Dell came to CloudOPs with the Alpine project

Using the Alpine control plane, Dell Technologies is working on porting its core storage solutions (files, blocks and objects) to CloudOPs ’AWS, Azure and GCP platforms.

Live from Las Vegas – At traditional IT conventions in Las Vegas or elsewhere, suppliers often place projects before the stage in the form of prototypes or conceptual demonstrations. In 2012, we discovered EMC’s X project, a full flash storage array designed using XtremIO, in 2013 the ViPR virtual controller, still in EMC, and in 2013 the mysterious Data Fabric vision in NetApp … Still possible we mention the Tatouine project at Dell Technologies – still in stheal mode – for HPC as a Service, but since last January, Texan has been in talks with the Alpine project, which aims to bring its core storage solutions closer to public cloud ecosystem by acting as a virtual storage array with a twist of CloudOPs. “We integrated them into a distributed platform and got the underlying tools, with the ability to move applications, data, containers, with a framework that connects them and orchestrates everything this, ”explains Jeff Clarke, vice president and co-COO of Dell Technologies. This is for Texan suppliers to better compete with companies like NetApp and Ontap that offer three major cloud providers, or Pure Storage with its Cloud Block Store platform.

Similar to a control plane, the Alpine project aims to bring Dell’s file management software, block and object capacities to three major public clouds. More specifically, these are the PowerProtect, PowerStore, PowerScale, PowerFlex and ObjectScale platforms, which will be able to work on the same console, but over AWS, Azure and GCP hardware resources. Dell’s file, block and object storage services are therefore available in the marketplaces of the three cloud giants. A technical manager of Dell Technologies, Jay Krone told us at DellTechWorld that the Alpine console – which is dedicated to managing block resources, files and objects – was developed by the Apex Cloud team. This explains why the interfaces of the two consoles are so close. This console provides a gateway to three cloud storage providers with a choice of regions available for deployment, configuration and evolution of the resources used. Alpine will work in on-premise and cloud mode according to business needs. Jake Krone doesn’t know, however, if the console will be expandable to other cloud service providers: Alibaba Cloud or Rackspace.

Alpine project information was announced step by step. (Dell Credit)

The block before the file and the object

Of the five platforms expected over time with automation functions in cloudOPs mode, the first to be delivered is PowerProtect, which confirms Dell’s commitment to cloud data protection using Cyber ​​Sense and Cyber Recovery initiatives. Travis Vigil, vice president managing Infrastructure Solutions Group at Technologies, explained to us that the next solution expected this year on the Alpine platform is the blockchain, but that doesn’t include a surprise because the development teams are separate and work similarly. . . “The file and the object may also arrive faster than expected.”

“Support for cloud service provider APIs is just the first step in a real multicloud world,” Jake Krone told us on the show. “The S3, for example, has the same problem as Posix (Portable Operating System Interface) yesterday. Everything is compatible with Posix, but it’s not that easy to move an application from one Posix system to another. There are differences. between different interpretations of the S3 protocol, which is not a standard, but an AWS technology.As Jake Krone showed us in a demonstration on the show, it is possible to manage the nodes of an Isilon cluster (now PowerScale) to the public cloud and move it to another platform if necessary.The underlying interface remains in Isilon, but the Alpine console softens command line operations.It will also be possible to prioritize data on-premises and in the public cloud with many levels of maintenance.

With the Alpine project, Dell Technologies aims to catch up with the world of CloudOPs with an overlay capable of managing home storage solutions in the public cloud. The battle is just beginning, but developers are demanding more agility and dynamism for their apps. And, when customers ask for something …

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