Dell Jumps on SAN Bandwagon

In the hopes of leveraging its direct-sales model on a complex and emerging technology, Dell Computer on Tuesday joined the growing ranks of vendors that are offering a complete storage area network (SAN) solution.

Introduced this week, Dell's SAN solution includes the PowerVault 650F storage subsystem, PowerVault 130T digital linear tape library, PowerVault 50F Fibre Channel switch, PowerVault 35F bridge, and Dell OpenManage Storage Consolidation software. The solution sells for about $142,000.

Along with the new product set, Dell laid out plans to expand its technical consulting services. These programs, which will be available in May, will play an important role in the success of Dell's solution.

"When you're dealing with the level of sophistication we're talking about here, a direct-sales model does not necessarily apply," said David Hill, vice president at the Aberdeen Group, in Boston. "Dell's ability to select quality partners and its proven interoperability, however, should serve it well as they move into this market."

Dell's announcement comes only one week after IBM outlined plans for its own SAN solution. EMC is expected to reveal new enterprise storage network, or ESN, products and services next week.

Dell Computer Corp., in Round Rock, Texas, can be reached at www.dell.com.

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