Dell announced it plans to spend $1 billion in cloud computing products and services over the next fiscal year in an attempt to gain market share in an environment currently dominated by Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Google, Rackspace and HP. Over the next two years, the company plans to build 10 data centers devoted to deployment of cloud computing technology in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Moreover, the company plans to open a total of 22 Global Solutions Centers that enable customers to obtain consultative services about the cloud computing strategy that constitutes the best fit for their organization. In support of its plans to invest in cloud computing infrastructure, Dell announced the availability of vStart, a product that integrates server, storage, networking and management ability to provide customers with out of the box, racked and cabled virtualization hardware and software. Designed to instantly enable the virtualization of 100-200 machines in its initial configuration, vStart comes pre-loaded with VMware’s ESXi hypervisor virtualization technology but expects to accommodate a broader range of virtualization technology as the product matures. vStart 100’s technical specifications include a PowerEdge 610 server for managing the VMWare technology, 3 PowerEdge R710 servers, Dell EqualLogic™ PS6000XV iSCSI storage, Dell PowerConnect™ 6248 switches and Dell management tools.
Dell’s decision to invest heavily in cloud computing marks the most explicit recognition from the Texas based IT corporation that the market for PCs and data center servers is insufficient to sustain its growth in an enterprise environment that increasingly seeks IT standardization and efficiency, and a consumer environment that demands access to information in real-time, 24-7. Dell has yet to announce what cloud computing software will power its IaaS and PaaS offerings in the data centers it intends to build. One possibility is that the IaaS platform will feature the OpenStack platform while the PaaS leverages Microsoft Azure. In an April 6 press conference in San Francisco, Steve Schuckenbrock, Dell’s president of Dell Services, noted that Dell’s forthcoming cloud computing data centers will house “public and private cloud capabilities.”