Sputnik turns 6! Presenting the folks behind it

November 29, 2018

Six years ago today the first Project Sputnik system appeared on dell.com.

It all started at the beginning of 2012 with a pitch to an internal innovation committee.  A month after the pitch, on the ides of March, the committee gave the go ahead for an exploratory project to test out the idea of a developer laptop.

The original XPS 13 developer edition

Thanks to the interest and support of the community, eight months later, the project became a product.

On November 29, 2012 the Dell XPS 13 developer edition was born.

 

It takes a village

Beyond the developer community, the reason why Project Sputnik is alive and thriving today is because of the support, both official and unofficial, from dozens of people across Dell.

These individuals have come from marketing, engineering, sales, finance, PR, operations… Here are some of the key contributors over the last six years

From then to now

With help from the folks above, Project Sputnik has continued to evolve.

The XPS 13 developer edition, which debuted with only one config and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, is now in its 7th generation, comes with Ubuntu 18.04 and boasts multiple configurations.  Along the way the project also expanded when the Linux-based mobile Precision workstation line joined the effort.

This year was a particularly busy one for the project with new versions of all five Sputnik platforms launching:

Thanks

Thanks once again to the community and everyone within Dell who has driven Project Sputnik from idea, to product, to product line.

Stay tuned and see where we go next!

 

Project Sputnik timeline

2012

  • Project Sputnik announced — May 7, 2012
  • Project Sputnik to go from Pilot to Product — July 18, 2012
  • 1st gen Dell XPS 13 developer edition in the US — November 29, 2012

2013

  • 2nd gen developer edition in US and Europe — February 18, 2013
  • 3rd gen developer edition in US along with instructions on getting Ubuntu up and running on a Precision 3800 mobile workstation — November 15, 2013
  • 3rd gen developer edition in US and Europe — December 20, 2013 

2015

  • Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation joins Project Sputnik  — January 27, 2015
  • 4th gen Dell XPS 13 developer edition in US and Europe — April 9, 2015

2016

  • 5th gen XPS 13 Developer Edition in US, Ubuntu-based Workstations (5510, 3510, 7510, 7720) available worldwide — March 3, 2016
  • 5th gen XPS 13 developer edition in Europe — March 31, 2016
  • 6th gen XPS 13 Developer Edition in Europe and US — October 04, 2016

2017

  • Next gen Ubuntu-based Precision line-up announced, 5520 and 3520 available — January 9, 2017
  • Precision 7520 and 7720 available — March 18, 2017
  • Precision All-in-One available – April 18

2018

  • 7th gen XPS 13 Developer Edition in Europe and US – January 4
  • Next gen Precision line announced, 3530 available – March 24
  • Precision 7530 and 7730 available – July 2
  • XPS 13 developer edition upgrades to 18.04 – July 27
  • Precision 5530 available – August 31

(For a detailed project history please see last year’s 5th anniversary blog)

Extra-credit reading: news and reviews

Overall program

  • An update from Dell’s Barton George on their Linux initiative Sputnik – Linux Unplugged (starts at 40min)

XPS 13 developer edition

 

Precision xx30 developer edition line

  • Dell Precision 5530 with Ubuntu Review – Linux Unplugged (review starts at ~36min and goes to ~52min)
  • Dell Precision 5530, Ubuntu Pre-Installed – This Week in Linux  (13:44)
  • Dell Unveils New Ubuntu Laptops — OMG!UBUNTU!
  • Dell Precision ‘Developer Edition’ mobile workstations run Ubuntu Linux and are RHEL certified – betanews
  • Dell refreshes Precision laptops with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed – ZDnet
  • Dell stuffs Intel Coffee Lake CPUs and Ubuntu into latest Precision workstations – The Inquirer
  • Dell launches new Precision mobile workstation line-up powered by Ubuntu – Softpedia
  • Dell Precision 5530 sale a la venta con Ubuntu y certificado para RHEL » MuyLinux
  • Welcome the new Dell Precision developer editions – Barton’s blog
  • Developer Editions of Precision Workstations Now Available — Direct2DellEMC
  • Introducing the Dell Precision 7530 and 7730 with Ubuntu — Ubuntu blog
  • Precision Developer Editions 7530/7730 now online — Welcome the power pair – Barton’s blog

