Dell unveils new and enhanced multi-cloud products to speed multi-cloud journey from default to design

Dell is making a large number of multi-cloud announcements to expand their multi-cloud capabilities, and make them more effective for customers.

Today, Dell Technologies is unveiling a series of initiatives which introduce new multi-cloud capabilities in some cases, and in others, expand the range and scope of existing multi-cloud offerings. APEX Multi-Cloud Data Services provides block file, and object storage, and data protection, all as a service, with simultaneous access to all major public clouds. Apex Backup Service provides automated point and click backup SaaS data protection to any public cloud. Project Alpine will bring Dell’s block and file storage software to leading public clouds. Dell has also expanded their DevOps portfolio and introduced a revamped developer portal. In addition, APEX Data Storage services, which was unveiled at the APEX launch is being broadly expanded to new geos, and Dell’s partnership with Equinix now lets customers in some geos – of which Canada is not yet one – choose to use an Equinix colo location for this service. Finally, Apex Cloud Services with VMware Cloud, which was announced at VMworld in private preview, is now generally available in the U.S., U.K., Germany and France.

“What we are seeing from customers in the multi-cloud space is that the debate is over,” said Varun Chhabra, SVP Product Marketing, at Dell Technologies. “Multi-cloud is a reality for most of our customers.

Chhabra said that two factors have driven this.

“Data is growing faster than before, and more importantly, in more locations than ever before, with most organizations using multiple public clouds and multiple data centres,” he stated. “Customers love the agility of the cloud experience. They want that experience everywhere they run tech resources. That’s what we see as the multi-cloud opportunity.”

Chhabra stressed that a critical limitation in today’s multi-cloud world is that it remains ‘multi-cloud by default.’

“This means little more than multi-contracts,” he said. “There isn’t yet a lot of consistency and cohesion between different environments. It means that spend and cost continue to be a challenge. It also means that a lack of interoperability between services can make things challenging for developers. The skills gap in being able to keep up with toolsets to manage these multiple environments is really challenging. The result is operational and data siloes, and the more you have, the more challenging the model.

“We think the multi-cloud experience can be improved, so that customers can be moved from a ‘multi-cloud by default’ world to a ‘multi-cloud by design’ world,” Chabbra continued. “This will allow customer to access data wherever it is stored in a safe and secure manner, while improving developer productivity and operational consistency.”

So how do they plan to do this?

“APEX is a critical part,” Chhabra said. “We have some new APEX offers aimed at multi-cloud scenarios, with two new APEX Multi-Cloud offers and updates to two existing multi-cloud offers.”

One new one is APEX Multi-Cloud Data Services, which provides file, block, object and data protection services that allow simultaneous access to all major public clouds from a single source of data.

“All hyperscalers can use data analytics on the data at the same time, without having to move it around,” Chhabra stated. “This also minimizes egress fees.” Out of the gate, it is available in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Australia.

The other new multi-cloud service is APEX Backup Services, which protects SaaS applications, endpoints and hybrid workloads in the public cloud

“This is automated backup SaaS data protection to the cloud,” Chhabra said. “A customer just has to log in and point to the service they want to be backed up to.” This one is now globally available.

The two enhanced multi-cloud services are APEX Data Storage services and APEX Cloud Services with VMware cloud.

“APEX Data Storage services was unveiled at the initial launch, but we are now launching a massive geo expansion across EMEA and APJ,” Chhabra stated. “We are also now working with Equinix, which lets customers in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Australia choose an Equinix colo location.”

The other enhanced service, Apex Cloud Services with VMware Cloud, which is built on top of the VMware cloud stack, was announced at VMworld and at that time was available in private preview. Now it is generally available in four countries, the U.S., U.K., Germany and France.

Dell also announced that they are extending their storage portfolio with Project Alpine, which will bring the software IP of Dell’s block and file storage platforms to leading public clouds as cloud software or cloud services.

“Project Alpine is really exciting for us,” said Caitlin Gordon, VP Product Management at Dell Technologies. “Customers are asking us for one thing more with our storage – the ability to run it as software or consume it as a service on the public cloud. Project Alpine is all about bringing our flagship block and file storage software to the three major public clouds. The majority of storage today is sold in appliances. Now we are abstracting it so it can be consumed as software or services within the cloud.”

Gordon said that Project Alpine was an extrapolation of Dell’s data protection strategy.

“We have been in this space for a long time with data protection,” she said. “Our entire data protection portfolio now protects over nine exabytes in the public cloud.”

Dell also announced an expansion of DevOps-ready platforms, adding to existing partnerships with key cloud vendors including Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM/Red Hat and VMware. Now Dell is Dell is adding increased support for Kubernetes including: Amazon EKS Anywhere on PowerFlex and PowerStore, and  SUSE Rancher on VxRail.

“The plethora of choice that developers now have has led to a reduction in productivity and velocity,” Gordon said. “They now spend only 16% of their time writing code. We need to help customers accelerate DevOps, through our expansion of that portfolio.”

Finally, Dell is expanding its Dell Technologies Developer portal to serve as a one-stop shop for application developers and DevOps teams looking to provide infrastructure as code. The portal will provide continual access to the latest Dell APIs, SDKs, modules and plug-ins.

“This is a brand new and refreshed developer portal,” Gordon said. “It is live now.”