Marketing Hype Without Innovation

I was just reading Dan Farber and Larry Dignan's blog at ZDNet where they're discussing Dell's Project Hybrid.  The marketing hype in the announcement is very thick.  “It’s a bringing together of hardware products, integrated software and services to deliver solutions to customers,” Jay Parker, director of PowerEdge servers said, that will be “truly differentiated in the market.”  Sounds impressive.  However, I always think of Dell as the Grocery Store of server vendors -- very efficient and able to operate at low margin, but fundamentally commodity.  Thus, the announcement reads as if Safeway announced "We're bringing together fruits, vegetables, breads and meats to deliver highly differentiated food solutions to our customers."

So, which is it?  Does Dell have something killer here or is this just hype?  They go on to list the benefits of this project such as amazing reductions in deployment time for new solutions, major reductions in management costs and dramatic power savings.  Sounds great!  However, Farber and Dignan go on to say, "Dell’s claim of simpler and better seems to be in installing its pre-packaged, virtualized x86 servers and blades, which theoretically would require less maintenance."  So, in essense, Dell may be offering to preinstall VMWare on thier new servers?  Doesn't really sound worthy of a code name does it?

If you want an approach the really offers benefits from bringing together a complete set of products and delivers reduced power, space and management costs then I suggest you check out Project Blackbox.  I got to finally get inside one of these at JavaOne this year and it's really amazing.  It sounds simple, but when you get inside and see the loving care that's gone into the layout, cooling and serviceability of this thing it is just amazing.

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Thoughts on cloud computing, virtualization and data center management from Steve Wilson, Oracle engineering VP.

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