Dell declares war on datacentre rivals

Boxing gloves
3 May, 2012

Hardware giant sets out strategy to overthrow a certain "two-letter" competitor in the server, storage and networking markets.

Hardware giant Dell is using the promise of better performance to encourage enterprise users to turn their backs on its competitor’s products when kitting out their datacentres.

The vendor is focusing its efforts on tweaking its servers, storage and networking products so they work better together than with its rivals' kit.

We want to make sure our customers do what is right for them, rather than follow the buzzword of the day

Speaking to IT Pro, Praveen Asthana, vice president of the Enterprise Systems Group at Dell, said the strategy was designed to usurp its rivals in the datacentre, but not lock them out completely.

“We have a very good business in Ethernet SANs and iSCSI SANS and we also sell networking switches, which we have engineered so they perform better when they are hooked up to an EqualLogic SAN, for example,” said Asthana.

“Dell plus Dell is better than Dell plus HP, but Dell plus HP will still work because we are going to ensure there is still a fundamental interoperability there.”

He said the strategy should help the firm capitalise on the sales momentum in servers, storage and networking it built up over the previous quarter.

“Dell’s enterprise servers, storage and networking business is doing well, compared to some of our competitors who actually declined in those areas,” he said.

“We also came out with our 12th generation severs [earlier this year]. We were first to market with those, even though it’s based on an Intel chip that is widely available. Our two-letter competitors haven’t started shipping yet.”

Turing his attention to cloud, Asthana claimed the enterprise is talking about it, but customers are still investing the majority of their money in on-premise products.

“For small customers that don’t have a lot of legacy, it makes sense to pretty much go to the cloud. But larger customers are not just going to throw away [their infrastructure] because cloud came around,” he said.

Instead, he predicts the enterprise will use a mix of private, public and on-premise solutions in the future.

“We just want to make sure our customers do what is right for them, rather than follow the buzzword of the day,” he added.