When the sun was shining in the summer of 2011, The VAR Guy was soaking up as many rays as possible at Dell's inaugural Storage Forum in Orlando, Fla. Dell has since taken the Storage Forum show on the road to foggy London town, where the company has unveiled a new set of storage solutions under the "Fluid" moniker. Here's the rundown ...

Dell's official release outlines all the technical details about the new storage lineup, but The VAR Guy is happy to give you the important bits. On the more basic end, Dell is launching a series of switches and networking solutions with Dell Force10 Ethernet switches and Dell PowerConnect switches, which currently are available in the 10Gb variety. Additionally Dell worked with Brocade to also provide new data center switches with 16Gb Fibre Channel SAN units.

But Dell's crown jewel of the announcement is the Dell DR4000 disk-to-disk backup platform, which can both compress data and perform deduplication, and, according to Dell, can "reduce backup data by up to 15 times." The DR4000 can be maxed out at 135TB of data and promises a "non-disruptive" deployment for customers.

Complimenting the new hardware is new software in the form of Dell Compellent Storage Center version 6.0, which includes a complete overhaul and now allowing for enhanced thin provisioning, tearing and modular upgradability. It's also 64-bit compatible now, meaning expanded support for RAM beyond 4GB and a continued deep integration with VMware for leveraging vSphere 5 when dealing with cloud data centers.

Just because the launch happened in London doesn't mean these products aren't available across the pond. The Dell Force10, PowerConnect and Brocade switches are available now, or will be by the end of January. The rest of the new technologies outlined will be made available by the end of Q1 of 2012.