Dell EMC Storage Solutions Training

Last week I flew out to the Dell Customer Solution Centre in Limerick Ireland. Whilst the trip was only 48 hours end to end we had a jam-packed agenda, aiming to get a good overview of the combined mid-market storage portfolio for both Dell and EMC. 

The Limerick solution centre is quite a unique facility based in what was an old Atari and then Dell production facility, now it is focused on customer knowledge transfer, technical due-diligence and research and development. Also located at this venue is coordination for European support. 


The training started with a reflection of the industry today and where our customers are looking to go. This centered around the need for digital transformation, with IT now being business centric, enabling the business, users and customers. We then moved on quickly to the Dell and EMC shared storage product line. Dell EMC wished to iterate that in the mid-market no product or technology is being bought to an end of life due to the merger, this will be a sigh of relief for a number of customers utilising EqualLogic, VNX and more. However, they were clear that the future strategy in this area lies firmly with the SC (Compellent) and Unity technologies. This will be no real surprise for any previous Dell or EMC customers as this has been discussed largely for a long time. 

As you can see for the doodle below a large amount of the first-day training focused on the Unity arrays, this was due to the audience being predominantly from Dell partners. The Unity arrays are the next generation to the VNX product line, however, there has been a lot of innovation in this space moving to a new lightweight Suse Linux OS with no need for reserved OS disks as per the previous arrays. Most importantly for me, the focus has been on operational simplicity with a HTML 5 user interface, tight VMware integration, unified storage protocols including block, VVOLS and file as well as a cloud based analytics engine (CloudIQ) for remote monitoring and more. I am really looking forward to learning more about Unity over the coming weeks. We finished the day by looking at the latest updates to the Dell SC product range, I will save the contents of this for another blog post.  

On the second day we focused on the hyper-converged platforms, we discussed the need for change away from traditional servers and storage to the hyper-converged infrastructure. The main reasons for adoptions focused around a lower total cost of ownership, speed and agility to react to business demands alongside operational simplicity. Dell has the luxury of a wide and full hyperconverged portfolio featuring solutions from Dell, VMware, Microsoft, EMC and Nutanix. The training focused on the VSAN and VxRail technology from VMware and EMC, You can see the most important aspects below including the different configuration items and included components. 

The most important aspect for me and my customers is a choice. Ultimately whether traditional servers and storage or hyperconverged is the right route for you Dell EMC has a wealth of solutions at all budgets to meet your needs and importantly offer an end to end solution.

We finalised the trip with a tour of the solutions centre including the IoT lab, the client computing solutions area and the data centre. I was really impressed with this facility it was clear the main focus and goal at this facility was technical excellence and enablement and not an ounce of a hard sales focus. I look forward to taking more of my customers over to lab their requirements. Hopefully in 2017 I will get to go over again to focus on various EUC technologies and understand more of their whitepaper testing in the lab.