October 18, 2012 – Dell introduced new infrastructure brands, called Active Infrastructure and Active Systems, and company leaders expounded on status and plans with servers, networking and storage during a webcast Thursday from San Francisco.

The meat of the presentation came in the form of Active Infrastructure, Dell’s new converged infrastructure portfolio brand offered as a pre-configured enterprise deployment or as Active System Architectures, its customizable virtualization infrastructure. Part of that portfolio includes the Active Systems Management tool to manage common infrastructure tasks. In addition, Dell introduced its blade-based Active System 800, a model built specifically for virtualized environments, which includes its EqualLogic storage and Force 10 networking.

In the webcast, Marius Haas, president of Dell’s Enterprise Solutions Group, touted the vendor’s momentum and anticipated investment in the hardware and networking for cloud storage and VDI for enterprise mobile over the coming year. Looking to tap into those bustling enterprise trends also means providing solutions and services that keep aspects like scalability and infrastructure optimization in mind, Haas said.

“In everything we do, we have to make sure we’re driving efficiency across the board, and not just in server environments,” he said.

Looking at Q3 compared with the previous quarter, Haas said Dell’s server sales grew 8 percent, storage-owned IP increased 6 percent and networking, boosted in part by acquisitions and new releases, expanded 39 percent.

Matt Eastwood, VP and general manager at research and analyst firm IDC, said in a statement accompanying the announcements that the release and division forecast show Dell with a “comprehensive approach” to address cloud, big data, social business and mobility solutions. 

“Dell’s new offerings combine its core heritage enterprise products, including powerful server, storage, networking and management capabilities in an open and standardized converged offering that is flexible and which can efficiently and easily scale to meet the changing needs of a growing business,” Eastwood said.

Dell has made a few visible moves in the last year to put more clout behind its services and applications, including the organization of a Software Group. It also made a big-money move in acquiring Quest Software, an IT management vendor that was noted as integral to some of the infrastructure plans presented in Thursday’s webcast.

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