Dell Rolls Out Storage Management Consulting Services

In June, Dell unveiled its new infrastructure consulting services that range from storage management to data protection to disaster-recovery help.

“Customers are looking for services to be simple, modular, flexible and controllable,” said Paul Kaeley, director for the storage consulting practice at Dell. The new services were designed to achieve these specific goals.

According to published reports, as an increased number of consumers and businesses go online, the amount of data that will be created in 2008 is expected to far exceed the storage capacity currently available. For this reason, as well as to comply with industry regulations, companies are forced to examine their storage options and manage them in the most cost-effective way.

The Advantage of Tiered Storage

Facilitating tiered storage is one of the new services offered by Dell.

First, in an effort to minimize storage costs, the tiered storage provider — in this case, Dell — conducts an assessment that allows companies that are virtualizing servers to gain an understanding of their storage infrastructure.

Next, application data is sorted and placed on appropriate tiers. Companies work with the vendor to determine what goes where, with tier one being the prime location.

To keep track of it all, a tiered storage catalog is built. As data ages and new applications come on-board, companies can use the catalog to identify less critical data and determine the appropriate tier for it.

“[Dell] still finds that a lot of customers are putting the majority of data on tier one, so it’s expensive,” Kaeley said. “[Tiered storage allows companies to] identify potential cost savings, [as well as help] better manage the data within their storage infrastructure.”

Primary Client Concerns

Published reports indicate Dell’s new consulting services can be traced back to the company’s acquisition of U.K.-based The Networked Storage Co. in 2007, as well as its more recent partnership with GlassHouse Technologies.

But customer issues had something to do with it, as well.

Kaeley outlined some of the main issues Dell customers were experiencing that contributed to the company’s introduction of the new consulting services: backup recovery, protecting data, keeping up with capacity and growth, consolidation, expansion of storage, implementing tiers of storage, complexity around data centers, compliance, keeping data longer and archiving.

“And compound that with trying to do more with shrinking budgets,” he said. “[Dell has a] unique approach to consulting. [It involves] minimizing people [and] maximizing tool-based, IT-based consulting.”

- Deanna Hartley, dhartley@certmag.com

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Deanna Hartley

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