A Brief Look at the Dell Cloud

Dell is catering to the needs of its customers in innovative ways. It is offering cloud-enabled servers, more storage and networking opportunities in their data centers.

There are a few things to note with Dell’s service: while using the Dell Cloud, a user has to employ Internet Explorer or Firefox while Chrome is not supportedThe customer service team at Dell is, however, very helpful.

The Dell cloud service I tested had four virtual CPUs, 8GB of RAM, with 400GB of storage for $500 a month. If you want to buy for an hour, it’s 5.5 cents per virtual CPU per hour, 7 cents per gigabyte of RAM per hour, and 30 cents per gigabyte of storage per month. Once you reserve this hardware, you can then split it up into VMware virtual machines, just as if you purchased a real piece of hardware and installed VMware.

Virtualization and Freedom

In comparison to other cloud companies, Dell is more open to the virtual machine system. Other companies make you believe that the space you’re paying money for is entirely yours. There is a root password and you get to log into your exclusive space, but it is actually being shared by other people. With Dell, you get a VMware vApp and users have a virtual rack where they can create an F5 load balancer, a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine, or a Suse Linux 11 box. You’re also able to upload any VMware or OVF virtual machine.

Dell Cloud has the option to start with a specific ISO file. This is beneficial if you wish to start with the LiveCD version of Linux or any Operating System. You get the feel of using the CD/DVD drive on your computer. You can also experiment with   VMware Workstation or VMware Fusion on your desktop and use it for your virtual rack and connect it to the Dell’s data center.

VMware’s virtualized infrastructure is the simplest path to use. A connection is built in another browser window once the user clicks on the remote client of VMware.

The speed of Dell’s cloud machines was tested by Peter Wyne, editor at Infoworld Test Center. He said, ”I pushed a Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine through the DaCapo benchmarks, a set of Java routines that tests many common Java server applications. As with other virtual machines in other clouds, the results varied greatly. Many of the benchmarks were 50 to 100 percent faster than an Amazon High-CPU instance (14.5 cents per hour). But others, such as the image rendering tests (batik and sunflow), ran neck and neck.”

The Network You Know

Dell lets you build up internal and external networks as well as reorganizethe virtual boxes. With other cloud providers, a root password is given along with an IP address.

Dell is charging 24 cents per gigabyte for the data leaving your system, but not for the incoming data. However, Dell doesn’t cater to many regions as yet. In comparison, Amazon has 18 different lines to see how much money is required to transfer a gigabyte from one point to another.

Dell Cloud will be favored more by the IT staff because they are familiar with configuring Windows or Dell systems. The Dell Cloud is interesting to anyone who knows enough about the virtual racks with VMware. One advantage of using it is that the company handles the rough detail, to make it easier for the users.

 

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