Dell gets price aggressive for the software-defined space

AUSTIN, TEX. – It did not take long for Dell Inc. to push the envelope on price when it relates to the software-defined data centre.

Just a few months after Dell partnered with Nutanix, the company has released five models of the XC PowerEdge with Nutanix technology at Dell World 2014. While pricing on these units was not released, Dell did announce an expanded Dell Storage line that includes a new $25,000 all-flash storage array that fits in line with Nutanix’s vision of WebScale and hyper-converged solutions.

Dell also released its next-generation converged infrastructure solution called the Dell PowerEdge FX.

The company supported these new product releases with new alliances with Brocade and Intel to bring open networking and virtualization solutions to the channel.

Brian Payne, Dell executive director, told CDN FX is targeted at the mid-market and the top end of the small business space.

“Companies are struggling with the idea of a future with software-defined environments. That world is coming and a lot of customers are dealing with existing stuff that is taking up time. They are asking us and the channel ‘how do I make this transition,” Payne said.

FX attempts to change the economics of software-defined networking and software-defined storage. “Currently, blade servers and rack servers are not optimal for future environments and for those workloads (blades cannot do direct attached storage). With FX they can span traditional networking to future environment workloads,” he said.

Nikita Maheshwari, product marketing manager for Nutanix in San Jose, Calif., told CDN that XC PowerEdge with Nutanix software gives these products the benefits of scaling one node at a time and deployment is in just a few hours.

“For us Dell is a leading vendor and a major brand name that will bring Nutanix to the masses. We are WebScale for hyper convergence and for the first time in the market for a big company like Dell to bring WebScale around the world,” Maheshwari said.

Greg Smith, senior director of product and technical marketing for Nutanix, said Nutanix only sells through the channel, but some of the XC PowerEdge products will go direct through Dell’s sales force. One of the aspects of the Dell partnership for Nutanix is that Dell’s channel network augments the more than 700 worldwide solution provider partners Nutanix has.

“There will be more margin points for selling XC PowerEdge servers by themselves and it’s comparable to the margins on Dell storage solutions,” Smith said.

Nutanix is planning a five city joint seminar series for Canada in 2015, Smith added.

Payne said FX will be rollout with a chassis and three of the six modules this December. The other three modules will be released in the first half of next year. Pricing will be based on specific configurations.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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