Dell to go Partner route for public cloud

May 20, 2013

As you may be aware Dell has been offering and hosting a public, multi-tentant IaaS cloud offering.  After getting that business off the ground and many customer conversations,  we’ve come to realize that the greatest way we can provide value for our customers is to focus our investments on more strategic components of the cloud and provide our customers with maximum choice and flexibility.

As a result, rather than building out and supporting our own multi-tenant public cloud, we will partner with companies in order to provide customers access to the cloud(s) of their choice.

Enter Enstratius

A sampling of some of the public clouds Enstratius provides access to.

A sampling of some of the public clouds Enstratius provides access to.

With our recent acquisition of Enstratius not only are we are able to provide our customers with the ability to manage and govern a multi-cloud environment but we are now able to offer access to over 20 prominent clouds from Amazon to Rackspace, to Google, to AT&T.

A new Partner Program

Beyond the partners that Enstratius provides access to, today we are also kicking off today a partner program to provide access to IaaS through an ecosystem of options.  The first three partners we are announcing are:  Joyent, Scale Matrix, Zero Lag:

  • Joyent: An IaaS provider for real-time web and mobile applications. Joyent has out-of-the-box compatibility with Enstratius’ multi-cloud management.
  • ScaleMatrix: Cloud hosting platform, Services are offered from proprietary world-class data centers, and leverage enterprise hardware, storage and cutting-edge security and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation services.
  • ZeroLag: Combines VMware-powered on-demand cloud infrastructure with professional services and custom-designed solutions.

Customers will be able to purchase products from these partners through their Dell sales representatives and you can find out more information at

Private Cloud and Project Sputnik

On the Private Cloud front nothing has changed.   We are still huge supporters of OpenStack OpenStack_200.jpg-2f65a9098a7b1dd1and will continue offering our Open Stack-based private clouds.  Additionally  we will continue to provide cloud-to-on-premise connectivity via Boomi.

On the Project Sputnik front the cloud launcher that we continue to work on is being designed to provide access to a host of clouds.

Extra-credit reading

  • Dell to Deliver Public Cloud through Partner Ecosystem – Press Release

Pau for now..

Cool Article on the Dell/Azure announcement

July 14, 2010

Monday, as part of Microsoft’s big Azure announcement, we announced that we would be both building an Azure appliance, enabling customers to build their own public or private clouds, as well as developing an Azure public cloud at Dell that our customers can use to develop and deploy next generation services on.

There has been a ton of press surrounding this move by Microsoft to broaden the market for Azure, an effort which also includes similar agreements with HP and Fujitsu. Not surprisingly, my favorite article is one by Charles King that came out yesterday in eCommerce Times — Microsoft’s Windows Azure and Dell: Blue Skies Ahead.

Check out these excerpts and you’ll see why 🙂

Dell is out of the blocks and running with Azure while its rivals are still sorting out their gym bags.

Dell’s cloud efforts tend to be one of the company’s best kept secrets. Some vendors’ continual cloud pronouncements tend to blend into a vuvuzela-like drone, but Dell has simply gotten down to the hard work of building workable commercial cloud and hyper-scale data center solutions during the past three years.

In fact, Dell was the first major vendor to launch a business unit specifically focused on the commercial cloud. By doing so, the company’s Data Center Solutions (DCS) organization has gained invaluable hands-on expertise about the specialized needs of organizations leveraging cloud technologies for applications including hosting, HPC, Web 2.0, gaming, energy social networking and SaaS. That point likely influenced Microsoft’s 2008 decision to choose Dell as a primary infrastructure partner in developing the Azure platform.

Cool stuff!

Pau for now…

Cloud White Paper now available

April 16, 2010

Our first Cloud white paper is now available and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. Being relatively new to Dell I didn’t know if I would be “compelled” to mention product in it or not but I’m happy to say that the paper focuses solely on the trends behind, and characteristics, of cloud computing . I want to give a big shout out to Intel who helped to fund this and also didn’t insist that we mention their products. 🙂

You can get “Laying the Groundwork for Private and Public Clouds” here. Note you can sign up for more info if you’d like but can get the paper without registering.

This first paper is a short and basic introduction to cloud computing. We are working on a follow-up that will pick up where this leaves off and dives deeper. Stay tuned.

