This week I have the pleasure of attending the Dell Technologies World Conference in Las Vegas. Aside from the superb scenery, the amazing glitz and glamour of the Vegas strip, the biggest thing you notice is the Dell Tech World adverts! From the moment you get off the plane it is clear this is THE biggest thing happening in Vegas. The first general session was titled “Architects of Innovation” – led by Michael Dell, joined by various top execs from Dell and other companies. Some headlines from the keynote:
- Real Transformation
- We are entering, and will be in the “Data Era” for some time
- Two key announcements: Dell Unified Workspace & Dell Technologies Cloud
But the most interesting moment in the keynote for me was seeing Michael Dell and Pat Gelsinger inviting Satya Nadella on stage to discuss the work they are doing together – this is something that 5 years ago, we would have made a joke about, but today it’s a reality. The CEO of VMware and the CEO of Microsoft sharing the stage! For me, this visually demonstrates the seismic shift in the industry, clients are demanding mobility for their workloads – whether they are containers, Server VMs or VDI Desktops, they want to continually cost-optimise and want their developers to have the ability to mix and match components. Vendors want to ensure that they are not ruled out on the basis that they cannot enable this type of experience, to achieve that – they need to work together. And if Microsoft want to “empower people to transform” and Dell EMC want to “enable real transformation” there is a real synergy there. It speaks to a future where containerised, commoditised, cloud-based, data-driven IT is the foundation of the modern platform – delivered through a performant and secure trusted workspace at the intelligent edge.
The VxRail appliances are part of the wider SDDC (Software Defined Datacentre) offering that Dell have designed, combined with the vCenter Cloud Foundation and leveraging AWS and Azure hosted vSphere, they make up the Dell Technologies Cloud. It’s a serious contender to the public cloud in larger enterprises. Companies that have traditionally gone for on-premise infrastructure or have a requirement to leverage a CAPEX investment but want to achieve a position where they can stop managing servers, is VxRail.
The VxRail appliances effectively remove the requirement for the client’s IT team to manage the server hardware and hypervisor. The tooling around this offering is improving this year and with the introduction of ACE. Which collects metadata about the health, performance and the status of every cluster under its management. This can be on premise, in the cloud and/or in datacentres. It also uses Infrastructure Machine Learning to analyse data and drive updates, developments and risk aversions throughout the platform.
But the most compelling feature, in my opinion, is the common software/hardware vendor. Just like Apple devices, and now the Microsoft Surface devices, the VxRail hardware and software are effectively co-developed. They’re designed to work together so you have one vendor to trust, one place to raise support calls – and most powerfully, one set of updates for firmware and software! The standards you create can be applied to the entire hybrid cloud – enabling a common platform that workloads can be migrated between, seamlessly.
Microsoft also unveiled a partnership with VMware in a bid to bring more customers to its Azure cloud-computing service, emulating a pact that has benefited rival Amazon. The agreement will let VMware customers move their technology systems to Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing services, the companies said Monday in a statement. AWS struck a partnership with VMware in 2016 to lure customers. “We’re thrilled about the partnership and we’re excited about getting this into the hands of customers to get them into hybrid cloud,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer, alongside VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger. Microsoft for several years has proclaimed one advantage over AWS — the ability to serve customers who have some of their data in the cloud and some on company servers at corporate headquarters. With Amazon entering that hybrid cloud market later this year, Microsoft is bolstering its offerings to fend off its rival.
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