Key to success

For Dell, its Storage Forum in Paris was all about revealing five end-to-end updates to its storage portfolio, but behind the products we find that the channel is the real key to its success.

The channel is a significant aid in Dell’s operations all around the world and probably no more than in the Middle East, where despite having a large presence out here it utilises to the full.

The clearest sign of this on show at the Dell Storage Forum was the latest result of the tech giant’s long-running partnership with CommVault.

Dell PowerVault DL2300 is a new enterprise-class data protection appliance that combines Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers with CommVault Simpana 9 modern data protection software to provide large enterprises with data backup, recovery, replication, archiving and deduplication for both physical and virtual servers.

The new appliance incorporates latest generation processor and memory capabilities to optimise deduplication database configurations for higher backup performance. Users can also save administrative time with built-in policy-based automation for managing backup and archiving.

“For us in the Middle East, we actually do a lot of work with CommVault,” said Kevin Pickford, Solutions Director, Dell ME. “We have a very good working relationship as well – it’s mutual on both sides.

“We have joint account visits and see customers together, so it’s a really healthy relationship. It goes hand in hand. The relationship with CommVault became quite strong from an early start. In the Middle East it goes beyond 2007, but it started in the UK in the late 90s or early 2000s, so we go back a long way.

“The channel is the key to our success. Channel for Dell is a must. We are very channel friendly in the Middle East – we have to work through it. For us to actually grow we have to be working and educating our channel.”

Another significant channel announcement to come off the back of Dell’s releases in Paris was a partnership with networking company Brocade, which hopes to offer the new Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.3 array software.

The software offers enhanced scalability and performance for Dell Compellent arrays, and along with Compellent SC800 controllers can increase performance up to 100 percent over previous versions when running enterprise workloads, Dell said.


Industry first

With this release, Dell has become the first storage provider to announce end-to-end 16GB fibre channel capabilities, which it said doubles bandwidth and speeding access to business critical applications and data.

Designed for medium to large enterprises and cloud computing, Dell Compellent arrays offer automated tiering, advanced data protection and increased ease of use, combined with a modular design that enables users to update storage software at no additional cost.

The solution also includes Brocade M6505 16 Gbps FC embedded SAN I/O module by Dell, which enables Dell PowerEdge M1000e Blade Enclosures to directly connect to the higher bandwidth-capable Compellent storage arrays.

The Brocade M6505 SAN I/O module, which is configurable in 12 or 24 ports and supports 4, 8 or 16 Gbps speeds, provides enterprise-class functionality for Dell PowerEdge M1000e Blade Enclosures.

It complements other Brocade SAN products offered by Dell, including the Brocade 6510 Switch and the Brocade DCX 8510 Backbone.

“Driven by the deployment of cloud and virtualisation, storage continues to grow at unprecedented levels and demand for fibre channel storage technology is increasing, along with an accelerated adoption of 16 Gbps-based SAN products,” said Jason Nolet, VP, Data Center Networking Group, at Brocade.

“The availability of end-to-end Dell Compellent 16 Gbps storage solutions will further this trend and strengthens our long-term partnership by combining a powerful data movement engine, intelligent software and Brocade’s industry-leading fibre channel switch technology to allow enterprises to cut cost, time and risk while rapidly responding to change.”

Whilst Dell Storage GM Darren Thompson’s keynote speech did not go into further detail on Dell’s partnerships, he did highlight their importance.

“The market dynamics are changing and we’re going to have to mould ourselves to fit into these dynamics,” he said. “We’re going to have to partner with new partners and do all kind of things.”

Furthermore, Dell’s investment in the Middle East was well demonstrated when Mohamed Laher, Enterprise Solutions Director, Emerging Markets, Dell, revealed plans for a solutions centre in the Middle East.

“We haven’t executed it yet but that’s the plan,” Laher said. “The solutions centre will be a hub of the ones in Ireland and the one in the US, and we’ll pass technologies through that map into this region.

“So the organisations that are worried about data going outside the region can use the hub, which will be in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Once we’ve set this up we’ll use the facility to have access to the wider solutions centres and then do stuff locally.”

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