Dell Rolls Out Servers, Storage for Small Business

Monday Sep 27th 2010 by Stuart J. Johnston
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Dell looks for stronger spending on business IT infrastructure for small business computing -- rolls out new network attached storage options, new small business servers and wireless gear.

In a move to reach more small and midsized businesses (SMB), Dell has announced that it is delivering a network attached storage (NAS) device, two new small business servers, and new wireless gear aimed at providing the same powerful technology that enterprises use, at a reasonable price.

Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) introduced the PowerVault NX200 Network Attached Storage tower, the R415 and R515 servers, and a line of PowerConnect wireless solutions called the W-Series. The two servers are due to be available on Oct. 11, while the NAS tower and the wireless solutions are available now, the company said.

While the recession is officially over, many small businesses have yet to see commerce turn up significantly. However, they have another problem.

"The economy still continues to be challenging, but businesses are finding they can no longer postpone technology updates," Erik Dithmer, vice president and general manager of Dell Americas small and medium business, said in a statement.

"As they look to make investments, customers are telling us they are concerned about business continuity and data protection, with return on investment being a more important consideration than price," Dithmer added.

PowerVault NX200 Network Attached Storage

Dell's PowerVault NX200 is a NAS device that the company says was designed with small businesses in mind.

"With the [NX200], small businesses can move beyond saving data on individual client PCs and access simple file storage on a centralized device to store, protect and manage the explosion of data everyone is facing," the statement continued.

Dell's new NX200 runs on a single Intel dual-core Celeron processor with a clock speed of 2.26 GHz. In addition, the NX200 comes with 2 GB of RAM. The NAS unit can be configured with from 1TB to 8TB of hard disks.

The company claims that setup for the NX200 is so simple that the device can be up and running in as few as 15 minutes.

"A centralized storage approach saves businesses time and money and makes storage easier to manage, John Jordan, president of BusinesSuites, a company that provides executive suites and virtual office services around the country, said in a statement.

The Dell PowerVault NX200 network attached storage device starts at $1,600.

R415 and R515 Small Business Servers

Dell's new PowerEdge R515 is a 2U rack server with two CPU sockets, and is designed for use in midsized businesses, according to Dell. The R515 uses six-core AMD Opteron 4100 series processors. Customers can order the server with from 8 to 12 hard disks, for a total of as much as 25 TB of internal storage. It can hold 64 GB of memory.

According to Dell, the R515 is designed for applications that require a large amount of local storage such as workload consolidation, virtualization, databases, and email handling. An entry-level R515 server starts at $1,600.

By comparison, the PowerEdge R415 is a 1U rack unit, also has two CPU sockets, and is designed for SMBs that are growing and "need a balance of processing power and value." It can also hold up to 64 GB of memory and 8 TB of disk storage.

Like its larger sibling, the R415 small business server runs on six-core AMD Opteron 4100 processors. Unlike the R515, an R415 starter server begins at $1,200.

The R415 was created with support for common business applications in mind, including a range of tasks such as file and print serving, handling email, and as a Web server, the company said.

Additionally, Dell officials said, the R415 can be used in somewhat more strenuous roles such as IT infrastructure, small virtualization deployments, and to run entry-level high-performance computing (HPC) loads.

PowerConnect W-Series Wireless Networking Solutions

At the same time, Dell is promoting a line of wireless controllers and access points -- several of them for small business networking -- called the PowerConnect W-Series. Built on the 802.11n standard, the W-Series is managed from a centralized administrative console that can control thousands of access points, Dell said.

W-Series wireless controllers start at $1,645, while access points begin at $395. Like the NX200, W-Series devices are available now.

Dell also announced it is now shipping the Dell OEM Microsoft System Center Essentials (SCE) 2010 to manage all that new hardware. The package is a custom version of Microsoft's SCE 2010 that also includes Dell's OpenManage Integration Suite for SCE.

"[SCE 2010] offers a versatile, integrated solution designed for managing operating systems, applications, hardware and IT services in multivendor environments with up to 500 client systems and a combination of 50 virtual/physical server OS instances," a Dell statement said.

Meanwhile, Dell's OpenManage Integration Suite for SCE provides "a portfolio of essential software tools designed to help customers more efficiently, securely and cost-effectively utilize and manage their IT assets."

Dell's OEM version of SCE 2010 starts at $720, which includes the SCE console and five server management licenses -- additional server management licenses can be purchased in groups of 5 or 20, Dell statements said.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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