Dell Aims Network Storage and Notebook PCs at SMBs

Wednesday Mar 17th 2010 by Jamie Bsales
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Dell launched a PowerVault solution to help simplify data backup and recovery for IT-challenged companies. Plus, the Vostro 3000 series features thin-and-light laptops specifically for small businesses.

Dell continues to cater to the entrepreneurial set with its latest hardware introductions. Last week the company rolled out a disk-based data backup and recovery solution in a single server: the PowerVault DL2100 Powered by Symantec Backup Exec 2010, The company also continues to update its Vostro family of small-business notebook computers, adding the Vostro 3000 series featuring the latest mobile Intel processors in a thin-and-light design.

“Many small business owners still live in a world of denial when it comes to backup,” said Brett Roscoe, Senior Product Manager for storage solutions at Dell. “They know they need a solution, but they don’t have the bandwidth or expertise to build a backup-to-disk system.” In fact, a recent survey conducted by Symantec found that the average SMB backs up only 60 percent of its company and customer data, and that these backups occur infrequently.

The PowerVault DL2100 takes care of the heavy lifting, combining the server hardware and operating system, backup software, and up to 2 terabytes (TB) of internal storage in rack-mount appliance ideal for backing up your company’s application, e-mail, Web and other servers. In addition to the peace of mind, the main draw for small business owners may be the PowerVault DL2100’s wizard-driven setup. “The system can be up and running in 18 minutes,” claimed Roscoe. “If you can set up a Windows server, you can do this.”

The solution features automated setup and disk provisioning to expedite the backup process, and Dell claims the PowerVault DL2100 performs around percent faster than tape backup systems—an important consideration if your backups to tape have begun to exceed the middle-of-the-night backup window. The PowerVault DL2100 also offers optional deduplication, whereby duplicate data in a scheduled backup is deleted, leaving only one copy of the data to be stored or transmitted.

Administrators can use the powerful Symantec Backup Exec 2010 software to specify backup parameters and schedules. The software’s patent-pending Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) works with critical Microsoft applications -- including Exchange, SharePoint and Active Directory -- to let you recover individual objects from a single-pass backup by simply browsing and selecting it.

For example, with GRT you can recover public folders and individual mailboxes -- and even individual e-mails, attachments and calendar items -- without having to perform a time-consuming full restore. The software also continuously protects Microsoft Exchange and file data by backing up changes to the disk in real time as they occur.

The PowerVault DL2100 Value Series is powered by a 2.26GHz Intel Xeon E5520 processor and 6GB of RAM. A performance optimized version delivers dual Xeon E5520 processors and 24GB of RAM. As for storage, the PowerVault DL2100 comes with dual 250GB 7,200-rpm drives for the operating system and backup software, plus up to four 500GB drives for the data.

If you need more storage, the scalable solution allows you to connect up to 12 of Dell’s MD1000 enclosures, for a total of 180 external drives. Prices start at $8,600 or $11,500 with the deduplication option.

Dell Vostro 3000 Notebook PC Family

Last week Dell also unveiled a new series in its Vostro line of notebooks designed specifically for small business buyers. This range of thin, lightweight laptops runs on Intel’s latest Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7 mobile processors, and there’s a size and price to fit every need and budget.

The Vostro 3300 (starting at $669) sports a 13.3-inch screen and is among the thinnest, lightest ultraportables available with an integrated optical drive, according to Dell. The 14-inch Vostro 3400 ($649) is a thin-and-light machine designed for road warriors, and delivers up to 8 hours of runtime per charge of the optional 9-cell battery.

The 15.6-inch Vostro 3500 ($649) is the mainstream model in the lineup, featuring a roomy screen in a package that is still eminently portable. If you want all the comforts --and power -- of a desktop, the Vostro 3700 (starting at $679) delivers a large 17.3-inch HD widescreen, which you can order with a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and dedicated Nvidia Geforce GT 330M graphics engine.

As with all Vostro offerings, Dell backs the new models with a dedicated and specially trained small-business sales and support team, and the optional Dell ProSupport program promises a support tech will assist you typically within 2 minutes, 7 days a week.

Jamie Bsales is an award-winning technology writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience covering the latest hardware, software and Internet products and services.

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