Over the past month, we’ve made some exciting announcements across Dell and within Dell’s Enterprise Solutions Group.  At Dell Enterprise Forum we announced new converged infrastructure offerings including Dell PowerEdge VRTX, the first converged IT solution designed for remote and small office environments, and Active Infrastructure 1.1, the next wave of Dell’s converged infrastructure offerings.

Then  in late June we announced the worldwide availability of PowerEdge VRTX and a new solutions ecosystem that includes channel partners, alliance partners, Dell software and solutions, OEMs and ISVs to develop vertically oriented and workload-optimized solutions for PowerEdge VRTX.

And that brings us to Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, one of our favorite Microsoft events.  This is a great event for Dell because it allows us to engage with channel partners to determine how we can work together to deliver innovative end-to-end solutions to address our customer needs.  This week we’re talking to channel partners about our recent converged announcements, our work with Microsoft and how we can all work together to bring “better together” solutions for customers. 

Dell PowerEdge VRTX

Neil Hawkins, COO for LANAIR summed up our intentions with the VRTX Solutions Ecosystem nicely when he said that VRTX “will enable us as a Dell partner to really stand out from the competition” and that “Dell is committed to developing a strong partner ecosystem.” We already have a number of channel partners interested in joining this ecosystem - including Dasher, Dynamic Quest, En Pointe, Fluid Consulting, Information Systems Intelligence, IT Weapons, ProSys, SHI, and Veristorand we look forward to expanding this list quickly.

In addition to channel partners, we’re working with alliance partners to increase the efficiency and performance of VRTX for customers.  We’ve worked with Microsoft to simplify the process and time required to configure, deploy and manage compute clusters from hours to just minutes.  We’ve made this possible by integrating OpenManage Integration Suite for Microsoft System Center and OpenManage Cluster Configurator for Windows Server 2012 with iDRAC Lifecycle Controller. 

Additionally, we’re doing a lot of work with Microsoft to help customers deploy desktop virtualization workloads on Dell PowerEdge VRTX. On July 11, Dell will release sizing guidance for customers running Microsoft Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) and Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (RDVH) on Windows Server 2012. Also, Dell and Microsoft partners can now instantly configure and price a VRTX desktop virtualization solution with Microsoft RDSH and RDVH for up to 250 users via the Solutions Configurator on Dell PartnerDirect.

Dell Active Infrastructure 1.1

A recent CRN article demonstrates the momentum we’ve made with Active Infrastructure and channel partners since the initial introduction in October 2012.  UltraLevel’s CEO says they’ve been able to “deliver full data center stacks to our customers to give them a lot of value,” “Dell has the superior product and a lower price [than the competition],” and that “Dell has done an excellent job making it an attractive business model [for partners] to pursue.”

With the AI 1.1 launch in June, we’re not only engaging with more channel partners but we’ve done a lot of work with Microsoft to make the data center simpler.  For example, we’ve introduced our first out-of-the-box workload template for Microsoft SQL Server helping customers reduce the time and steps to provision new workloads by 99 percent.  We’ve also validated a number of new Microsoft workloads (Microsoft Exchange 2013, Microsoft Lync 2013, Microsoft SharePoint 2013, Microsoft SQL Server 2012), enterprise applications, desktop virtualization (Microsoft VDI with Windows Server 2012), and cloud (FastTrack 3.0). In addition, we’ve added Windows Server Hyper-V virtualization support in Active System Manager.

We’re excited to showcase the work we’ve done with Microsoft on our converged infrastructure solutions at WPC and, even more importantly, we look forward to engaging with the channel to help solve customer problems.  Be sure to stop by our booth #601.