Dell Technologies World Key Note Day 2 – How Do You Make a Multi-Cloud – You Start With Storage.

More than 15 years ago, a very wise old storage guru from the UK told me that the best way he could find a large storage deal was to look for companies that were planning to do a server consolidation. His claim was “Give me 15 minutes with the IT team and when we are done they will realise they can’t consolidate their servers without consolidating their storage first.” He was right. Many people started with WANTING to consolidate servers then realised they NEED to consolidate storage before they get to the servers.

Fast forward to 2023, on day 2 of Dell Technologies World in Vegas, Jeff Clarke, COO of Dell Technologies took on the task of explaining the building blocks of their multi-cloud by design strategy. It immediately reminded me of that wise storage guru. 

What’s the foundation of Dell’s Multi-Cloud APEX offerings? Storage of course.

Jeff explained how creating a single ubiquitous storage layer between clouds is the critical component in delivering a seamless experience for all other aspects of managing applications and workloads on the cloud of choice. They have built a common storage layer that enables storage management and data mobility across on-premises, edge, and public clouds, in a way where your IT team don’t need retraining to manage block, file, object or protection storage centrally no matter which cloud it is located in.

The announcements are exciting and prove Dell has followed through on their promises, and deserving of applause for the direction they are heading. However, when you delve into the detail, you start to see just how far there is to go. The on-prem stacks in the current multi-cloud give you VMware, Red Hat OpenShift and Azure. While we didn’t get the detail on the Azure component, we can assume that it is something similar to the Azure stack, which likely means total seamless movement of workloads from public cloud Azure and Dell’s on-prem Azure may not be a reality. But that’s an assumption and something IT teams will delve into as they start to implement some of these APEX solutions. 

What is clear is that, compared to a year ago, Dell has made big strides forward in their commitment to delivering a true multi-cloud experience. Their strategy of “Cloud to Ground” unsurprisingly lends itself to driving more hardware sales at the edge, and whilst the cynic might say “Dell would push that wouldn’t they,” the truth is that having the ability to bring the cloud to the edge and on-premises is a real requirement for many organisations. So it’s important that Dell services that need.

Long term, the storage foundation for multi-cloud will be a real enabler for Dell clients. The problem of data gravity and data mobility, especially when you have data at a vast scale, has always been a limiting factor in any transformation in IT infrastructure. 

To have any chance of having truly ubiquitous multi-cloud by design, solving the multi-cloud data problem is critical and Dell is well on its way to doing that.


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