Dell taps Brocade for FCoE, CEE

By Kevin Komiega

Dell has expanded its partnership with Brocade to sell Dell-branded versions of Brocade's Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs), converged network adapters (CNAs), Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) switching products as part of a new focus on data center virtualization and unified networking.

Ethernet and converged networking technologies account for most of Dell's new switching portfolio. Dell is prepping Ethernet modular switching products based on Brocade's NetIron MLX Series Routers and BigIron RX Series Switches to provide 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) and 1GbE connectivity. The Brocade ServerIron ADX Series Switches will also join the Dell portfolio for Layer 4 through 7 switching.

On the Fibre Channel side, Dell will rebrand Brocade's Data Center Fabric Manager (DCFM) software, the Brocade 8000 FCoE Switch and DCX Backbone high-end switches, as well as Brocade's HBAs. Dell already resells Brocade's Fibre Channel blade switches for the M1000e and PowerEdge Series blade servers and a line of Brocade fixed-configuration Fibre Channel switches as part of its storage networking portfolio.

Larry Hart, a worldwide senior manager at Dell, says this is a step forward in networking for Dell as the company aims to deliver "complete solutions for the data center."

"This is less about hardware and platforms and more about joint innovation between [Brocade and Dell]. Virtualization has changed the way the data center is managed. This partnership enables us to deliver a complete data center solution for unified fabrics," says Hart.

Dell also inked an OEM deal with Scalent Systems to sell Scalent's V/OE Infrastructure Manager—a software-based provisioning tool for virtual server environments—as the Dell V/OE Infrastructure Manager by Scalent.

The V/OE Infrastructure Manager allows administrators to provision virtual servers without making physical server, cabling, or SAN changes, according to Hart.

Dell plans to start shipping the Brocade and Scalent products in December. 

Dell debuts Windows-based NAS

Dell has added a new system to its family of networked storage systems for SMBs with the debut of the PowerVault NX300, a Windows-based NAS appliance with data deduplication support and capacity up to 4TB.

The PowerVault NX300 is a four-drive, 1U rack-mounted NAS device with support for up to 4TB of native capacity using SATA drives. Dell is also offering 1TB of nearline SAS storage for performance hungry environments.

The NX300 is based on the Windows Storage Server 2008 operating system and supports CIFS and NFS connectivity.

The system supports software features such as Dell's Single Instant Storage (SIS) technology for data deduplication and Distributed File System (DFS) technology, which allows shares in different locations to be logically grouped under one folder or DFS root.

For management, the PowerVault NX300 supports Dell's OpenManage Systems Management capabilities, including remote management through iDRAC in addition to native Java Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

List pricing for an entry-level configuration of the PowerVault NX300 with four 160GB SATA drives, Windows Storage Server 2008 Standard Edition and 3GB of DDR3 memory starts at $3,000.

Dell plans to support 2TB drives in the NX300 later this year, bringing total capacity to 8TB.

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This article was originally published on October 01, 2009