Dell Technologies unveils new products for cloud, core and edge

After most of the first day announcements focused on things which spanned multiple elements of the Dell Technologies portfolio, and beyond, the second day focused on core product enhancements. Here are some of them.

Rahul Tikoo and John Roese onstage during the keynote

LAS VEGAS  — On the second day of Dell Technologies World here, new products from across the traditional Dell and Dell EMC brands were on display. The theme for the morning, announced by Dell Technologies CTO John Roese, was the stream of innovation across core, cloud and edge.

“Future enterprise infrastructures will be distributed with edge, core and cloud elements all working together,” Roese announced. “We are showing innovation coming out of all of these.”

The announcements started with the edge —  although there was some sleight of hand here.

“There are two edges,” Roese said. “One is people. Innovation for those people is the focus of our client business.” He noted that at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Dell won 114 awards, 60 more than the year before.

“The highlight for us there was our Latitude 7400 2-in-1s,” he said. “Today, we are taking the wraps off the whole line – our 7000, 5000 and 3000 models.

Rahul Tikoo, VP and GM. Commercial Mobility Products, Dell, introduced the new machines, Dell’s tenth generation of Latitudes.

“We have fourteen new products for you available today, which bring the 7400’s small size and design to the rest of the series,” he said. “Depending on the model, each is between 10 and 14 per cent smaller than its predecessor.”

A key thing in bringing the size down is implementing a design of four-sided narrow bezels across the entire portfolio.

“It provides much smaller footprints, giving a 14-inch screen in a 13-inch body,” Tikoo said. “We also made the products more premium with colors, materials and finishes that are world class.”

Tikoo also highlighted what he referred to investment in user experience.

“Dell Express Sign in provides for instant start with no passwords or waiting,” he said. “The system wakes up when it recognizes your presence, and logs you in instantly. Then it locks when you leave.

“This will percolate through the whole portfolio,” he added.

Express Charge, another new experience-focused feature, can charge up to 35 per cent of battery life in 15 minutes, while Express Connect automatically connects to the strongest Wi-Fi available.

The Latitude 7000 series, aimed at the high end of knowledge worker space, now contains a 13-inch form factor as well as  4-inch, with new machined aluminum or carbon fibre materials, and a drop-hinge design for easy, one-finger opening of the anti-glare, narrow-border display. Another new item is the 12-inch detachable 7200 2-in-1, which sports a thinner, lighter design, brushed anodized aluminum premium finish and backlit keyboard.

All the 7000 series laptops can be equipped with up to 32GB of memory  and up to 20 hours  of run time on select configurations.

The 5000 series also now has up to 20 hours of run time. This is the mainstream commercial laptop, and is targeted at what Dell terms corridor warriors. The big innovation here is the new Latitude 5300 2-in-1, the world’s smallest mainstream business-class 13-inch 2-in-1 .  It has a starting weight of just 3.15 lbs,, and can be configured with up to 32GB of memory and up to 1TB of storage.

The refreshed Latitude 3000 Series, the entry-level line, now adds a new 13 inch model, which Dell is touting as the world’s smallest and lightest 13-inch essential business notebook, as well as the 14- and 15-inch form factors. These, the smallest Latitudes, also have the longest battery life, at up to 24 hours.

“We recognize the workforce transformation that is happening today, so we are responding with the  smallest products in the industry,” Tikoo said. He also announced the newest set of accessories, including a new commercial dock, to better enable the deskside experience.

The other half of the edge – IOT and sensors – did not see any new products announced at Dell Technologies World, although Roese stressed their commitment to extending these products further.

“We have to deliver IT anywhere it is needed, and these products have to be resilient and hardened and automated, because they will be by themselves,” he said.

Core product announcements included Unity XT, a new Dell EMC midrange and entry-level storage offering.

“Unity XT is the next generation of the Unity family of products,” said Sam Grocott, SVP Infrastructure Solutions Group Marketing, Dell EMC. “We feel this leapfrogs the competition. It doubles the performance of its predecessor, and now has up to 5:1 data reduction. It is designed both for performance and accelerating the journey to multi-cloud. It is also NVMe ready so they can add these drives non-disruptively over time.”

That won’t happen right away, because Unity was designed before NVMe, so the firmware will require time to get ready, unlike PowerMAX, where it is available now.

“It takes only 10 minutes from unpacking to install, and another 15 minutes to configure,” said Craig Bernero, SVP, Dell EMC Midrange and Entry Storage. It is as easy as a consumer networking device.”

Dell EMC also emphasized – once again – that their other midrange storage family, SC, is not on life support.

“The SC has been a good product for us,” said Travis Vigil, Senior Vice President Product Management at Dell EMC. “It grew double digits last year, and we have more planned for later this year.”

Dell EMC also announced a major upgrade to its Isilon scale-out NAS family. Isilon OneFS 8.2 provides up to 75% greater cluster scale and capability – up to 252 nodes enabling up to 58PB and 945 GB/s aggregate throughput per cluster.

“This will provide ease of use at scale to higher volume use cases,” Grocott said.

“Some people ask if we need that much scalability today,” Vigil said. “Some customers, like in media and entertainment, and autonomous cars do.”

Major new data protection announcements were also announced.

“We are also announcing new Dell EMC Cloud Storage Services,” Bernero said. “This is extending the data centre to the cloud, creating storage-as-a-service in any public cloud of your choice.” This is accomplished through a managed service provider that delivers a high-speed, low-latency connection from a public cloud. Initially, this will be to Dell EMC Unity, PowerMax and Isilon in their data centres. Out of the gate, this will be available in North America, and in London.