Dell Technologies World: APEX, Multicloud Efficiency and AI
Dell Technologies World put the focus on multi-cloud management and efficiency this week at a time when many organizations are expressing concerns about a potential recession, ongoing inflation, and an ongoing talent shortage.
“There’s no one answer for every workload, but there’s a right answer to optimize every workload for performance and cost,” Michael Dell told attendees during his opening keynote at the 12,000-seat Michelob ULTRA Arena at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. “Imagine a future where all of the clouds and edge hold together and look like one system. To make this happen, it will take an ecosystem, and our ecosystem keeps getting stronger and bigger.”
Dell announced several products in its “ground to cloud” and “cloud to ground” strategy. It also announced several partnerships with other vendors including Microsoft, Nvidia, RedHat, VMware, and Databricks.
Dell’s cloud to ground and ground to cloud strategies are designed to help organizations looking optimize their cloud spending. How can they deploy workloads more efficiently? How can they move workloads easily between the cloud, on-premises, the edge, and using containers? How can this complex process be simple?
Announcements focused heavily on the company’s APEX business, a growing mix of hardware as a service, SaaS and cloud services that we reported last year had hit the $1 billion milestone in annual recurring revenues. Dell also made a few announcements around AI, too, because after all, AI workloads are very compute intensive. You need better and more hardware to run them.
The Channel News
What does this have to do with the channel? Several Dell executives at the event noted that 50% of the company’s $102 billion in revenues come through the Dell’s 220,000 channel partners. Channel partners are reselling hardware, yes, but they are also reselling a host of Dell services including the APEX portfolio. Dell doesn’t break out the numbers on the mix of sales through the channel – whether there’s more hardware or services, but Global Channel Chief Rola Dagher told ChannelE2E that APEX sales are growing among channel partners. Partners essentially resell the services.
During the Global Channel Partner Summit Keynote, Dagher announced a new program called Project Harmony, offering Dell-provided professional services to midmarket customers that Dell’s channel partners can repackage and resell.
Dagher recounted the relaunch of the company’s partner program in February, which was designed to streamline the partner experience with APEX and simplify the incentive programs. Dell also created training programs including three persona-defined courses for those looking to build their businesses or improve their technical expertise.
Dell’s Multicloud Vision
Dell co-chief operating officer Jeff Clarke said that Dell believes the multicloud world must have four distinct characteristics for it to operate the way organizations want it to operate.
- It must be agile
- It must be elastic
- It must be dynamic, and
- It must be easily consumed.
With its host of product announcements at the event, Dell believes its creating a multicloud experience for organizations that deliver on these.
Dell Technologies World Announcements
Here are some of the other big announcements at Dell Technologies World this week.
- Dell APEX Cloud Storage for Public Cloud – this is designed to bring Dell software-defined storage to the public cloud, starting with block and file, and also adding data protection to the same family.
- Dell APEX Navigators – designed to provide a simplified experience with storage in the public cloud, Dell’s APEX console will now offer APEX Navigator for multi-cloud storage and Apex Navigator for Kubernetes. Dell says this is about bringing the technology that customers are standardizing on in their data centers and enabling them to use that in any public cloud as well. It also enables organizations to choose the best location for any workload and not have to replatform or retrain staff.
- Dell APEX Cloud Platforms – Dell is partnering with Microsoft Azure, RedHat OpenShift, and VMware to provide organizations with their choice of operating environment with standardized tech stacks for each one. This portfolio lets organizations deploy applications where they need to be deployed for governance compliance issues that require specific locations.
- APEX Compute – designed to simplify the procurement process for simple configuration through the APEX console.
- Dell APEX PC as a service – Brings Dell APEX experience beyond desktops and laptops to other peripherals as well.
- Dell Native Edge – Formerly known as Project Frontier, this is an edge operation platform that provides secure device onboarding at scale, remote management of those devices, and multi-cloud application orchestration to edge devices, to data centers, and to matching cloud properties.
- Dell in a partnership with data analytics platform company Databricks – This partnership lets organizations use Databricks software with Dell Object Storage to analyze data in place, store results, and securely share it with third parties without moving data to the cloud. This builds on Dell’s recently announced existing partnerships with other data analytics centric companies such as Snowflake, Starburst Data, and Teradata
- Project Helix – A partnership between Dell and Nvidia designed to for enterprise organizations to deploy generative AI models at scale.
- Project Fort Zero – Dell’s Zero Trust project which incorporates the work of several partners including Microsoft, Nvidia, and Palo Alto Networks. Dell is in the test phase of this project now and plans to have it validated by the U.S. government in 2024, submitting it to the U.S. Department of Defense for penetration testing.