Pau for now…


Installation details for Joyent’s Triton — Dell CTO lab

January 20, 2016

Here is our third and final post walking through the setting up of the Joyent Triton platform in the Dell CTO lab.  In the first post, Don Walker of the CTO office gave an overview of what we were doing and why.  The second laid out the actual components and configuration of the platform.

Today’s video is a walk-through of the installation process where Don shares his experience in setting up the Triton Platform.

When we pick this series up again it will focus on containerizing Dell’s Active System Manager and then loading it on Triton.  Not sure how long this work will take so stay tuned!

Some of the ground Don covers:

  • Before installing Triton, you need networking set up and working.  Don double clicks on the network configuration and what we did to make sure it was working.
  • Step one in installing Triton, is to create a bootable USB key and install the head node.  There is a scripted set up which is dead simple. Lays down SmartOS and Triton services
  • Compute node install is also scripted which contains a lot of the info you entered during the head node configuration.  After this you run acceptance tests
  • Great support from Joyent with a couple of small issues we had
    • Unacceptable character in pswd. This info was fed back to the devs and is now fixed.
    • We forgot to disable the SATA port and kept getting error messages. Once we disabled it, it worked.
  • Reference: Installing Triton Elastic Container Infrastructure — Joyent website

Extra credit reading

Pau for now…


The platform supporting Joyent’s Triton — Dell CTO lab

January 19, 2016

Continuing from the previous post, here is a more detailed explanation of the Joyent Triton platform we set up in the CTO lab.  Triton is Joyent’s elastic container infrastructure that runs on their cloud, a private cloud or both.

The idea behind setting up this instance is, working with Joyent, to learn about the platform.  The next step is to work with the Dell Active System Manager (ASM) team to decompose ASM into microservices and then run it on the Triton platform.

Take a listen as Don walks through the actual layout of the instance.

Some of the ground Don covers

  • Our minimalist set-up featuring two Dell R730 servers (the schematic only shows one for simplicity. An R730 contains two 520s).  Don explains how they are configured and how ZFS affects the set up.
  • The two Dell Force 10 S6000 switches.
  • A double-click on the networking set up
  • The roles the compute and head nodes (the head node acts as the admin into the system).
  • Reference: Installing Triton Elastic Container Infrastructure — Joyent website

Extra credit reading

Pau for now…


Intro: Setting up Joyent’s Triton in Dell’s CTO lab

January 18, 2016

A while back I tweeted how we had begun setting up a mini-instance of Joyent’s Triton in our Dell CTO lab.  Triton is Joyent’s elastic container infrastructure that runs on their cloud, a private cloud or both.  This cloud platform includes OS and machine virtualization (e.g. Docker with regards to the former and typical VMs under KVM for the latter).

About a week ago we got the platform set up about and I grabbed sometime with Don Walker of Dell’s enterprise CTO office to tell us about it.

In this first of three videos, Don gives an overview of the work Dell is doing with Joyent.  He describes what we’ve set up in the lab and talks about where we hope to take it.

Some of the ground Don covers

  • Don’s focus on Open Source Cloud eg Open Stack, containers, cloud networking and storage solutions
  • What the enterprise CTO office does
  • What we’re doing with Joyent: evaluating Triton and the process of taking existing products and put them into microservices and containers.
  • Looking at Dell’s ASM (Active System Manager) and what it means to refactor for microservices and containers
  • Overview of what was set up in the lab: a minimalist 2 node instance consisting of head and compute nodes.

Extra credit reading

Pau for now…


Incorporating DevOps into the development of Dell’s Active System Manager

November 5, 2015

As Dell as a company continues to evolve we have started implementing DevOps practices in our software development.   Dell IT is employing DevOps as are some of our product development teams.

