Dell urges customers to check ‘health’ of storage area networks

Dell Tuesday said it is offering a “health check” for its Canadian storage customers.

The service offering for Dell/EMC storage area networks (SANs) will start in packages for $5,200, said Debra Jensen, vice-president of Dell Canada’s advanced systems group.

“That’s the starting price for sitting down and negotiating out what is required. It’s a flexible price tag, as are most services, depending on what the actual requirements are,” she said. “It’s always hard to say with services, ‘Here’s the definitive price tag.’”

Dell is calling the service a health check because, like people, storage systems need a check-up on an annual basis for preventative maintenance,

“It’s just to make sure their environment is current and secure and that we are avoiding or preventing the sorts of things they don’t want to have happen in their environment,” she said.

A basic “health check” package would include: onsite support analysis of logs and host informatio and necessary software and hardware upgrades, as well as ongoing help desk phone support.

“We do recommend that you do a SAN health check once a year, because the data in your environment continues to grow and shift,” said Jensen.

The service has been available in the U.S. since spring 2004, but is new to Canada. The SAN market is growing here, said IDC Canada analyst Alan Freedman, and Dell is likely to find customers for the initiative.

“Both storage customers and vendors are putting more emphasis on efficiency of data management,” said Freedman. “This would be right in line with what companies are offering and customers are asking for to make sure that they’re not falling behind in what’s going to give them the best bang for their buck – in terms of not only storage capacity but more importantly, storage and data management.”

Freedman added that direct-attached storage is still the more popular option but SAN is catching up.

Jensen didn’t specify how many service reps Dell Canada would make available for SAN check-ups, but if demand exceeds supply, the vendor may lean on EMC’s services personnel to handle any overflow business.

Dell has had a agreement in place with EMC since 2001 and acts as both OEM and reseller for the storage company. That agreement has since been extended to 2008. A spokesperson for EMC was unavailable for comment at press time.

Jensen said the health check-ups are an optional extra for Dell’s existing storage customers and won’t supercede any pre-existing service or licensing agreement.


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