Dell is moving further into the data-analytics game with a platform combining storage (a longtime company focus) with data-retention software from RainStor. The goal is to make data retention and retrieval a more efficient—and ultimately cost-effective—process for companies engaged in analytics. Dell’s DX Object Storage Platform and RainStor technology offer an average data compression ratio of up to 40:1, according to Dell. That can free disk space by 97 percent, which in theory could speed up query access for analytics. In addition, Dell’s Fluid Data architecture allows for the efficient access and movement of any giant datasets in play. The combined products can integrate with existing analytics platforms as either a front-end repository for large datasets or a backend archive, added Dell’s statement on the matter. The solution can also act as an analytics platform in conjunction with the Apache Hadoop framework, or even as a standalone data repository. Dell and RainStor announced their collaboration just over a year ago, with Dell agreeing to resell the latter’s database. As part of that, RainStor created a version of its technology optimized for the DX Object Storage Platform. RainStor’s software is designed for retention of massive datasets, with an emphasis on scalability and relatively low maintenance overhead. Dell has increasingly positioned itself as a data player in recent quarters, as it seeks to ride a trending wave in the industry. “What’s really interesting is when you go look at companies, particularly companies with, let’s say, less than 50,000 people or less than 10,000 people, there are enormous numbers of them,” Dell told the audience at the Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, according to a full transcript of the talk posted on Fortune’s Website. “And as they’re starting to store huge quantities of data, are they actually using that data to make better decisions in real time about their business? Very, very few of them are.” He also described the enterprise data center as a growing focus for Dell. “The next business for us is the enterprise data center, the server, storage, networking business,” he said. “We make about a third of the servers that are on the Internet and about a third of the servers in North America, you know, built on a tremendous business in storage and networking, fueled by some acquisitions.” Those acquisitions include Quest Software, which designs software for database management and other areas vital for the orderly digestion of massive datasets. Dell’s latest homegrown products for data-center management include blade arrays and networking switches, part of the company’s larger strategy to “converge” its data center (a strategy mirrored by many of its competitors, which have also announced plans to offer data-center clients a holistic package of products and services).   Image: .shock/