Our Flash is good Economics: Dell

By : |November 6, 2013 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: Dell employs over 5000 R&D staff in its Design centres across the globe, of which over 1000 are employed in the Storage Design Centres globally. Recently, it launched its Dell Storage Design Center in India. The Bangalore Center is said to further strengthen the coordinated development of Dell’s servers, storage and networking in alignment with the company’s focus on IT convergence solutions and its broader enterprise business portfolio.

A Storage R&D centre 3rd Centre of its kind, that complements Dell’s existing Server and Networking R&D in India and will cater to Dell’s global enterprise offerings; is a good conversation point to understand the company’s rear view and radar better. We try to delve more into Dell’s R&D honeycombs and how some storage industry acorns can point on the future ahead in this chat with Pete Korce Vice President and General Manager, Dell Storage.

Tell us how this new centre works as a good tangent for both India and your global research dart boards?

We already have a strong presence here and so are very excited about this addition. We have an extremely aggressive roadmap. There are six major announcements coming along in the next few months. That needs support and new strengths and we are looking forward to leveraging the talent here. Dell has storage design centers in Austin, Texas; Eden Prairie, Minn.; Nashua, N.H.; San Jose, Calif.,Tel Aviv, Israel and now Bangalore will collaborate to create next-generation storage technologies and data center integration while adding to Dell’s strengths in storage automation, flash technology, virtualization and ease of use. The idea is that this facility will focus on a variety of key development areas including management software, support tools, integration, validation and sustaining activities for the Dell Storage portfolio.

How much of the work on your front-burners, say Flash, is really futuristic?

We are staying ahead of many trends like Flash. While others may be at it too, I can say that we have the best priced Flash. Dell has focused on redefining the economics of the data center. We have released new solutions around enterprise all-flash storage for the comparable price of traditional disk solutions. I feel that this area would be a definitive game-changer and the way it will shape the ecosystem would be interesting enough. There is the economics of Flash and then Flash inside of servers or fully-integrated around storage, and so much more. I guess the piece to watch for is not the hardware bit but the software angle and a lot of stuff will come from Dell’s basket in that sense.

Should the R&D guys in storage industry be concerned about top-level homogeneity or standards or interoperability on an accentuated level than before?

At least for Dell, we have been steadily involved with a number of open source platforms and initiatives. We fully understand the customer context here and proprietary IP has to co-exist and interoperate at some levels. This model can be disruptive to many players. Dell does not feel threatened by this model or the accompanying challenges. Fluid data architecture and other areas are taking it in direction ahead. The concept has already changed to a new level of differentiation. Interoperability and a set of standards can certainly help the industry while we pursue open source environments. Innovation is set to be a key driver here.

Any highlights worth a note? Shall we be expecting India-specific or vertical-focused work?

What we plan to do and are doing depend highly on what we hear from the market. The intention is to be 100 per cent right on what the market needs. The India centre will align well with our global action and what we do here will be used globally. It is as suitable for India market as for other markets or verticals. Dell has been investing significantly to develop India as one of its key global research and development (R&D) centers. In 2010, it acquired Force10 Networks and began to develop India as a Dell Networking R&D hub and global Center of Excellence. Similarly, the Dell Server R&D Center in Bangalore has been contributing to Dell’s server innovations since 2001, playing a key role in several of Dell’s market successes like the 12G server product line. The Storage Design Center completes the circle of Dell India’s R&D capabilities and will work in conjunction with Networking and Server Development Centers to cater to both local and global markets.

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