Pau for now

Private Clouds: Evolutionary vs. Revolutionary

March 23, 2010

Yesterday I wrote about how IT’s portfolio of compute models will shift over the next 3-5 years.  I ended by saying that the line between virtualization and private cloud will blur and that there are two ways of getting to private cloud: Evolutionary and Revolutionary.  Intrigued?  Well then press on dear reader…

The Evolutionary Approach

The evolutionary approach starts with virtualization and is appropriate where large investments in that area have been made and when you are talking about traditional enterprise applications.   With virtualization serving as the foundation (see the graph below), additional capabilities are then layered on, such as usage-based-billing/chargeback, workload lifecycle management, dynamic resource pooling, a self-service portal for users etc.

One of the key aspects of the Evolutionary approach is that every step along the way, every capability added, brings greater efficiencies and agility.  You do not need to wait until you meet the full definition of a private cloud to derive value and you can stop anywhere along the way.

You say you want a Revolution?

The other way to get to private cloud is the Revolutionary approach.  This is appropriate for Greenfield opportunities within organizations, and is targeted at non-traditional, web 2.0 applications that are “cloud-native” (i.e. applications written in the cloud for deployment in the cloud).   These revolutionary solutions will often be delivered as an integrated, turnkey unit (see graph below).

You don’t need to choose

Rather than adopting one or the other, most organizations will use both approaches to get to private cloud.  While at this stage the evolutionary approach will be the predominate way of getting to private cloud, as more and more “new world” applications are developed in the cloud for the cloud, the balance will begin tip in favor of  the revolutionary approach.

Tune in tomorrow for a specific example of a revolutionary cloud solution (and a whole lot more 🙂

Pau for now…

The Cloud Cometh

March 22, 2010

Whether you believe in the Cloud or not, it’s coming.  That being said it’s not a phenomenon that will fill skies of IT departments tomorrow, but rather it is starting out as another tool in IT’s bag of tricks.  As time passes, cloud computing will increasingly become a greater part of the portfolio of compute models that IT departments manage, sitting alongside Traditional computing and Virtualization.

Cloud Computing Today

If you were to graph the distribution of compute models being used today by IT departments in large enterprises, it would look something like the chart below.   Today, traditional computing and virtualization are where most of the distribution lies with a little bit of flirting with the Public Cloud in the case of SaaS applications for areas like HR, CRM, email etc.  Private cloud is presently negligible.

Over the next three to five years

Over the next three to five years the above distribution will flatten out and shift to the right and will resemble the graph below. Private cloud will represent the largest compute model utilized but it will be equally flanked by virtualization and public cloud.  You’ll notice there will still be a decent amount of resources that remain in the traditional compute bucket representing applications that are not worth the effort of rewriting or converting to a cloud platform.

Evolutionary Vs. Revolutionary

One of the things to note with this new distribution is that the lines between Virtualization and Private Cloud will start to blur (there will also be a blurring between Private and Public clouds as hybrid clouds become more of a reality in the future, but that’s another story for another time).  There are two ways to go about setting up private clouds, evolutionary and revolutionary.

Tune in tomorrow and learn more about these two approaches and how they differ.  🙂

Pau for now…

Microsoft, Virtualization and the Cloud

January 4, 2010

Happy New Year to all!   For the first week of this new year I’m going to focus on virtualization and the cloud.

Kicking off this mini-series is an interview I did last month at the Gartner DataCenter conference with David Greschler, director of virtualization strategy at Microsoft.  I caught up with David right after his talk at the conference.

Some of the topics David tackles:

  • The ability to treat IT as a service.  Before virtualization, specific workloads were tied to specific devices.  Thanks to virtualization you can create pooled resources which is the beginning of IT as a service.
  • Microsoft’s Dynamic Data Center Toolkit:  This tool overlays on top of HyperV and System Center (their management tool) and allows you to look at and manage your own datacenter as a pool of compute power.  It  is a step towards the private cloud and can also be used by hosters.  It will also allow for moving workloads between public and private clouds.
  • Microsoft is focusing on giving you knowledge at the app level.  System Center tells you whats going on inside not just at the hypervisor level.
  • Windows Azure:  a large scale cloud that you can use to build apps for and have hosted on this environment.
  • The ability also to take workloads into Azure over time.
  • Image based Management: Taking the  technology of  the desktop-targeted App V and applying it to the server.  Will allow you to encapsulate apps and move them from one OS to another without having to re-install them.  You will no longer have 1000s and 1000s of virtualized images that you will have to manage and monitor, instead you will very few golden images of these VMs and you will be able to simply put these workloads in and take them out.

