In this ESG On Location Video, ESG's Mark Peters, Mike Leone, Bob Laliberte, Scott Sinclair, and Edwin Yuen provide their technical insights from Dell Technologies World 2018, held in Las Vegas.
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Announcer: The following is an ESG On Location video.
Mark: Hello, we're here at the first formal Dell Technologies World. What's similar to last year? It's big, there was still a car on stage, sort of thing we're expecting too, the biggest rounds of applause with new boxes, new products. But for all the similarities, there's also a lot that's very different this year. There are new people. Michael didn't spend his entire keynote doing announcements of new products. Just interesting to reflect on a couple of phrases that Michael used from the stage that I think are particularly pertinent, one is the change from data centers to centers of data.
Another was that if AI is the rocket, then data is the fuel. And lastly, which I think is really telling that as fast as technology is moving today, this is the slowest it will ever move. There's way too much to go through so this year, we're actually splitting the video into two. First, you're gonna hear from my colleagues about the new technologies and some of the things going on in those fields, and then we're also gonna talk more from an execution perspective, talking about the channel, the vision, and how the company is doing on those fronts. Here we go.
Mike: So in Michael Dell and Allison Dew's keynotes, they both referenced blockchain, and I was definitely interested to see how Dell EMC or anybody in the Dell Technologies ecosystem was actually talking blockchain. Interestingly enough as I perused the showroom floor, there were two booths that actually had blockchain references. The Dell PowerEdge one was definitely up and running, there was a ton of activity, and they actually had a live application demonstrating how people are gonna be able to leverage this technology.
You could download an app, you could walk around and interact with booths. And as you completed certain achievements, you'd unlock tokens that you'd be rewarded with that you could eventually use to go with the prizes. And of course, with the transparency that blockchain provides, you could see all the transactions, who integrated with what and where. Incredibly powerful solution.
The other side is VMware. It's very early days for VMware, but you can definitely see that they're starting to invest internally in engineering resources to pursue ways that this technology can really be leveraged in enterprise IT to drive more value and drive change.
Bob: From a networking perspective, Dell continued to talk about its disruptive, disaggregated story for networking, and in addition to that, was able to highlight a number of customers. Their latest customer is also a family member. VMware is now going to be using the Dell networking hardware to support its NSX SD-WAN. It was a big week for VMware in their networking announcements here at Dell Technology World.
They also add enhancements to their NSX data center solution being able to provide support for Kubernetes, and Telco NFE environments. They also had NSX cloud, which has now got support for Azure and they had Pat Gelsinger actually doing a demonstration of the NSX Hybrid Connect, being able to do a virtual reality demo of how he was able to migrate VMs from on-premises to the cloud in a simple and easy fashion.
And all this is part of what VMware refers to as their Virtual Cloud Network. Now, there's clearly a lot of nice synergies between Dell and VMware, and I think some of the most interesting ones lie around their ability to put together solutions to take to the service provider market, in particular, some of the ones they've already talked about with solutions to Vodafone.
Mike: So there has been a major focus on artificial intelligence and analytics at the edge, core, and cloud. Almost immediately in Michael Dell's keynote, he immediately hit artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, IoT, analytics. And that continued on when they were highlighting some of their customers. They are doing some incredible things leveraging Dell EMC technology, especially the Dell EMC IoT solutions.
Now, of course, there's been plenty of product announcements over the course of the week, all littered with AI, ML, analytics tidbits, everything from the PowerMax with predictive analytics and machine learning built into the system, extending the value of some of their ready solutions with relationships with Intel and Nvidia. So it'll be interesting to see how they prioritize those areas of the business compared to their traditional infrastructure solutions.
Scott: While on the surface it may look like we just got a new Vmax, now Powermax, and a couple new PowerEdge servers, it's so much more than that. With PowerMax, Dell EMC is offering a scaleout NVMe-based storage architecture, designed for not only flash, but storage class memory. And if you look at the firepower that's really being created by this storage system, Dell EMC looks like they're trying to shift the storage paradigm and make the all-flash array the new mid-range option.
Dell EMC is also delivering the power as well with the PowerEdge 940xa. Dell is not only delivering all the capability and all the performance you need for those high-end databases, but they're also offering optional GPUs, really for those immerging and transformational workloads, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. And to me, I think that is really the point. If businesses need AI and machine learning to compete, well then we have to democratize the supercomputer. And with the new capabilities and new performance with PowerMax and now with PowerEdge, Dell and EMC look like they're doing just that.
Mike: So back in February, Dell EMC announced their VX block. And of course, we had some mentions about Traction in the market and things of that nature. There were also a lot of announcements around the VxRail and VxRack, VxRail, VMware Validated Designs and the VxRack software-defined data centers. They continue to emphasise a better together message with VMware and Dell EMC in Pat Gelsinger's keynote. And it was quite impressive with over 10,000 customers over the last four years.
Edwin: The first thing that we've seen, and probably the most important, is we're seeing the continual unification of the Dell Technologies brand and also the solutions. Within both of their keynotes, they did an excellent job of streaming and showing all the different Dell Technologies groups working together from Pivotal with their Cloud Foundry solutions all the way to VMware down to the varying solutions that they have for storage and networking and for servers. It's really seeing a good integration of the brands, how everything is actually working together, not just installing together or being sold together but why do you get some great synergies going back and forth.
The other impression that I got here at the show is really the maturation of what VMware is doing. For many years, VMware has invested in varying different technologies from NSX Networking to the Pivotal Technologies and container technologies. And there has been a lot of skepticism within the industry on whether or not they really are really looking to be multi-platform and being open. And I think this year, we're starting to see the fruits of that really bear out.
We're seeing the ability for the VMware Cloud Foundation to do a lot of different capabilities, do containers that are full capability, do serverless, do traditional systems, connect up to IBM, connect up to AWS. And we're gonna start seeing that shift away, I think, or the potential shift away for WMware to go beyond being driven by ESX alone and being driven by NSX and being driven by applications. So it's an incredibly exciting time for all the companies at the Dell Technologies Group. Hopefully, we'll see more from VMworld and the individual groups, and we'll go from there. And thank you.