Archive for the 'AIM' Category

Anyone home?

I got an email today that indirectly reminded me I hadn’t posted for a while and they wondered what I was upto. mea culpa.

Actually I’ve changed direction for a while and am busy working on a few “mobile” related projects. We’ve got an MRD that includes a mobile UI for our embedded management, but is lacking a few key features to make a compelling “use case“. So I’ve been digging around both trying to come up with some new IP, as well as getting all the ducks lined up to make this happen. Add to that a couple of pretty interesting corporate business development projects and the BAU stuff and thats where I’ve been.

I’ve had a few web pages bookmarked to share via a blog post when the time was right, that time appears to be now.

Dell AIM Integration Pack for Microsoft Opalis

The Integration Pack for Dell Advanced Infrastructure Manager (AIM) is an add-on for System Center Opalis that enables you to automate procedures and processes in the Dell AIM environment. This version of Dell AIM IP (v1.0) supports only Microsoft System Center Opalis 6.3 and works with AIM version 3.4.1 [Download here]

In The Press

Next up is an online interview with Sally Stephens, a colleague and VP, PG Enterprise Platform Marketing and some of our top guys in India. In the interview the discuss both cloud and virtualization and makes some important and interesting points. [Read here]

Amongst the coverage of our[Dell] FORCE10 acquisition, this is a useful summary of what I’ve not discussed over the past few months. Notably and most interesting is the inclusion, post acquisition, of FORCE10 into the vStart program. [Read here and here]

NeuralSoft and Dell VIS — Improving IT Efficiency

One of our customers, NeuralSoft, gives a high level overview of their use of VIS/AIM.

New VIS Blog/web sites

A couple of new VIS related web sites to be aware of.

First up there’s a new converged infrastructure web site on – It’s a great launch point to get an overview and links to the complete space we are working on under the VIS umbrella.

Second, as part of it’s Ziff Davis Enterprise web site, dell has sponsored the Dell Virtual Integrated System blog, written by Sean Gallagher. This isn’t product specific but covers some useful supporting, background and industry news.

Senior Architect – Enterprise Systems Management and more

With things really rolling here at Dell on the software front we are still in the process of hiring,and are looking for some key people to fit into, or lead teams working on current and future software projects. At least currently these are based with our team here in Round Rock, TX. However, I’d like to hear if you’d be interested in joining our Dell west coast software labs in Sunnyvale and Palo Alto.

Here are a few of the current vacancies:

Senior SOA Architect – Enterprise Systems Management
Performance Engineer – SOA Infrastructure Management
Senior Java Developer – Systems Management
Senior Software Engineer – Systems Management-10069ZNS

Depending on how you count, there are over a 100 of us now working on the VIS and AIM products, with a whole lot more to come in 2011. Come join me and help make a fundamental change at Dell and be in on the beginning of something big!

Flash, Flex, the real web experience and eating your own dog food

I watched with interest a few weeks back when Apple Steve Jobs launched into positioning Apple products, namely the iPad against other soon-to-be tablet PC’s. Now this isn’t a robust defense of the Dell Streak (5-inch) Internet phone/wifi device/tablet, it is commentary on what happened next.

A few days later, RIM CEO Jim Balsillie fired back at Jobs with a great media qoute about Apples “Distortion Field”. Saying amongst other things that the RIM 7-inch tablet aka Playbook, will get a good market share and that “we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience”.

Blackberry Torch 6 Home screen

Blackberry Torch 6 Home screen

Which brings up an interesting point. I just got a brand new Blackberry Torch, which has Blackerrys latest 6.0 OS, a touch screen and some really nice software and service integration that combines RSS, Facebook and Twitter feeds together. The phone has also been pretty reliable in my first 3-weeks of use, I’ve only had to remove the battery once to force a reboot.

Every time I visit a web page that has flash, the webkit enabled browser reports “This graphic requires version 9 or higher of Adobe Flash Player.” and provides a helpful link to “Get the latest Flash Player”. Sadly, clicking on that link just gets the screen that has welcomed a million* iPhone users…

“Sorry Adobe Flasy Player is not available from for your device’s operating system or browser”

And thats that. So, Mr Balsillie, where’s my real web experience on your flagship phone product?

