Dell is positioning itself to be the vendor of choice for firms looking to transition their IT infrastructure to one based on virtualisation and the cloud.
The firm said that it is committed to an open solutions approach that will build on a customer's existing infrastructure, and unveiled a number of new servers, storage and services to complement this vision.
Among the new announcements is the PowerEdge C-Series of servers designed for "hyperscale" cloud deployments, a new object-based storage platform to tackle data sprawl, enhanced management tools for virtualisation, and new partnerships through which Dell aims to provide the necessary expertise and support for customers considering cloud-based services.
Dell explained that the industry is at the start of a tremendous shift in architecture enabled by virtualisation, comparable to earlier shifts such as the move from mainframe to client/server computing, or the introduction of the web.
Such a shift will allow the IT function within organisations to support users with much greater flexibility, according to James Quarles, director of public sector marketing for Dell in EMEA.
"At the core of virtualisation is intelligent self-provisioning IT, based on a charge-back model," he said.
Quarles contrasted Dell's approach with those of many rival enterprise vendors, which he claimed had a vested interest in protecting current computing models, but also said that Dell could help customers adapt their existing investments rather than rip and replace.
"Choice and interoperability are the words we hear coming from chief information officers," he said, claiming that Dell customers can choose blade or rack-mount servers, network infrastructure from Juniper, Brocade or Cisco, run multiple hypervisors, and keep their systems management tools.
As part of this strategy, the new PowerEdge C-Series servers are designed as building blocks for scale-out environments such as high-performance cluster computing and cloud infrastructure, according to Dell, and offer high performance with reduced energy consumption.
Dell executives said the C-Series of servers are the 'productisation' of learnings gained from Dell Data Centre Services (DCS), a division which builds custom computing solutions for large cloud deployments.
Quarles said that Dell is "mainstreaming hyperscale" with the launch of these rack-mount systems, which are based on Intel's quad-core Xeon 5500 and six-core Xeon 5600 processors.