In the following video, systems engineer Chris Gully explains how Dell’s Active System Manager has incorporated DevOps into its development. (the audio could be a bit better so you’ll have to crank it up a bit for Chris 🙂

Some of the ground Chris covers:

  • What is the Dell Active Systems Manager (ASM)
  • Putting the ASM code up on GitHub
  • Their path from Dev -> IT -> Ops -> Customer -> Feedback
  • What were some of the issues the team had to overcome when implementing

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Meet the project Sputnik team + Case Study

July 29, 2015

The other day Canonical came to Dell for a show and tell.  The Sputnik team, normally located in various buildings in Austin and Round Rock, all found ourselves in attendance at the event.  Here is a quick meet-the-team video introducing ourselves, saying where we’re from and declaring our favorite TV show.

Additionally,  here is a short case study giving the Project Sputnik history.

Pau for now…


What type of customers utilize Dell’s IoT lab

May 5, 2015

Here is the second in a series of four blog entries focusing on Dell’s Internet of Things lab in Santa Clara, California.  Following the overall overview in the last entry, today’s post focuses on the customers who utilize the IoT laboratory.

Product Technologist, Raja Tamilarasan explains how customers of all sizes, from small start-ups to large telcos utilize the lab. He talks about how the customers utilize the lab and what levels of individuals within those companies attend.

Two to go

With two down, there are two more entries on tap:

  • Dell’s smart building demo (parts 1 & 2)
  • Dell’s IoT data center

Extra-credit reading

 

Pau for now…

 


App Think Tank: Cloud vs. hyperscale

May 7, 2014

This is the final video clip from the Dell Services Application think tank held earlier this year.  Today’s clip features the always enlightening and entertaining Jimmy Pike.  Jimmy, who is a Senior Fellow at Dell and was once called the Willy Wonka of servers, was one of the 10 panelists at the Think Tank where we discussed the challenges of the new app-centric world.

In this clip, Jimmy talks about the fundamental differences between “purpose-built hyperscale” and the cloud environments that most organizations use.

As Jimmy points out, when moving to the cloud it is important to first understand your business requirements and what your SLAs need to be.

If you’re interested in hearing what else Jimmy has to say, check out this other clip from the think tank,  The persistently, ubiquitously connected to the network era.

The Think Tank, Sessions one and two

  • Think Tank Session 1– Welcome to the application-centric world – best practices in the ‘greenfield’
  • Think tank Session 2– Nexus of forces – CIOs under pressure and the rise of the enterprise developer

Extra-credit reading (previous videos)

Pau for now…


Talking to the Docker Dudes

September 12, 2013

This morning a group of us here at Dell met with Ben Golub, Jerome Petazzoni and Nick Stinemates of dotCloud, the company behind the wildly popular open source project, Docker, “the Linux container engine.”  They came to sample the great barbecue and to chat about how Docker might potentially work with Project Sputnik, the Crowbar Project and a few other efforts.

Docker, which went live in March already has 150 contributors, 60,000+ downloads and 1000s of applications containerized and uploaded to their registry.   Given the fact that the company only has 18 employees, quite a bit of this work has been done by the passionate community that has formed in the first six months.

Overview and Tech talk

I did two interviews with the gents from Docker, a higher level overview with Ben their CEO and a more technical talk with SRE manager Jerome and Nick, their sales and deployment engineer.  Enjoy!

Some of the ground Ben covers:

  • What is Docker?
  • How it developed out of dotCloud’s PaaS efforts
  • How Ben got involved with the project and his background
  • What are dotCloud’s plans for Docker and who is integrating with it?