Extra credit viewing:

Stay tuned next time for Dan Chu of VMware to hear what they are up to.

Pau for now…

Dell & the Cloud: Where we’ve been, Where we’re going

December 18, 2009

They say turn around is fair play.  Kevin Hazard of the Planet recently took this literally.  No sooner had I finished interviewing him at the Cloud Expo in Santa Clara then he turned around and pointed his camera at me.  He got me talking about the cloud and what the heck Dell’s doing in it.

Some of the topics I tackle:

  • What I do as Dell’s Cloud Evangelist.
  • Where Dell plays in the cloud:
    • Cloud based services providing IT management as a service.
    • Building these capabilities through the acquisition of four companies over the last two years:  MessageOne, ASAP, Everdream and Silverback.
    • Creating custom servers as well as providing data center design and implementation for some of the world’s largest “hyper-scale” customers e.g. Microsoft’s Azure and three out of the top five search engines in the U.S.
  • What’s next:  building on this experience to offer integrated cloud solutions for setting up private and public clouds.  Combining Dell hardware and services with best of breed software — all coming from/supported by Dell.
  • My thoughts on Public vs. Private clouds and how we will end up with a mix of computing models.

Extra Credit Reading

Pau for now…

Stoneware: Developing & Selling Private Cloud Software

November 23, 2009

At the cloud expo in Santa Clara earlier this  month I ran into Rick German, CEO of Stoneware, Inc.  I had previously heard of Stoneware since they are partnering with Dell on a cloud offering for education but I knew that was just one area in which they played.  I sat down with Rick and learned about all they did.

Some of the topics Rick tackles:

  • Helping customers to build their own private clouds within their data centers and enabling them to plug in their own windows and webhosted apps (plugging public cloud apps into the data center).  Taking orgs from client-centric to web-centric.
  • Delivery via a virtual web desktop accessed from a plethora of browsers:  Firefox, IE, Chrome, Opera and Safari.
  • Stoneware’s 10-year history and how the advent of “cloud-o-mania” has helped or hurt them.
  • What to look for from Stoneware in the year ahead.

Pau for now…

Gartner’s Bittman: Private Cloud’s value as Stepping Stone

October 23, 2009

NoBigSwitchYesterday Gartner distinguished analyst Tom Bittman, who covers cloud computing and virtualization,  posted some thoughts and observations from the Gartner Symposium in Orlando.

Private Cloud-o-maina

Based on Tom’s observations, private cloud (however defined) seems to have captured the hearts and minds of IT.  Before he began his talk on virtualiztion he did a quick poll asking how many in the audience considered private cloud computing to be a core strategy of theirs.  75% raised their hands.  While not overly scientific, that’s a pretty big number.

Little Miss Appropriation

The logical next question one may ask is what do people mean when they say “private cloud.”  According to Tom the three most common ways private clouds are being (mis) described are:

  • IT defending its turf: Shared services that were being re-labelled as private clouds (but without a self-service interface, or much automation at all)
  • Vendors defending their products: Old products being re-labelled as private clouds in a box (I described most of these as “lipstick on a pig”)
  • Advanced server virtualization deployments: Although few have a true self-service interface, the intention is certainly there

So it looks like there is quite a bit of misappropriation of the term.  However,  as we previously learned,  just because there is hype and misuse of terms, doesn’t mean there isn’t value in the concept of “private cloud.”  The question is what is that value?

Tom sees private cloud’s value as a means to end and concludes his post by saying

The challenge with private cloud computing, of course, is to dispel the vendor hype and the IT protectionism that is hiding there, and to ensure the concept is being used in the right way – as a stepping-stone to public cloud… [italics mine]

(I’m not your) Stepping Stone

This is where I disagree.  I believe that while private cloud can be a path to the public cloud, it can also be an end unto itself.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) we will always have heterogeneous environments and in the future that will mean a mixture of  traditional IT, virtualized resources, private clouds and public clouds.  In some case workloads will migrate from virtualizaiton out to the public cloud but in other cases they will stop along the way and decide to stay.

IT will become more efficient and more agile as the cloud evolves but there will be no Big Switch (see above illustration), it (IT) will need to manage a portfolio of computing models.

Pau for now…

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