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Dell Scales Down Really Big Clouds

Will sell turnkey private PaaS solutions made up of pre-tested, pre-assembled & fully supported hardware, software & services

Enterprise Cloud Computing Track at Cloud Expo

Dell means to cash in on what its Data Center Solutions unit, which sells to the super-sized buyer, has gleaned supplying Microsoft with custom servers for its Azure cloud.

To start, it's going to sell turnkey private PaaS solutions made up of pre-tested, pre-assembled and fully supported hardware, software and services.

It says it's targeting enterprise app developers - with perhaps smaller appetites - who want to develop applications in the cloud that will be deployed in the cloud - as well as Web Service providers and social networking sites.

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The widgetry is supposed to address the key issues around web application development and deployment: unpredictable traffic, the fear of under-provisioning and migration from development to production.

Dell has picked enterprise IaaS specialist Joyent to power private on-premise clouds as part of a new Dell Cloud Solution (DCS) for Web Applications, a PaaS instance of what Dell calls its "Revolutionary" cloud solutions.

It's the first time Joyent software, usually used in public clouds, is being integrated with a third-party solution and the start-up calls it "a critical turning point in the industry with a single software platform enabling public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions."

Joyent, a one-time web hoster, considers itself wizard at scaling applications and hardware utilization. It's also supposed to have simple GUI tools to create and manage complex virtual architectures.

Dell is rumored to be an investor in Joyent.

Dell has also partnered up with Aster Data Systems for its massively parallel SQL-MapReduce-based data management and analysis, Linux purveyor Canonical for the open source Eucalyptus IaaS private cloudware inside its latest Ubuntu distribution, and Green Plum, the open source self-service data warehouser.

Naturally Dell means to keep working with VMware and Microsoft on what it calls the "Evolutionary cloud side."

The new line of Azure-inspired "hyperscale" PowerEdge C servers - which will sell into the Joyent play and compete with, say, HP's Extreme Scale-Out systems- include three models, the C1100, C2100 and C6100, targeting HPC, data analytics, gaming and cloud builders.

Of course, the high-density, energy-efficient widgets - said to be fast and easy-to-deploy infrastructure solutions that speed up time to revenue and dramatically reduce TCO - are meant for public clouds too.

The C1100 is described as a high-memory, power-efficient, cluster-optimized compute node server; the C2100 as a high-performance data analytics, cloud compute platform and cloud storage server; and the C6100 as a four-node cloud- and cluster-optimized shared infrastructure server. Pricing is still up in the air; at least Dell didn't say what it was. Ditto configurations.

They are designed specifically for cloud environments with software that can route around hardware failures and so lack redundancy.

The hardware's available now along with Dell's consulting services; the Cloud Infrastructure solutions will be out in the next 30 days.

Dell says Microsoft will work with Dell on joint solutions that are built on industry standards and designed to use existing data center investments, all managed through a common framework.

"This approach," it says, "is designed to enable customers to integrate private or public cloud computing models as their business requires. Dell and Microsoft will collaborate on Azure, with Dell and Microsoft offering services, and Microsoft continuing to invest in Dell hardware for Windows Azure infrastructure."

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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