Dell Technologies is doubling down on its bullish Apex consumption-base as-a-Service portfolio with two new launches, while at the same time integrating more deeply with public cloud providers with the goal of delivering a true multi-cloud experience to customers.
“As we’ve evolved at Dell Technologies with this focus on as-a-service, the cloud and Apex, we’ve also seen the hyperscalers evolve in what they know they can deliver and what the value is that Dell Technologies can bring,” said Caitlin Gordon, Dell Technologies’ vice president of product management in an interview with CRN US.
“We really have evolved our partnerships and continue to evolve how we work with the hyperscalers.”
Gordon said Dell is striving to create new solutions to help customers deal with the complexity of a multi-cloud world with the new launches today.
“We are going to really double down and focus on the big themes of, ‘How do we deliver more software and services to our customers to simplify the experience? And how do we partner really strategically with a broad ecosystem of cloud partnerships like hyperscalers, ISVs like SAP, and data centre providers like Equinix,’” said Gordon.
“What we know and what all of our customers know is, no single vendor is going to solve all of these challenges. And the more we can all work together to simplify our customer's environments, the better it’s going to be for everyone.”
From Dell bringing its software IP for block and file storage platforms to the public cloud to launching Apex Backup Services and Apex Multi-Cloud Data Services, here are seven new offerings Dell unveiled today that channel partners and customers need to know about.
Apex backup services include PCs and mobile devices
Dell’s new SaaS-based Apex Backup Services aims to provide simplified and secure cloud data protection that can be deployed in minutes and scaled on-demand.
“It’s a truly SaaS experience and it’s really built to protect in the cloud. That includes SaaS applications like Office 365, Salesforce, Google Workspace. It allows you to also protect endpoints as well, so your desktops, laptops and mobile devices,” said Gordon. “It also can protect what we would call a hybrid workload. So think of that as, for example, a VM that you have on-prem and you want to be able to protect and back that up into the public cloud. There’s also some built-in ransomware protection into the software as well.”
As data becomes more challenging to protect across multiple clouds, Apex Backup Services provides end-to-end scalable, secure data protection with centralized monitoring and management for SaaS applications, endpoints and hybrid workloads. Included in Apex Backup Services is resilient security capabilities to protect against cyberattacks with instant detection, rapid response and accelerated recovery.
Channel partners can resell Apex Backup Services now on a global basis. Apex Backup Services does not require onboarding into the Apex Console and is managed and deployed by Dell. The offer is eligible for channel “standard storage incentives” including base rebates, marketing development funds and Dells New Business Incentive.
Apex multi-cloud data services available through all major public clouds
Dell’s new Apex Multi-Cloud Data Services delivers storage –including file, block and object—as well as data protection as-a-Services with simultaneous access to all major public clouds through a single console.
“What you’re actually buying is both the storage service and the interconnect to the public clouds. So you have a high speed, low-latency cloud connection to the major hyperscalers,” said Gordon.
“You can actually use multiple clouds, at the same time, to the same dataset—which is very, very unique. So it gives you that simultaneous access to multiple public clouds without ever having to move data that avoids lock-in with the hyperscalers. In many cases, it avoids egress fees with those cloud providers.”
Integrated with the Apex Console, the offer allows organizations to easily connect storage and data protection to preferred public clouds and services which helps avoid public cloud vendor lock-in, excessive egress fees and the cost and risk associated with moving data from one cloud to another.
“It’s powered by all of Dell’s industry-leading storage and data protection appliances, which means that native replication from an on-prem Apex Data Storage Service, or an on-prem PowerStore or PowerScale, can replicate into this Apex Multi-Cloud Data Services offer,” Gordon said.
Apex Multi-Cloud Data Services is currently not available for channel partners to resell.
The company said it does not know exactly when partners can start selling the offer, but hopefully later in 2022. “This new offer is going to be something we will expand to channel partners for availability in the future,” said Dell’s Gordon.
Building on the company’s data protection cloud offering, Dell is bringing its software IP for block and file storage platforms to the public cloud.
“We are bringing our flagship block and file storage software to the major public clouds,” said Gordon. “Today, our flagship block and file storage platforms are predominantly consumed and purpose-built appliances. So what we’re doing is we’re actually taking that software that runs on those appliances, we’re abstracting that from the underlying purpose-built hardware that it runs on today, to enable it to run on general-purpose instances in the cloud.”
