Dell to invest $1 billion to boost data storage products

The company has been trying to expand into the higher-end data storage market

Dell plans to invest US$1 billion over the next three years to bolster its data storage products to business customers, with the money going toward the research of technology like cloud computing and virtualization, along with the development on new data centers.

Dell announced the investment at a company sponsored event in Beijing on Thursday.

Dell has been working to expand from its PC and server business into the higher-end data storage market. Last year, Dell made acquisitions of storage vendors like Compellent and Ocarina Networks. The company even went into a bidding war with rival Hewlett Packard for another storage vendor 3Par, which Dell later lost

Dell plans on spending most of the $1 billion toward the construction of 22 "global solution centers", said Paul Bell, the company's president for public and large enterprise business units. The centers will develop a broad range of products covering data storage technologies such as cloud computing, virtualization and convergence, Bell said during a speech.

"Overall we are seeing that our customers are excited about the possibilities that these technologies bring," Bell said. "They also come to us with questions about how to take advantage of these developments in technologies, how to harness them and make them valuable for their employees and their customers."

Dell will complete ten of the global solution centers in the first half of this year. The other 12 will be operational in mid-2012.

The company also said part of the investment will go toward the development on new data centers. Dell will add a "great number" of them to the company's existing 36 data centers, Bell said. Part of the data center investment will go toward China, but Bell offered no details on where or when.

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