Cutting Through Multi-Cloud Complexity – Dell Technologies World Cloud Briefing Note

Multi-cloud is a necessity. To meet varying cost and privacy requirements, data and workloads must exist and be able to traverse across on-premises private clouds that exist in core and edge data centers, as well as externally hosted off-premises infrastructure-as-a-service resources. Legacy applications may need to be refactored, and they also must coexist with cloud-native applications. The problem is that this modern cloud reality adds migration and management complexity which stands to impede the agility and innovation that the cloud is intended to facilitate. It also adds uncertainty around the enterprise’s security posture.

Introducing the Dell Technologies Cloud

Dell Technologies has launched its Dell Technologies Cloud to facilitate consistent infrastructure and operations across the multi-cloud environment – core and edge private cloud environments as well as public cloud-delivered services. The platform lays a common foundation of Dell EMC bare metal, containerized or virtualized infrastructure. On top of that infrastructure, the Dell Technologies Cloud adds centralized automation and operations capabilities including management, security and governance via the VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) software stack. This stack is wrapped with value-add consulting, data and security services as well as flexible consumption options.

The Dell Technologies Cloud may be purchased as a platform. At launch, this means Dell EMC VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) deployed on-premises and pre-integrated with VCF. Dell EMC VxBlock converged infrastructure and Dell Technologies Validated Design reference architectures will be supported later. The customer may choose to pay for the infrastructure on a consumption basis, and also may use VMware Cloud on AWS Credits to extend this infrastructure to the public cloud.

Introducing VMware Cloud on Dell EMC

The Dell Technologies Cloud may also be procured through the new “data center-as-a-service” VMware Cloud on Dell EMC offering (formerly Project Dimension, announced at VMworld 2018). Like the platform consumption option, the VMware Cloud on Dell EMC service pre-integrates Dell EMC VxRail HCI with VCF, and this stack is deployed on-premises. The difference is that the infrastructure stack is deployed, and functions such as software upgrades and hardware failures are managed by Dell Technologies (resource provisioning is still handled by the customer).

This approach stands to bridge the gap between the public cloud and on-premises infrastructure. Specifically, the enterprise retains the control of hosting their workload on-premises, which helps to make sure that performance-related service level agreements (SLAs) and security and data privacy requirements are met. At the same time, the enterprise is able to shift to a public cloud-like operating expense (opex)-driven purchasing model. They also do not need to worry about managing or upgrading hardware or software, and they obtain self-service resource provisioning that can increase agility for developers and lines of business. The solution is wrapped with data protection, backup, disaster recovery and cloud tiering services.

StorageSwiss Take

Being successful in the cloud era requires flexibility of underlying infrastructure resources and consumption models. At the same time, it requires support in the form of centralized management functions and value-add consulting, migration, implementation and support services, for IT professionals. IT professionals must be able to respond quickly and with highly optimized (in the form of cost, performance and security) infrastructure to volatile business requirements. Cutting costs is always critical and time-to-market and real-time responsiveness to market dynamics increasingly can make or break competitive advantage. In addition to cutting costs, IT must be able to manage the resulting heterogeneous and distributed infrastructure environment with as minimal of a time commitment as possible, so that they can focus on more revenue generating initiatives. The Dell Technologies Cloud lays a common foundation for legacy and cloud-native applications to coexist and be centrally managed, and the company is providing necessary support services as well as managed service and consumption-based options to address these needs.

For storage professionals, one of the most significant advantages of buying into the Dell Technologies Cloud is the company’s relationships with a broad number of cloud providers, as well as the robust capabilities it brings to the table through not just its Dell EMC and VMware entities, but also through its Boomi cloud integration, Virtustream infrastructure-as-a-service for mission-critical, data-centric applications, Pivotal platform-as-a-service, and RSA security. Its vision is to enable data to be stored in the most effective model, and to be able to deploy compute where the data is stored. Its data mapping services and the ultimate introduction of additional infrastructure options to the Dell Technologies cloud will help to make this vision a reality. VxRail HCI is a good place to start with, because it is scalable, tightly integrated with VCF, and because it can meet a number of core and edge requirements alike.

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Senior Analyst, Krista Macomber produces analyst commentary and contributes to a range of client deliverables including white papers, webinars and videos for Storage Switzerland. She has a decade of experience covering all things storage, data center and cloud infrastructure, including: technology and vendor portfolio developments; customer buying behavior trends; and vendor ecosystems, go-to-market positioning, and business models. Her previous experience includes leading the IT infrastructure practice of analyst firm Technology Business Research, and leading market intelligence initiatives for media company TechTarget.

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