Great Things Come in Micro Packages

By Drew Schulke, Executive Director, Dell Data Center Solutions

Five years ago, a large hosting customer in France provided Dell with a problem statement and a question:

“Our data center is out of power and space, but we need to add at least 10,000 more servers to support (our) business plan.  What can you do to help us?” 

This problem statement became a challenge and a small team of highly-skilled and creative engineers was unleashed to solve it.  Just a few short months later, Dell created the world’s first microserver…and the data center hasn’t been the same since.

For the better part of the five years since that customer conversation, I’ve been fortunate to have a front-row seat as the concept of microservers gained traction and credibility in the industry.  Here in Dell’s Data Center Solutions (DCS) organization, we’ve had countless more customer conversations on the workloads that drive today’s web and cloud-based business models.

One of those critical, emerging workloads is known as “cold storage.”  The business need for cold storage is relatively straightforward. Web-based businesses produce huge volumes of data every day but over time the frequency with which such data is accessed decreases rapidly — yet the data itself cannot be destroyed.


To justify keeping access to such “cold” data, one needs an extremely cost-effective and flexible solution. Such a solution must balance reasonable response time with minimal space and power consumption while also providing a seamless transition from an application and architectural perspective…all at the lowest possible cost-per-gigabyte.

That brings us to today’s announcement of our DCS 1300 platform, built specifically for the needs of cold storage workloads.  Featuring the just-announced Intel Atom C2000 (code name ‘Avoton’) product family, this solution is the next leap forward in the microserver journey we began five years ago.

Customers asked for breakthrough levels of storage density and power efficiency and Dell has delivered once again with an industry-standard 64-bit x86 solution that provides extreme storage density at an unbelievably low cost, making the DCS1300 a compelling solution for cold storage environments.