Dell Technologies World 2022: a new growth strategy, the cloud and 2025 visible

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In early May, Dell Technologies organized its main annual conference in Las Vegas. A 2022 edition under the sign of “software defined” and multi-cloud storage. A strategy that the American wants to push to its professional customers.

Dell is going through an important period, the company has just passed a few turbulent years, after the acquisition of EMC, the return to the stock market and the separation from VMWare. Michael Dell and his teams have a lot to do to restore order and define a new strategy. Its annual meeting is therefore an opportunity to say a little more about their plans for the coming years.

They go through a better consideration of the software and developer layers, which is now seen as the foundation of the group’s B2B strategy. Because if the PC has long been the main center of attention, servers and the public cloud are gaining ground, especially in the health crisis and a more hybrid approach to business work.

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Therefore, it represents the majority of the event, even upstream, there was talk about a 13 “laptop PC (2560 x 1600 pixels, touch screen with Gorilla 6 DX) of 2-in-1 Latitude 9330 type, which includes a 12th generation Core processor, up to 32 GB of LPDDR5, 6E wifi and possibly enough to manage the mobile network, but also more “responsible” materials, features that strengthen security and respect for privacy, a touchpad with shortcuts to (de) activate the microphone, the camera, start a conversation or screen sharing.It should be available in the summer, at a price that remains to be determined.

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Developers, Developers, Developers

Therefore, the new Dell is well supported by the move towards hybrid work and the cloud with its customers and their teams. A choice that seems smart as the DevOps trend takes on a premise, that developers are now managing to automate and manage part of the infrastructure (sometimes as code).

An evolution driven by the increasing use of containers, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) in the cloud and open solutions such as Kubernetes. Dell also accepted it through one that is now a partner: VMWare and the Tanzu offer.

With a determined multi-cloud offer the American wants to position himself as a player that is both present to professionals and has major platforms, while he is an independent third-party player, even offering himself its cloud offer. public Apex.

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Michael Dell recalled in his keynote that companies are already using both on-premise and public cloud services, sometimes from three or four different providers. Their approach is multi-cloud, they just lack the tools to make their lives easier.

We should also consider the trend towards peripheral data processing (edge ​​computing) which will gain momentum among companies in the coming years. For Dell, by 2025, it will be concerned with more than 75% of processing rather than through servers in datacenters in the traditional way or an offer in the cloud. It should also slightly drive its growth over the next three years, which is estimated at 26%.

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Data protection and multi-cloud, Alpine coming soon

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One of the important bricks of this technique is of course in the field of security, through the offer of Cyber ​​Recovery. Dell wants, as its name implies, to offer tools to protect and/or restore its customers ’data in the event of a problem, wherever they are.

Thus, this solution is offered within the in-house public offering in the cloud through Recovery Services. But we are also entitled to levels of protection specific to offers from Amazon (AWS) or Microsoft (Azure). This trend towards openness can be seen in the announcement of the partnership with cloud storage and data analysis platform Snowflake.

But also through the Alpine project, announced at the beginning of the year, which is now the subject of the first demonstrations in collaboration with AWS and Microsoft Azure. More concretely, the goal is to bring the public cloud and on -premises servers together through Dell’s storage offering (block, file and object) to be offered through the major marketplace platforms.

A different approach from NAS manufacturers like QNAP or Synology, but nonetheless seems to pursue the same goal: the latter also turned to companies by offering to make hosted services work in conjunction with their machines and software tools, but from their interfaces where Dell has established itself in cloud services.

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New PowerMax, PowerStore and PowerFlex, with NVMe/TCP

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Jeff Clarke, Dell’s Vice President and Co-Chief Operating Officer opened the second day dedicated to a large part of this edition: storage. At least 500 improvements have been announced for these products. The various sets of servers have also been renewed in a transversal evolution: they all now manage the NVMe/TCP standard.

As a reminder, this makes it easy to share SSDs using a PCI Express network connection, somewhat similar to iSCSI, which is not very suitable for these storage devices and their NAND Flash. So it is possible to connect to it when requested from another server and better disconnect the equipment. A trend known as storage disaggregation within data centers.

Such operation is permitted by other NVMe-over-Fabrics (NVMe-oF) standards, but whether it is Infiniband, Fiber Channel, RoCE or Intel’s iWarp they usually require equipment or specific configurations. . This is not the case with NVMe/TCP which can be used from any Linux server if its kernel is properly configured.

A more accessible and easier to exploit solution therefore, which still has some drawbacks, since its latency is slightly higher than other alternatives. Sending NVMe commands via TCP packets is also processed by the CPU, which can therefore be more demanding, unless you have a network card equipped with a particular accelerator.

However, Dell had a good idea to build an entire software ecosystem around NVMe/TCP to facilitate the detection of SSDs in the network and the connectivity component. Some bricks built must also be open source, allowing others to use them. These new servers should be available in the third quarter.

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