Dell & Microsoft in integrated offering

Dell is teaming up with Microsoft to target businesses of all sizes with an integrated hardware and software storage solution for file and application data at an “affordable” price.

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By  Published  December 16, 2006

Dell is teaming up with Microsoft to target businesses of all sizes with an integrated hardware and software storage solution for file and application data at an “affordable” price.

The Dell PowerVault NX1950 storage device is being offered with Microsoft’s Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003, in an integrated hardware and software system that offers the performance, advanced management features and flexibility of a midrange unified storage device at an affordable price, the two companies claimed.

They said that the integrated device reduces storage costs by eliminating the need for separate licensing for additional features, such as snapshots, replication, and resource management.

“At Dell and Microsoft, we’ve listened to our customers and designed a system for a market segment that historically has been under-served and overcharged,” said Darren Thomas, vice president and general manager of Dell storage and services, in a statement.

“Dell and Microsoft share a vision of redefining the economics of the storage industry through simplicity, affordability and capability,” he concluded.

The PowerVault NX1950 includes single or a two-node cluster configuration featuring a redundant SAS-based backend storage array scaling up to 45 drives. Microsoft’s storage server provides advanced file server and storage area network (SAN) capabilities, as well as unified management tools for deployment and maintenance in heterogeneous environments.

“Customers want more powerful storage solutions to meet increasingly challenging business demands, yet networked storage technologies are still complex and costly,” said Gabriel Broner, general manager of storage at Microsoft.

“With Windows Unified Data Storage Server, Microsoft and Dell have focused on changing that dynamic. This is a significant step for Microsoft’s Universal Distributed Storage strategy of delivering enterprise storage capabilities to a broader market.”

The system began shipping in the US this month, with a starting price of US$17,000, while configurations with 4.5 Tbytes start at less than US$24,000, according to Dell’s web site.

Integrated solutions with clustering and drive expansion, along with SAN gateway capabilities, will be available in the first half of next year, Dell said.

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