Some of the ground Jerome and Nick cover:

  • How long they’ve been involved and what they focus on
  • How Docker works with LXC and how it might work without LXC
  • Ubuntu is recommended but all you need is AUFS support
  • In next release they plan to offer official support beyond Ubuntu
  • Holy DevOps batman, Docker has something to offer Devs, QA Engineers, Continuos  integration and Sys Ops.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Project Sputnik to go from Pilot to Product

July 18, 2012

A couple of weeks ago we announced a Beta program for the four-month old Project Sputnik — an effort to investigate creating a developer focused laptop based on Ubuntu and Dell’s XPS13 laptop.

Since the beta announcement we have received thousands of applications from around the world.  This tremendous response, on top of fantastic amount of input we have received on the Project Sputnik storm session, has convinced us to take this project from pilot to product.

This fall we will be offering an Ubuntu 12.04LTS-based laptop pre-loaded on Dell’s XPS13 laptop.

Going from skunk works to mainstream

Back in the Spring, project Sputnik was the first effort green-lighted by an internal incubation program at Dell.  Thanks to the incubation program we got a little bit of funding and some executive advisers.  This incubation program notwithstanding, project Sputnik  has been a pretty scrappy skunk works effort to date.

The idea behind the incubation program is to harness that scrappiness and inventiveness to explore & validate new ideas & products outside mainstream Dell processes. Thanks to the tremendous amount of support both outside (you, the community!) and inside Dell,  with today’s announcement, we will begin making our transition to an official, “mainstream” Dell product.

  I should also mention, if its not obvious, that we have not been doing the work alone. Canonical  has been “scrappin” right besides us, helping to drive the project and doing a ton of engineering on the software side.

Beta program

As I mentioned at the start we have been completely blown away by the number of applications we have received.  We’re currently working through logistics of how to handle the tons of applications, we’ll notify all applicants soon, and intend to keep that process and the future product aligned with the spirit of the program.

To make sure that we are listening to your ideas, please continue to post any thoughts about what you would like to see in a developer laptop on our Storm session.   If you have an XPS13 running Ubuntu and want to share your experience or report a bug or issue, see our forum on Dell Tech center.

For more information on the program see the Project Sputnik FAQ

Thanks everyone for all the interest and passion, stay tuned as we push forward!

Reference: current solution details

Hardware

The solution is based on the high-end configuration of the Dell XPS13 laptop.

Software

Available now

  • drivers/patches for Hardware enablement
  • basic offering of key tools and utilities

Coming soon

  • Profile tool: a software management tool to go out to a github repository to pull down various developer profiles e.g. javascript, ruby, android.
  • Cloud tool: will allow developers to create “microclouds” on their laptops, simulating a proper, at-scale environment, and then deploy that environment seamlessly to the cloud.

Extra-credit reading

  • Press release: Dell Demonstrates Commitment to Open Source Software, Developer Communities
  • Dell Tech Center: Sputnik wiki
  • PC World — Dell’s Ubuntu‬ Laptop Program Enters Beta, ‘Blows Away’ Expectations
  • Initial thoughts on Project Sputnik from O’Reilly’s Mike Hendrickson
  • Transcript from last week’s Sputnik chat on Tech Center

Pau for now…


IDC starts tracking the hyperscale server market

March 26, 2012

In a recent post that highlighted the demise of the midrange  server market, Timothy Prickett Morgan talked about the new server classification that IDC has just started tracking, “Density-optimized”:

These are minimalist server designs that resemble blades in that they have skinny form factors but they take out all the extra stuff that hyperscale Web companies like Google and Amazon don’t want in their infrastructure machines because they have resiliency and scale built into their software stack and have redundant hardware and data throughout their clusters….These density-optimized machines usually put four server nodes in a 2U rack chassis or sometimes up to a dozen nodes in a 4U chassis and have processors, memory, a few disks, and some network ports and nothing else per node.

