Dell fleshes in more details of their multi-cloud strategy

On Day One of Dell Technologies World, the keynote address laid out both Dell’s multi-cloud strategy and the products from the show that specifically advanced that strategy.

Michael Dell onstage at Dell Technologies World 2022

On Monday, Dell Technologies World kicked off their first live event in three years, and the energy of this one compared to the last two virtual events was palpable. It started with founder and CEO Michael Dell stating his vision for the company, followed by Chuck Whitten, the co-Chief Operating Officer, providing more specifics about Dell’s multi-cloud strategy, and then outlining the company’s Day One announcements, which were centred around multi-cloud.

“We are reimaging the future as the digital future,” Michael Dell declared in his opening keynote. “It all hinges on how effectively you use data. The on-prem, off-prem debate is over. The future is over cloud. 90% of customers have both on-prem and public cloud facilities and 75% use three or more clouds. We will also deliver the edge at the next frontier, where data becomes a competitive advantage at the point of collection.”

Dell noted as well that by 2025, 75% of data will be processed outside of traditional networks or clouds, with 5G networks being critical in this.

“Ransomware attacks are the number one threat for most organizations at an average 11 million cost for each,” Dell added. “An air-gapped vault should be part of every solution.”

Chuck Whitten, who came to Dell last summer after almost a half century at Bain Capital, where he had been a partner and worked closely with Dell, told the keynote audience about how Dell Technologies sees the business environment evolving, and how he helps to fit into it.

“My role is to be the bridge, to connect the dots our between visions and future, and the visions we deliver today, to share where we are headed as a company,” he said. “Our purpose is handle unsolved problems, which leads to technology creation. To this end, the PC is a powerful symbol, a gateway to the employee experience.”

Whitten then explained Dell Technologies’ view to understanding the key trends in the infrastructure landscape.

“Two megatrends are shaping the infrastructure landscape, and create many unsolved problems,” he said. “One is data, and the other is massive adoption of multi-cloud architectures. It is the right idea. It’s not a temporary bridge. Done right, it’s an architectural revolution – but it needs to be organized into something much less complex, and more developer-friendly. It needs to be consumable in many ways including as a service. The multi-cloud world will be by design, not by default.

“Someone has to simplify a complex multi-cloud world,” Whitten continued. “That’s where we come in, and give customers choice about how they store data and consume it across the ecosystem. We have an advantage in that, and can better offer them choice in how they consume it.”

“We are on this journey to helping customers with outcomes,” Michael Dell added. “Our ability to give ability to transcend traditional infrastructure buying structure and reach the CEO is significant.”

Whitten then outlined new data protection initiatives, specifically new options for Power Protection Vaults in public clouds. They begin with bringing CyberSense to AWS, which adds analytics, machine learning and tools, so that in the event of a ransomware attack, you can find the known best backup copy and recover it confidently in the public cloud.

“It sits on top of Dell EMC PowerProtect CyberRecovery, and is currently only available in AWS, although we will add to it in time,” said Sam Grocott, SVP, product marketing, Dell Technologies Business Units.

Dell is also extending the reach of its multi-cloud ecosystem within Azure with the release of Dell PowerProtect Cyber Recovery for Azure. The new service will allow organizations to deploy an isolated cyber vault in the public cloud to more securely protect and isolate data away from a ransomware attack, improve cyber resiliency and helping reduce the impact of cyberattacks. It also provides flexible recovery options in the event of a cyberattack including recovery within the data center, in a new Azure private network, or in an unimpacted Azure environment.

“It provides flexible recovery options in case of attack, and will be available in the Azure marketplace starting next month,” Whitten said.

“When we would bring Dell PowerProtect Cyber Recovery to Azure was the most common question that we got since it came to AWS last year,” said Caitlin Gordon, Vice President, Product Marketing at Dell. “It will now let customers create cybervaults there.”

Whitten then provided a teaser about the extension of Dell’s Tech Preview of Project Alpine, which was launched in January. It will demonstrate how Dell’s storage software could be used in public clouds and provide data mobility and consistent operations across on-premises and public cloud environments.

“We will provide a full technical preview tomorrow in the keynote,” Whitten said.

“Project Alpine was announced in January to bring all Dell storage software to the public cloud,” Gordon said. “Because it’s built off our existing storage, the  software can take advantage of native capabilities without having to use new tools or retrain staff. We will show what we have been building with demos.”

Whitten then announced that Project APEX, announced a year ago as a company- wide transformation to as-a-service, is being extended to key workloads starting with cyber recovery.

“We are expanding APEX to a full stack solution with APEX Cyber Recovery services and its immutable and isolated data vault, while giving customers more control over recovery and procedures,” said Chad Dunn, Vice President of Product Management HCI, CI and Software Defined Storage. Dell APEX Cyber Recovery Services is the first in a series of new APEX full stack solutions that deliver a cloud experience, and which simplifies recovery from cyberattacks. Dell manages the day-to-day cyber recovery vault operations, and assists with data recovery, using their expertise from nearly 2,000 isolated vault solutions deployed globally.

“With APEX Cyber Recovery Services, you can feel confident in your ability to recover from a cyberattack,” Whitten said. “HPC computing, machine learning operations and VDI will also be rolled out this year.”

Finally, Dell and Snowflake have also announced a new partnership to work together to connect data from Dell Enterprise Storage with the Snowflake Data Cloud. Dell and Snowflake customers will be able to use on-premises data stored on Dell object storage with the Snowflake Data Cloud while keeping their data local or seamlessly copying it to public clouds.

“This new partnership with Snowflake extends our SaaS private system,” Whitten said. “You can move on-prem data from our OS to the Snowflake data cloud for analysis. If you don’t want to send your data to the cloud, you can also extend Snowflake to on-prem without the need to move any data to the cloud.” There were cheers from the audience when this second point was announced.

The companies will pursue product integrations and joint go-to-market efforts in the second half of 2022.

“These are all meaningful steps in the journey to deliver on the promise of multi-cloud,” Whitten concluded.