Dell is extending its storage portfolio with Project Alpine to deliver seamless storage across public clouds. Customers can purchase Dell’s storage software as a managed service using existing cloud credits.
“What customers have made very clear to us is, ‘It’s just as important that I can also purchase that through the public cloud using my pre-committed cloud spend.’ So not only will we have the ability to deploy this in the public cloud, either as software or as a fully managed service, but you can also leverage your cloud credits to purchase that through the Public Cloud Marketplace as well,” said Gordon.
Increased support for Kubernetes on Amazon EKS and SUSE Rancher on VxRail
Dell is expanding its support for Amazon EKS Anywhere to run on its flagship storage products PowerStore and PowerFlex, which will enable customers to run their Kubernetes orchestration across public or on-premises clouds.
Additionally, SUSE’s Rancher container management platform is now available on Dell’s flagship hyperconverged infrastructure solution VxRail, providing multi-cluster, multi-cloud Kubernetes management.
“This is all really about choice for our customers. We want them to be able to choose their infrastructure of choice and choose their cloud environment of choice, and be able to combine those with the right combination,” said Gordon. “When you look at the different Kubernetes distributions and what the market demand is, it’s really important for us to have Amazon EKS Anywhere supported on a broad set of our infrastructure—all the way from PowerStore for the mid-range to PowerFlex to provide that software-defined storage adoption, as well as what we have with VxRail. So it gives a lot of variety, a lot of choice and flexibility to get best-of-breed for Kubernetes of choice and best-of-breed for your infrastructure.”
Dell expands availability of Apex data storage services, cloud services with VMware cloud
Last year, Dell unveiled its Apex Data Storage Services which is an on-premises as-a-service solution of scalable and elastic storage resources.
Apex Data Storage Services is now expanding into 13 counties across Europe and Asia Pacific to allow more businesses to deploy the Dell fully-managed storage as-a-Service offering. The storage as-a-Service solution is now available in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Ireland and Singapore. With Apex Data Storage Services, Dell is striving to eliminate data centre management and provide simplified, consolidated billing from Dell.
Additionally, Apex Cloud Services with VMware Cloud is now available in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany. The jointly engineered Dell and VMware offering provides a secure and consistent Dell-managed platform to move workloads across multiple cloud and edge environments.
Apex data storage services now available on Equinix
Dell unveiled today that Apex Data Storage Services is now available with colocation services via Equinix in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Australia.
Last year, Dell unveiled its partnership with data centre colocation giant Equinix to broaden the availability of Apex. Equinix has over 220 data centres globally across five continents and an ecosystem of more than 10,000 companies.
“After the customer determines the type of storage, [base capacity] and subscription length term that they want, the next question really is, ‘Well, where do you want that?’ We call this ‘Apex Anywhere’ where you can say, ‘I want this in my own facility. Or I want to select a Dell managed facility.’ And if you do that, you’ll get a drop-down menu of the different locations with Equinix data centres where you can have your Apex data storage services deployed,” said Gordon.
“These Equinix data centres also give us the ability to be cloud adjacent with this service which is really helpful for our customers to have that high speed, high bandwidth, low latency interconnection into the public clouds as well,” she said.
Dell expands its DevOps portal
Dell is increasing its focus on enabling and accelerating DevOps by expanding the Dell Technologies Developer portal to serve as a one-stop shop for application developers and DevOps teams looking to provide infrastructure as code.
Channel partners have access to the portal which will provide continual access to the latest Dell APIs, SDKs, modules and plug-ins.
“One of the most important things in this DevOps community is to ensure that not only do you have API’s and automation, and that you’re enabling the organizations to really build their own infrastructure as code environments—but that they can do this in a self-service manner,” said Gordon. “So this is a public site and everyone has access to this, which is a critical and important part about how we need to serve these types of customers. We need to make sure that we’re not just creating API’s, not just creating these automation frameworks, like Ansible Playbooks, but that they’re accessible and they’re consumable for our customers and for our partners. So that’s what that Developer Portal is all about. Everyone will be able to access that and we’ll continue to add to it over time as well.”