Exponential data growth affects businesses of all sizes, but Dell CEO Michael Dell believes the IT industry has under-served small and medium-sized business customers in meeting their storage needs.

Speaking via satellite at a customer event in London last week, Dell said: “Growing businesses are quickly reaching a breaking point in their ability to store and manage all this data being created. Historically, the industry has presented SMBs with two options for storage: either buy a rudimentary storage solution that lacks capacity and basic software or buy a ‘de-featured’ product originally designed for large businesses. So it either doesn’t do enough, or it costs too much. We will change that.”
Dell introduced the company’s newest storage area network (SAN) array, the MD3000i, a simplified storage consolidation solution designed specifically for SMB customers.
"We are committed to IT simplification for our customers and changing the economics of storage,” he explained. “The MD3000i is a perfect example of how we drive out costs, drive up functionality, and drive industry adoption of technologies and standards to meet customer needs.”
According to Steve Duplessie, senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, “The storage industry always reacts to new ‘lower-end’ market opportunities by taking their high-cost products and dumbing them down so they can reach a lower price point. They do this to protect their high-end customer who pays a premium for high-end function, but the end result is always disappointing to the new market.”
Data growth continues unabated, yet research shows less than 20% of small businesses and less than one-third of medium-sized businesses use advanced storage technologies such as SANs. While 41% of small businesses say expanding storage capacity is a top priority for the next 12 months, Fibre Channel SANs are seen as too costly, too complex, and require special skills that many SMBs do not have.
The Dell MD3000i is an easy-to-use, expandable iSCSI SAN array leveraging the modularity and availability of the Dell Modular Disk series. It provides a simplified solution – from installation to ongoing maintenance and management to powerful performance and the ability to grow as a business grows.
“iSCSI is the breakthrough technology revolutionising storage for SMBs, said Paul Kaeley, Director, Global Storage Consulting Practice, Dell. “The MD3000i delivers features that a few years ago would have only been found on systems costing five to 10 times more. Complexity is the bane of the SMB customer’s existence, and iSCSI cuts right through it.”
The new product includes simplified installation and management; simplified networking with iSCSI, simplified availability and built-in flexibility.