Dell is looking to position itself as a one-stop provider for cloud computing with the launch of a reference platform based on OpenStack and Ubuntu, running on Dell hardware and backed by its service and support know-how.
The Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution is aimed at both enterprise customers and service providers, and is intended to deliver an open-source alternative to proprietary cloud computing stacks for organisations building private cloud infrastructure, and enable them to get up and running relatively quickly, Dell said.
Announced at World Hosting Day in Germany, Dell's reference architecture is based on the firm's PowerEdge C Series servers and uses Ubuntu to underpin the OpenStack cloud computing layers in a tested and validated configuration supported by Dell.
However, the company insisted it is not trying to shoehorn organisations into a fixed solution, and said it will work with customers to build out the private cloud computing infrastructure that is right for their needs.
"What we're trying to do is wrap a project around the intense interest in the marketplace around OpenStack and open-source availability for our customers to stand up a cloud," Andy Cash, Dell's director for next generation computing solutions and networking, told V3.
Each project will be unique to that particular customer, with Dell providing its expertise as well as a reference framework and platform that customers can have confidence in, he added.
Cash claimed that around 70 per cent of customers Dell is talking to are interested in or have already started looking at OpenStack.
Furthermore, he added that 40 per cent of these users intend to be up and running with a production private cloud within a single financial year, and that OpenStack provides them with the best solution to meet this deadline.
Also included in the platform is Dell's Crowbar tool, which enables customers to quickly deploy and provision a fully functioning OpenStack cloud computing environment, including servers, networking and storage.
Dell maintains this as an OpenStack community project, and is developing it to support capacity planning and on-going changes to an OpenStack environment in future, Cash said.
Because each project will be tailored to the customer and their market segment, Dell said it could not give indicative pricing.
Cash added that Dell had already delivered multiple cloud solutions with pilot customers, but was now opening up its offering to the wider market.
"We're announcing to the marketplace that we are ready to take this mainstream now," he said.
Dell is also working on a similar offering based on Hadoop for big data analytics, according to Cash.
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