Last week Dell held its semiannual Dell Storage Forum (#DSF12) in Boston, MA focusing on our storage users and resellers. As the storage marketing member of the OEM team I have been a strong advocate that you as OEMs get great ROI on the moneys spent sending your people to these three day events.
Why you ask, well let me highlight the benefits of attending for you.
- Learn the latest products and storage technologies - Dell announced over half dozen new storage products and new technology around storage that will affect how you will design your storage systems in the future.
- Talk to the Experts – Dell had product experts available to cover everything you could possible want to know about Dell’s storage products, designs, and how to integrate them into your solutions.
- Learn from your Peers - Find out what they have done in their markets to leverage Dell’s storage technologies and programs with Dell OEM’s in over forty vertical markets, you are sure to learn what has worked in other markets that have similar storage challenges.
- Talk to the Storage Team – At DSF you get full access to all the senior executives and product managers to discuss and influence future products from Dell that could be built to give your business the competitive edge.
- Technical Training – For our resellers Dell offers tons of courses ranging from installation to best practices in configuring SAN/NAS products. Many of our partners need to be certified to handle Dell storage products; DSF provides a lot of excellent training classes in one place, at one time something that would normal take several weeks and multiple trips to gain the equivalent amount of training. This is the perfect place for your technical training lead to go through and then put together the courseware for your field service organization.
- Sales Training – Training for our resellers is available to help with handling the objections of the typical IT personnel about using their storage vs. selling your OEM solutions with its storage. Many of our OEM’s have feedback that their sales people are great at selling their solutions but have difficulty in their abilities to handle the objections and the demands by IT around sharing storage pools from the customer’s data centers. Beside who to sell to in IT, many courses are available about addressing the competitors’ storage products and positioning storage within your OEM solution. A perfect person from your company would be the sales trainer who can pick and choose the right set of training courses, those that would provide leverage for your sales’ training and help improve your revenue and margins by incremental storage sales.
I spent a full day going to various training classes and Hands-on-Labs at DSF and came away feeling that the materials and courseware are right on for you and I learned a thing or two that I didn’t know.Being a storage person I had fun getting my hands on the new Compellent SC8000 Storage Center and various new EqualLogic PS series SAN arrays in different configurations running them through their paces in the lab. It is not every day I get access to so much hardware to do replications and DR demos.
The cool new EqualLogic blade SAN PS-M4110 inside a Dell blade enclosure add the new Force 10 blade switch and the M-1000 server blades you have everything you need in a nice tight package. This convergence of compute-switch and storage makes it ideal for data center consolidation or your product solution in a box, either way it has nothing but OEM appeal written all over these converged products. With the common management tool set it makes managing your blade center a breeze to use.I also sat in on the roundtable “Ask the Compellent Experts” where a number of experts were all in the room (included a couple of the guys who actual wrote the code for the Compellent Storage Center, the brain of the SAN storage) all available to answer your questions. Lots of great questions were asked and what impressed me the most was how open the technical team was about the details of how the Compellent works and what it can and can’t do in given user examples.One of the really interesting things that I saw was a Dell technology presentation of Project Hermes, which is the use of SSD PCIe, RNA, and Compellent SAN products, which showed what I will call page caching which brings a whole new level of performance in applications that require very high IOPS performance (I’ll cover this in more detail in a separate blog post).Finally it was not all work, we did have fun time and one of my favorite activities was going to Fenway Park for a little batting practice and a tour of the oldest Major League Baseball field in the United States.
Catch the next Dell Storage Forum
Dell Storage Forum is packed with information about the events
Dell Storage Website is focused on just Dell storage products
Dell Tech Center Website is full of technical papers, forums and best practices for Dell products