CloudWorld … I mean ... DellWorld

Last week was Dell’s annual user conference in Austin and while the weather was a bit cooler than I expected there – things are definitely heating up for Dell.

Cloud Partner Program – Dell announced expansions of its partner program, which now includes Microsoft Windows Azure, and CenturyLink, Google, and Accenture. They already had Peer1, Joyent, ScaleMatrix, and Zerolag. Here’s why I think these relationships are important:

  • Windows Azure – What better way to be part of a native hybrid cloud offering? Windows Server on-premises built on Dell systems (think Azure Cloud-in-a-Box) connected to Windows Azure public cloud and using Cloud Manager (formerly Enstratius) to manage it all. Cool beans if you ask me.
  • CenturyLink – Savvis and Tier 3 are now all folded into CentruryLinks' cloud offering with CenturyLink bringing the pipes, Savvis the data centers, and Tier 3 the cloud services. This today includes VMware and OpenStack service and my gut tells me Windows Azure is not too far away. Again, this provides a good set of opportunities for Dell including cloud-in-a-Box on-prem to connect a hybrid solution with CenturyLink based on VMware, OpenStack, or Azure.
  • Google – This is a win for Google and for Dell. For Google, it creates the momentum they need from the enterprise to be connected and hybridized with Google’s public IaaS and PaaS offerings. Google brings Android as well so there are many architectures and components that can be put to use. For Dell, it allows them to again create opportunities with their customers to help them enjoy the benefits of a hybrid cloud using Google for public and cloud-of-your-choosing-in-a-Box on-premises. All managed by Dell Cloud Manager.
  • Accenture – Big Enterprise? Dell Customer? Does your CIO have an ItaaS or Cloud Strategy – then let Accenture and Dell help you design, implement, build, and even manage your cloud for you. If you’ve been sitting on the fence worried about security, governance, and usage models – this is a great way to go.

And there is more!

  • Red Hat and OpenStack – and Dell of course! Some seemed confused by this announcement because Dell talked about co-engineering. My understanding is this is NOT an effort to create a new version of OpenStack. It is just Dell’s commitment to take the resources they have and add to them and together so they can submit more to OpenStack. For Dell, this gives them a very solid OpenStack distribution, a great (enterprise) installed base that has been running RHEL for 15 years. It also allows Dell to build a Red Hat OpenStack cloud-in-a-Box.
  • Eucalyptus – And although there was no formal announcement (yet) I got to spend some time with the Eucalyptus team and see the data center version of AWS-Cloud-in-a-Box. It takes all of 30 minutes to get up and running and makes a great place for developing AWS apps and hybridizing or migrating them to AWS when scale is needed. That’s not to say that Eucalyptus can’t scale – they have a good customer – Nokia – running close to 1M VMs on near 100K cores.

Now these are only the core cloud announcements – Dell has a lot going on with End User Computing (EUC) which includes some great mobility solutions. The EUC/mobility stuff is really important as Dell drives more 2 tier cloud solutions (mobile and cloud) as well as their growing VDI capabilities which include important partnerships with Greenbytes and Solidfire to name a couple.

The net of all this is WOWZA – Dell is serious about the cloud. For the data center, they have every cloud – OpenStack, AWS, Google, Azure, and of course VMware. Add to that their growing cloud partnerships and great reseller eco-system – I’d say they are well on their way to being a good choice for customers. They still have a ways to go – I still see weakness in their products for data protection for cloud and I’d like to see if they decide to get back into the smartphone business again. That said, this is one company that has great company culture, products, and customers. Michael Dell said it all at the Keynote – “We are officially the world’s largest startup." 2014 is going to be a fun year for these guys and I can’t wait to see how they do, how about you?

Topics: Cloud Services & Orchestration