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Dell Girds for the Grid

Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) today announced a slew of new services and products, all with an eye on the grid computing market.

Part of the package includes services. Dell is now hoping to tap into this burgeoning market with the launch of its Data Center Environment Assessment service. Designed for data centers from 200 square feet upwards, the service helps customers analyze their infrastructures, taking into account such things as air flow, cooling, and power requirements -- all of which have become data-center dilemmas (see Data Center Heat Wave and The Heat Is On).

However, Dells archrivals, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), have already been targeting this part of the market for some time. HP, for example, launched its own cooling solutions for data center design over two years ago; and IBM Global Services also offers a range of planning, design, and construction services.

Dell may not have first-mover advantage in data center design, but the assessment service forms part of a much broader grid computing strategy. Last year Dell and a number of other vendors delved into the file cabinet labeled marketing hyperbole and came up with the ‘Project MegaGrid’ initiative.

Although it sounds like a German techno band, Project MegaGrid is actually a strategy involving Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), and EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) to develop a standard approach to deploying grid infrastructures.

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