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Dell's vStart is only a start

Bigger, smaller, and app-specific models coming

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Dell's pair of vStart converged IT stack products, announced Thursday, will be joined by larger and smaller configurations as well as application-specific ones.

Praveen Asthana, Dell's head of enterprise solutions, said that Dell will deliver vStart configurations that offer fewer than 100 virtual machines (VMs) and more than 200 VMs – the two configurations that were just announced. Dell will also produce application-specific configs – although specific applications were not mentioned.

The 100 VM vStart has only one EqualLogic array inside it and, if the array fails, the vStart fails. The 200 VM model has two EqualLogic arrays inside and therefore has higher availability. Business-continuity features will need to be added separately by customers.

Thursday's vStart configurations don't use Compellent storage, because it's taking time to integrate those Fibre Channel arrays with vStart – and so iSCSI EqualLogic arrays are the only ones now available.

We envision, say, future 500, 750, and 1,000 VM vStarts using Compellent arrays, with replication within and between data centre-located vStart systems for business continuity and disaster recovery.

Down the road, Compellent storage will also appear in Dell's file and email archive system, alongside the existing DX6000.

To coin a phrase, Dell's Thursday vStart announcement is, literally, just a start. ®

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