Founded 37 years ago, Dell Technologies has been about infrastructure, from the servers, network systems and storage devices that populate enterprise data centers to the enterprise customers designed to make employees more productive. Infrastructure is what propelled Dell to become a multinational IT giant that brought in more than $92 billion in net revenue in 2020 and made founder and CEO Michael Dell a multi-billionaire.
But like longtime peers like Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lenovo, IBM, and Cisco Systems, Dell has spent much of the past decade adapting to a rapidly changing IT environment where data is king. is the preferred computing model both inside and outside the data center and the edge is the new frontier. Automation is in high demand to drive modern workloads from machine learning to data analytics and augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) and computing is ubiquitous, accessing, collecting, storing, analyzing and increasingly outside applications and data. the door of central data center.
With such complexity, enterprises are turning to suppliers to help them manage these environments and reduce complexity.
OEMs like Dell and others are undergoing massive transitions to address these changes and are taking steps to offer more of their products as services – Dell is doing this through its year-old Apex initiative – and making them available on premise and in the cloud (and increasingly on the fringe), adopt cloud-like pay-per-use consumption models, embrace opex over capex, build their capabilities in areas such as software and security, and evolve to meet the demands of cloud-native technologies such as containers and Kubernetes .
Many of these played at the virtual Dell Technologies Summit this week. Much attention was paid to topics such as data management and the edge, where simplicity was central.
“What I find interesting about our opportunity is if you look around the world and let’s say you’re into AI drug discovery or you like autonomous transport or you like the metaverse or the blockchain, AR, VR, immersive computing, all these things have one thing in common, and that is the sheer volume of data,” said Michael Dell during a virtual session with journalists and analysts. “The amount of data in the world continues to grow. The amount of time it takes to double the amount of data in the world is decreasing as everything in the world becomes intelligent and is now connected to 5G [and] low latency networks. The intent of any organization is to use all of that to create competitive advantage and create success, and that requires new capabilities, new tools, new infrastructure.”
One step Dell took at the event to manage data in a cloud-native world was the introduction of container storage modules, which are designed to enable DevOps teams to deliver automated enterprise storage services, such as data replication between data centers, on roles. based access control (RBAC) authorization and observability and resiliency, to Kubernetes-based container workloads.
The modules use the container storage interface (CSI) drivers, which already provide lifecycle management and snapshots for Kubernetes, to link the containers to the storage arrays and inject storage code into Kubernetes, enabling developers and IT teams to leverage Dell EMC capabilities. storage products such as PowerMax and PowerStore all-flash systems, PowerScale for scale-out NAS, PowerFlex (scale-out high-performance environments), and Unity XT (hybrid and all-flash storage).
“Application developers in organizations of all sizes are increasingly using containers for cloud-native workloads,” Magi Kapoor, director of storage product management at Dell EMC, wrote in a blog post, noting that by 2025, more than 85 percent of companies worldwide will deploy containerized applications. run production. “Despite all the benefits that containerized workloads provide, there are still challenges for businesses to overcome — everything from a lack of internal alignment to visibility and monitoring issues to meeting security and compliance requirements.”
Dell EMC’s CSMs are focused on addressing such issues by extending capabilities such as replication, authorization, resiliency and observation to Kubernetes-based workloads, she wrote.
Dell’s CSM comes the same week that competitor NetApp said its Astra — a fully managed data management service built for Kubernetes workloads — became widely available, another data point in traditional storage vendors’ push to evolve into data management companies and embrace cloud-native technologies. Through Astra, businesses can protect, restore, and move applications on Kubernetes without having to download and install software.
The fringe is another area that organizations and technology providers will have to deal with. According to IDC, more than half of new IT infrastructure will be deployed on the edge by 2023, and the number of new operational processes deployed on the edge infrastructure will increase from 20 percent today to more than 90 percent by 2024.
Dell released a number of edge-related products and services this week aimed at making the edge a more comfortable place for enterprises.
“Part of our job is to make this as simple as possible and we don’t want to be naive,” said Michael Dell. “It’s a challenge, especially when you consider what’s happening at the edge. Right now we are in the dawn of the era of edge computing. If you talk to all the different companies in the edge – and that would be pretty much every company on the planet because basically the edge is the real physical world and all those things are getting intelligent – there’s a real risk that it’s going to be a complexity nightmare. because you have basically created a huge number of silos. That’s why we’re working to get ahead of this and create a platform that helps customers address this.”
The company is pushing VxRail’s hyper-converged infrastructure – in partnership with VMware – to the edge with its new satellite nodes that have a smaller footprint, a key factor in space-constrained locations such as retail stores, manufacturing facilities and branch offices. The nodes automate many regular tasks while enabling health monitoring and lifecycle management from a central location.
Validated Design for Manufacturing Edge with Litmus (an automation technology company) is based on Dell EMC PowerEdge or VxRail systems — with an option to use VMware Edge Compute Stack, an offering announced by VMware earlier this month to build, manage, and Securing Applications at the Edge – to help IT teams manage and orchestrate industrial edge devices, data and applications across locations. In addition, the Dell EMC Edge Gateway provides businesses with the ability to connect multiple edge devices. It is a 5G cable system powered by Intel’s 9e Gen Core processors capable of operating in industrial environments, including temperatures from 4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
The vendor’s Streaming Data Platform (SDP) includes enhanced GPU optimization to improve the latency and framerate environment when recording streaming video and to support real-time analytics on VxRail and PowerEdge systems. It is a scale-up offering that can run lightweight workloads on a single core by leveraging a bundle of edge-focused software bundles.