EMC Unseats Dell Storage in Alvarado, Texas, School District

Dave Courbanou

August 18, 2011

2 Min Read
EMC Unseats Dell Storage in Alvarado, Texas, School District

So much for home field advantage.

The Alvarado Independent School District in Alvarado, Texas, has dumped Dell Compellent storage technology in favor of EMC’s VNX and VMware technology to deliver VDI to the students. What forced the district to abandon its Lone Star State brethren, and does this portend more to come? Here’s the scoop …

In the news release announcing the EMC install, the Alvarado School District sings the praises of EMC’s technology benefits including the district’s improved data center footprint, smaller TCO and quicker ROI, as well as the Holy Grail of K-12 education: happier students. With EMC VNX, Alvarado’s schools have become learning centers of the future, offering students the ability to use whatever connected devices they want, as long as they’re compatible with the VMware VDI infrastructure.

Alvarado noted Dell Compellent storage infrastructure wasn’t able to keep up with the school’s quickly growing needs, causing bottlenecks when large numbers of students all booted to the same VDI cloud. With the EMC FAST Cache and VMware backbone, Alvarado School no longer has these issues. And because of the switch from Dell to EMC, the district projects spending less on student computers in the future, thanks to the more evergreen nature of centralized VDI. Efficiency is also up, apparently due to EMC’s Unisphere management tool that helps the school IT admins quickly deal with the virtualized infrastructure and physical machines.

This is a clear case of EMC going after Dell Compellent customers. Adding insult to injury is the location of the win — Texas happens to be Dell’s home base.

But let’s wrap some perspective around this announcement: Dell’s latest earnings showed its storage business (and large enterprise) is actually doing well. Plus, at the Dell Storage Forum 2011 in Orlando, happy partners were enthusiastic about Dell’s ongoing commitment to unifying and creating a “fluid” line of storage solutions for both Compellent and EqualLogic partners to work in. So here’s a hunch: Perhaps the Alvarado School District waited too long to upgrade and EMC swooped in before a Dell partner could.

Bottom line for the channel? Storage and virtualization is hot. Don’t underestimate the opportunities.

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