Source: IDC -- Q3 2011 Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker

Here are the stats that Prickett Morgan calls out (I particularly like the last bullet :-):

  • By IDC’s reckoning these dense servers accounted for $458 million in sales, up 33.8 percent in a global server market that fell by 7.2 percent to $14.2 billion in the quarter.
  • Density optimized machines accounted for 132,876 servers in the quarter, exploding 51.5 percent, against the overall market, which comprised 2.2 million shipments and rose 2 percent.
  • Dell, by the way, owns this segment, with 45.2 percent of the revenue share, followed up by Hewlett-Packard with 15.5 percent of that density-optimized server pie.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


SXSW: Our Saturday night Dev/tech meet up

March 12, 2012

During SXSW Michael Cote and I, on behalf of Dell, organized a series of mini meet-ups focusing on developers, tech and social media folks.  The second event we held was on Saturday on the top level of Speakeasy.  Being Saturday night, this turned out to be the biggest of the three get togethers.

Here is a small sampling of the folks who dropped by (notice the atmospheric lighting, for half of them they were literally lit by candle light):

The Line up

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


The Value of Cloud Computing

January 5, 2012

Before the holidays I posted the first of three videos that Dell and Intel put together around cloud computing.  These videos are part of a larger series around key topics like IT reinvention, the consumerization of IT, social media etc.

This second video features myself, Dell’s VP of Platform marketing Sally Stevens and John Pereira, Intel’s director of data center and hosting.

Some of the ground we cover

  • Cloud as a component of a larger portfolio of compute models
  • Small companies and the power of the cloud (Animoto case study)
  • How much of IT spend goes towards maintenance and how can we lower this
  • Hardware abstraction and the value it brings

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Where Dell plays in the Cloud and how we got there

November 3, 2011

One of the interviews I did at Dell World was a video with IT in Canada.   I did the video with Paul Cooper, Dell’s country manager for Canada.

In the first half of the video I talk about how Dell got into the cloud and where we play in the space.  In the second half Paul talks about the roll the telcos will play in the delivery of cloud services in Canada as well as issues around privacy and data sovereignty.

Check it out.

From the article itself, here’s a great summary of our cloud participation and shows how we have built, bought and partnered along the way:

Dell’s excursion into cloud began with organic development of server and data centre capability in specialized systems to meet the needs of large cloud providers (Facebook, Microsoft Azure and Bing), progressed through modification of these systems for marketing to the “next 1,000”, and shifted to partnership with software makers such as Joyent to develop complete cloud solutions, and with companies such as VMware for the creation of a full service public cloud offering.

Supporting acquisitions along the way include companies with specific capabilities such as SecureWorks, which was purchased to address web security concerns that continue to dog broader cloud adoption, and BOOMI, a specialist in cloud integration, which enables Dell to better service customers who adopt a hybrid cloud approach to sourcing compute resources.

Extra-Credit reading


Cote’s first 10 days at Dell

August 25, 2011

A few weeks ago Michael Cote joined Dell from the excellent analyst firm, Redmonk which focuses on software and developers.  Cote who spent five plus years with Redmonk has joined Dell in our corporate strategy group, focusing on software.  I for one am very glad he’s here and feel that he’s joined at the right time in Dell’s trajectory to make a big impact.

I grabbed some time with him to get his initial thoughts and impressions.  Here are his thoughts both witty and wise.

[Note: So there’s no confusion, this Michael Cote is Dell’s second Michael Cote.  The first is the the former CEO of SecureWorks which Dell acquired.]

Some of the ground Cote covers:

  • Intro: Man is it hot, Cote’s background
  • (0:34) Why Cote made the move: going to the other side of the fence
  • (1:55) What is his new position and what will he be doing: his cloudy focus
  • (2:44) His first impressions: serious about solutions
  • (5:18) What his big goal is while at Dell

Extra-credit reading:


Dell opens Customer Solutions Center in Austin

July 14, 2011

Back in April, Dell announced that it was making a billion dollar investment to further drive its evolution from a systems to a services company.  Specifically we talked about delivering a raft of new solutions, launching 10 cloud data centers around the world and building out a global network of solutions centers.

