Dell Technologies World gives partners an overview of the multicloud strategy


Many partners and customers learned more about what’s new from Dell and its ecosystem partners in the exhibit hall.

Last week’s Dell Technologies World gave partners and customers an overview of Dell’s cloud storage and infrastructure roadmap. The Las Vegas event set the stage for how the company will bring consistency to its on-premises infrastructure and major public clouds.

The Dell Technologies ecosystem came together for the first time in three years to learn about the company’s ambitious agenda. Foremost were Dell’s new Apex cyber recovery services and Project Alpine storage architecture. The operational direction articulated by Dell co-COO Chuck Whitten was multicloud.

Dell’s Chuck Whitten

“The world needs multicloud by design, not by default,” Whitten said during the keynote. “And that’s the big, unresolved infrastructure challenge that we’re working on at Dell Technologies.”

While there are few disputes over multicloud, Whitten said it doesn’t perform well in its current form.

“Data is siloed; each cloud functions almost like an island,” Whitten said during a follow-up briefing with media and analysts. “Somebody has to be the orchestrator to bring all of this together and start simplifying what is a very complex multi-cloud world. And that’s where we come in. We’ve positioned the company to sit in this ecosystem, from end-user and edge clouds and telecom clouds and private clouds and public clouds and will give customers choice of where they store data and how they consume the data. services in this ecosystem.

First glimpse of the Alpine project

The most significant demonstration of how Dell intends to accomplish this is with Project Alpine. Revealed in January, Project Alpine will bring all of Dell’s block, file and object storage to the three major clouds.

Dell’s VP of Marketing Caitlin Gordon gave the first glimpse of the Alpine project during the opening session on day two.

Dell's Caitlin Gordon on stage at Dell Technologies World 2022.

Dell’s Caitlin Gordon on stage at Dell Technologies World 2022.

“Our goal with Project Alpine is really to enable operational consistency, increase efficiency and simplify data mobility. I’m really excited to share our progress in this space,” Gordon told attendees and those who watch online.

Gordon first introduced a development team looking to modernize an existing application, moving Dell’s block storage software into AWS. Within the SaaS portal, it deployed block storage in AWS.

“All deployment and configuration is fully automated and only takes a few minutes to deploy. Once that’s done, you have a quick overview of the deployment,” Gordon said.

Next, to replicate the database from Dell’s on-premises PowerStore storage to AWS, Gordon made some source and target configuration selections.

“And once that copy operation is complete, the development team can get back to work,” she said.

Because it uses the same user interface and APIs in AWS as on-premises, it doesn’t require any new skills, Gordon pointed out.

Gordon also demonstrated the process of moving cloud-native data on-premises using a new application described as container mobility software.

“With a single command, you can safely and seamlessly migrate this application from cloud to on-premises and back again,” she said. “It allows you to really grow once and race anywhere. It’s a real game changer.”

Next, Gordon demonstrated a similar scenario with file services with Microsoft Azure. In this example, Gordon started with video data stored in a makeshift fabrication shop on a local Dell PowerScale NAS appliance. In this scenario, Gordon demonstrated how to tap into the Microsoft Azure Computer Vision service to analyze data for anomalies. By copying data from the PowerScale appliance to the Microsoft Azure cloud, “you can use it to train a computer vision model to automatically detect defects using Azure Cognitive Services,” Gordon explained. “Once this training work is complete, you can apply the new AI model to production to improve the efficiency and quality of your manufacturing process.”

Dell isn’t the first to provide this capability, Moor Insights and Strategy analyst Steve McDowell wrote in a Forbes article. NetApp Cloud ONTAP and Pure Cloud Block Store from Pure Storage are among the offerings customers have embraced. McDowell noted that NetApp Cloud ONTAP on AWS and Microsoft Azure generated about 7% of NetApp’s revenue in its most recent quarter.

“Beyond the feature set of anything Project Alpine ultimately offers, it will allow Dell customers to have a consistent experience from edge offerings to on-premises storage to Apex-based storage. on consumption and the public cloud,” McDowell added. “Storage administrators will no longer need multiple toolkits to solve their problems. Instead, they can simply shop within the Dell ecosystem.

John Lochausen, senior storage pre-sales engineer at Dell Titanium partner World Wide Technology, predicts that customers will welcome the Alpine project.

Gordon Lochausen of WWT

Gordon Lochausen of WWT

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Lochausen told Channel Futures. “We know, and obviously Dell, that this is a gap and their product strategy. It’s not like they don’t have smart people working on these things. I don’t want to give the impression that they missed the mark. But, you know, shooting Titanic sometimes takes a while.

Dell showcased Project Alpine, Apex, and various other segments of its portfolio, at sessions and in the showroom at the event. Likewise, the major Dell alliance partners had a strong presence. Among them: Netscout, Wipro, Kyndryl and Red Hat. Discover our slideshow above from what we captured in the showroom.

Christine Horton contributed to this report.

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