Of course, this disappointment was made all the more ironic in that last week I got an email from Brian Gladden, Chief Financial Officer, Ron Garriques, President, Communication Solutions, and Robin Johnson, Chief Information Officer here at Dell announcing that they will be moving all Dell-issued Blackberry phone users over to Dell based devices like the Dell Streak Tablet and Dell Aero Smartphone over the next 2-years as Blackberry contracts expire.

Now thats great news as I’m a big believer in eating your own dogfood, something we didn’t do often enough at IBM. Getting IT Suppliers and manufacturers to use their own new products is a key move in my opinion. It’s one of the things that drove some great innovation into the early virtual machine operating systems at IBM. However, our internal IT team are under just as much pressure to modernize and adapt new technology, possibly more so than our customers. Adopting these Dell devices will give us some valuable experience in what our customers will have to go through.

For my part, Dell IT already have deployments of our Advanced Infrastructure Manager (AIM) and getting good results. In the design and architecture for VIS, we’ve so far managed to avoid and eliminate any use of flex/flash technology in our User Interface design and requirements, and that is great at it means we have a greater freedom of action by being able to develop for a much wider range of devices, and still deliver a quality interface and user experience.

*OK, ok, millions and millions…

More jobs news

We are making great progress on filling out the teams, and my 2nd pilot technology program started with a bang last week, building an embedded processor stack based on ServiceMix; my 3rd pilot, to test some key technologies like AMQP and Cassandra is taking shape. However, we need to backfill some of the work I’ve been doing, and for the consultants we’ve had on staff.

Amongst the vacancies we have open is “Senior SOA Architect – Enterprise Systems Management-1003LEFS“. Also a “Senior Software Engineer, Systems Management- 10069ZNS

A good place to get a list of Dell jobs in Round Rock is here on the website. If you are interested in working with some of our recent acquisitions out on the west coast, including Scalent(Dell AIM) or Kace, check out this link.

Dell Palo Alto labs openings

Another area we are hiring for are the new Dell Palo Alto labs, aka Scalent. As part of taking Dell Advanced Infrastructure Manager (AIM) world wide, and some other developements we are looking to expand the team out there.

If you are interested in getting in at the right time and have virtulization and infrastructure skills, maybe one of these jobs would interest you?

If you are, take this link and enter either 1006ADD4 – for Core Engineering openings, or 1006HLQG – if you are a UI Engineer and Designer.

Got ServiceMix?

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news and job position listings at Dell you’ll have seen a number of positions open-up over the last 3-months for Java and Service Bus developers, not to mention our completed acquisition of Scalent. We are busy working on the first release of the Dell “soup to nuts” virtualization management, orchestration and deployment software, one of the core technologies of which is Apache ServiceMix.

One of the open positions we’ve got is for a Senior Software Engineer with solid ServiceMix skills from a programming perspective. This job listing is the position, the job description and skills will be updated over the next few days but if you’d like to join the team architecting, designing and programming Dell’s first real software product, that’s aiming at making the virtual data center easy to use, as well as open, capable and affordable to run, go ahead and apply now.

If you make it through the HR process, I’ll see you at the interview…

It’s now Dell Advanced Infrastructure Manager (AIM)

From branding update and partnership, to fully acquired company. I didn’t have much to do with the Scalent acquisition apart from some technical due diligence and strategy, but I was delighted to learn that we’ve closed on, and formally acquired Scalent today.

As anyone who has been involved in acquisitions, either as an acquired company, or the acquired will know, now the hard work starts. Keeping a focus on the business needs and product evolution, while completing the integration.

I for one would like to be amongst the first to welcome CTO Chandy Nilakantan and VP of Engineering Larry Stein to the Dell family, along with all the other great Scalent employees.

Dell to acquire Scalent

We announced today an agreement to acquire Scalent which provides software that makes data center infrastructure dynamic, easily scalable and highly efficient. We’ve been working on this for a while and their product is currently available as the Dell Advanced Infrastructure Manager, or AIM.

Details on AIM are here along with a number of linked documents. As always until the acquisition is closed there is a limit to the amount I can discuss, but this is part of a major software initiative we are working on. Scalent has some key technology which will help us jump start this project, delivering some valuable function to help customers manage their infrastructure.

The formal Dell press release is here.

About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, formally a Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group; before that Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Prior to that, I was IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I am a Fellow of the British Computer Society ( I'm an information technology optimist.

I was a member of the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Steering committee. Read more about it here.

Subscribe to updates via rss:

Feed Icon

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 915 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 89,184 hits