The solution centers are customer facing facilities that will act as a “living lab” providing an environment and the support for customers to architect, build and test proof of concepts involving Dell products, services and solutions.  The centers will also support solution integration, technical briefings and validation and ISV certification to meet regional requirements.  Last month the first of these centers were opened in Limerick, Ireland and Shanghai.

This morning the first US solutions center opened at Dell HQ here in Austin.  Here is a short montage of the opening ceremonies.

Contents

  • The crowd
  • (0:16) Opening Remarks: Jan Uhrich VP of Dell Services
  • (1:12) Steve Schuckenbrock, President, Dell Services — How the center fits in Dell’s strategy and transformation
  • (3:51) Paul Bell, President Dell Public and Large Enterprise — A couple of customer examples of large organizations who had early access to the facility and what they accomplished.
  • (6:26) William Collins, Head of the Austin Solution Center — The next two centers to open in the U.S.
  • (7:3o) Ribbon cutting

After the ribbon cutting I took the tour to see some of the solutions on display.  I’ll be posting those in the days to come.  Stay tuned!

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Citrix to launch OpenStack Distro (with a little help from Rackspace and Dell)

May 25, 2011

Today at Citrix Synergy, Citrix announced “Project Olympus,” their up coming OpenStack distribution.  In case you’re not familiar with it, OpenStack is an open source cloud platform based on the code from NASA’s Nebula cloud as well as Rackspace’s storage code.  The OpenStack project kicked of last summer and already has gathered support from over 60 commercial hardware and software vendors.

Mt. Olympus and the Cloud

Citrix’s OpenStack Distro

Citrix’s Project Olympus will produce a commercial distribution of the OpenStack infrastructure-as-a-service platform.  This “Olympian” distribution will be made up of two main components: a Citrix-certified version of OpenStack and a cloud-optimized version of XenServer.  While Citrix will lead with their Xen technology, thanks to OpenStack the distro will support all leading hypervisors.

Project Olympus is targeted at both public cloud providers as well as enterprise customers looking to build out private clouds.  The distribution will be available later this year.

But I want it now — The Citrix/Rackspace/Dell Early Access Program

For those who don’t want to wait until the official distribution is ready, don’t fret you can get started today through the Early Access Program (EAP).  The EAP is designed to help customers kick-off pilots and proof-of-concept deployments.  The program provides access to a beta version of the Citrix distro plus Dell hardware and deployment software as well as deployment services, training and on going customer support for customer clouds via Rackspace’s Cloud Builders program.

To get going with Citrix’s Project Olympus Early Access Program, please visit  http://www.citrix.com/olympus

Dell, Crowbar and Reference Architectures

Dell’s above-mentioned deployment software, aka “crowbar,” was a big hit at the last OpenStack Design summit.  The software which leverages Opscode’s Chef, allows folks to get an Openstack cloud up in running in less than four hours (instead of  days).  In addition to the deployment software and systems, to support the project Olympus EAP, Dell will also be providing reference architectures so keep your eyes peeled for those.

If you have any questions about what Dell is doing with OpenStack or want to get started, email us at OpenStack@Dell.com.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


GigaOm names the top 50 Cloud Innovators

May 23, 2011

As a run up to next months Structure conference,  GigaOm has put together a list of the top 50 companies “that are influencing how the cloud and infrastructure evolves.”  Those who made the list, entitled The Structure 50, are described as follows

These are the ones to watch — at least in 2011. You’ve heard of some – such as Amazon or Dell. Others – such as Nicira or Boundary – are probably not yet on your radar. But they should be. All of these companies, big or small, have people, technology or strategies that will help shape the way the cloud market is developing and where it will eventually end up.

Dell’s Bio

For each of the 50, GigaOm has put together a short “bio.”  Here is the entry for Dell:

Founded 1984
Investors Public Company
Structure50 Topic Data Center
Description Dell is among the world’s biggest server, storage and PC vendors, although the company has turned much of its focus to cloud computing software.
GigaOM’s Take Dell has made heavy investments in cloud computing, ranging from dense, low-power servers for cloud data centers to software acquisitions and OEM deals that provide cutting-edge management capabilities. Going forward, Dell has plans to provide both Windows Azure- and OpenStack-based cloud services.

