated system that provides general purpose, virtualised resource pools.

This system blends intuitive infrastructure management, an open architecture, flexible delivery models and a unified support model to allow IT to rapidly respond, maximise efficiency and strengthen quality.

With Dell, you can respond more rapidly to business needs, maximise efficiency in your data center and IT teams, and strengthen the quality of your infrastructure to improve IT service delivery.

This Active Infrastructure portfolio includes both the legacy Dell™ vStart pre-integrated systems and virtualisation reference architectures, as well as a new converged infrastructure offering from Dell - Active System.

Active System overview

Active System is the newest converged infrastructure framework within the Active Infrastructure family, and leverages Dell innovations including unified management, converged LAN/SAN fabrics and bladed form factors for the ultimate converged infrastructure solution that can be easily deployed and operated in a unified manner.

Key to Active System is Active System Manager 7.0, an intelligent and intuitive converged infrastructure manager.

Active System Manager leverages templates to automate infrastructure and workload on-boarding and re-configuration, which greatly simplifies and speeds up the process, and also significantly reduces errors associated with manual configuration.

The result is better infrastructure and workload quality with fewer configuration errors that can be costly.

Dell is also changing server networking with the PowerEdge M I/O Aggregator, which is designed to simplify blade chassis networking by pushing advanced networking features to the top of rack switch.

It is purpose built for a server administrator with simple deployment and management.

It is capable of handling a converged SAN/LAN fabric, and can facilitate east/west chassis traffic with 10GbE throughput.

Additional modular infrastructure innovations from Dell that power Active Infrastructure, include: the PowerEdge M1000e blade chassis, home to some of the world’s most power efficient blade servers for the past three generations, the Dell PowerEdge M620 and the Dell EqualLogic BladeArray PS-M4110*.

The Dell difference

IT organisations evaluating converged infrastructure solutions today are stuck choosing from undesirable closed, complex, incomplete and/or expensive options.

Dell fills a gap in the market for advanced data center infrastructure platforms that are simple, flexible and comprehensive.

Dell’s framework is compatible with existing data center architectures while allowing flexibility for the future, and doesn’t lock our customers into a proprietary model like some offerings.

Some competitive solutions are built to operate in a single way, may not support customer needs over time and require complex integration with existing management offerings.

Next, Dell has a history of customer-led innovation, leading to products and tools that are simple to set-up and easy to continue using.

Our focus on x86 solutions also allows us to develop products and solutions without competing priorities that oftentimes lead to compromises in usability and functionality.

Competitive offerings are oftentimes difficult to implement, integrate and use; or require multiple tools that don’t easily integrate to address core customer requirements.

This complexity drives up costs on up-front product purchases, solution integration and ongoing support/maintenance costs (e.g. licensing, training).

Finally, Dell offers comprehensive solutions; complete with servers, storage, networking and management, all delivered with unified solution support.

Competitive solutions may lack key elements such as storage, or support for physical infrastructure.

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* Note: Dell EqualLogic BladeArray PS-M4110 will be supported by Active System Manager in upcoming releases.