Looking forward to Structure 11

Members of the Dell cloud team, including myself, will be out in force at Structure 11.  We will have a booth and Forrest Norrod, the GM of Dell’s Next Generation Computing Solutions division will be speaking on a panel.  Forrest’s panel, entitled “The Economics of Open Everything,” will focus on OpenStack and Cloud Foundry as two specific initiatives built around open source.

If you find yourself at Structure swing by the booth or seek one of us out.  Its a pretty intimate conference and we shouldn’t be too hard to find.

Pau for now…

Extra-credit reading


Day 2 of Dell’s analyst event and an SMB perspective from IDC’s Ray Boggs

May 5, 2011

Yesterday was day two of Dell’s two-day industry analyst summit which was held at the W hotel in Austin Texas.  The event brought together over 100 analysts from around the world to hear to about the company’s strategy and vision from Dell’s top execs.

The second day kicked off with a presentation by the President of Dell Services, Steve Schuckenbrock which was then followed by a panel moderated by Michael Dell himself.  The panel that Michael moderated was made up of the heads of four software companies Dell has recently acquired: Boomi, SecureWorks, KACE and Compellent.  The general sessions then concluded with a tag-team presentation by Dell’s CMO Karen Quintos and Andy Lark, VP of global marketing for Public and Large Enterprise.  Karen and Andy’s presentation covered Dell’s brand efforts and marketing initiatives in 2011.

Beyond the general sessions

After the general sessions, the rest of the afternoon featured a series of smaller breakout sessions as well as packed agenda of 1:1’s with analysts and Dell execs.  Between his one one-on-one’s I was able to grab some time with analyst Ray Boggs, VP of IDC‘s SMB and Home office research and get his take on the event:

Some of the ground Ray covers:

  • What were Ray’s expectations coming into the event and to what extent did Dell meet or miss those expectations
  • The key role the medium sized company plays in Dell’s strategy
  • Dell doubling down on acquisitions and R&D
  • What are Ray’s clients asking him about Dell
  • What would Ray like to see from Dell going forward

Extra-credit reading:

Pau for now…


Dell’s Analyst Event – Summary of day 1 and feedback from Redmonk’s Michael Cote

May 3, 2011

Today at the W hotel in Austin, Dell held its bi-annual analyst summit.  Today’s event is the third in a series of analyst functions organized around the theme “Services and Solutions for the Virtual Era.”  The first event was held in San Francisco in March of last year and the second came six months later in Boston.

Today’s program

Today’s event was broken into three sections.  The first section featured presentations by

  • Karen Quintos, SVP and CMO
  • Dave Johnston, SVP Corporate Strategy
  • Brian Gladden, CFO
  • Steve Felice, President, Consumer, Small and Medium Business
  • Paul Bell, President, Public and Large enterprise

In the case of Steve and Paul they also each featured a couple of customers on stage.

The second section was a solutions panel moderated by Brad Anderson, SVP of Enterprise solutions and featured members of his team who manage strategy, storage, networking and computing platforms.  The final section of the day was also a panel.  This featured the GM of Dell China, the head of Dell’s OEM business, Dell’s GM of Public and Large Enterprise in Europe, Middle East and Africa, the head of Dell Channels and the GM of Dell Small and Medium business solutions.

How did we do?

To see how the event came across, I grabbed some time with Redmonk analyst Michael Cote and we sat down for a chat (I’m hoping to grab more analyst  feedback at day two tomorrow):

Some of the ground Michael covers:

  • What his clients ask him about Dell and what, as a result was he looking for today
  • Dell’s focus on solutions and de-emphasis on technology
  • Is Dell putting on its big boy pants?
  • The value of expanding on Dell’s success in select verticals

Pau for now…


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