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Dell World 2015: The plot thickens

When Dell announced plans to acquire storage vendor EMC, initial reactions were more about how their storage portfolios would clash, and less about how Dell’s solution offerings for customers can now become more end-to-end and complete.

Addressing members of media during a press conference and then giving a keynote during day 1 of their annual tech conference, Dell World, CEO Michael Dell gave broad reasons why the entire EMC federation of VMware, Pivotal and EMC, are so valuable to Dell.

He said, “Dell is set to become an enterprise solutions powerhouse with our EMC acquisition, and build the world’s infrastructure for the next 20 to 30 years.” This refers to the industry’s next-generation tech solutions like the software-defined data centre, digital transformation, converged infrastructure, the hybrid cloud, mobile and security.

Dell CEO, Michael Dell on stage

Dell CEO, Michael Dell on stage

Acquiring EMC, VMware and RSA, would enable all these for the Dell company.

Dream combo

In the Dell CEO’s opinion also, Dell and EMC are a dream combination, complementing each other “beautifully” and bringing together the world’s greatest franchises in tech today. “No one is more able or relevant to add value.”

He had also stated, “There are different viewpoints as to how the company should evolve than how HP does. We think scale is important in this industry.”

Ultimately, volumes matter, Dell’s PC business (and everything else up the stack) is still their priority and a wide selection of solutions for customers to choose from, is crucial.

Dell and his executive leadership observed that customers don’t want more suppliers, but fewer, so the more complete and end-to-end the solutions that one supplier can offer, the better. That is reflected in the direction the tech industry is moving towards: integrated and converged infrastructure.

To help move things along, in the hybrid cloud and converged infrastructure space, the company would be doing a lot more in terms of integrated, end-to-end reference architectures of software, hardware and services, having introduced Dell Blueprints last year.

Reference architecture and appliances: Converged infrastructure

Dell President of Worldwide Sales and Strategy for Enterprise Solutions, Brian Humphries described how Dell has trained entire sales teams and alliance partners; Red Hat, Microsoft, VMware; on Blueprints.

“It is a point of view around specific workloads. There is strong presence of volume workloads (in the data centre). There is need for more high-value, mission-critical workloads,” said Humphries. No doubt, there would be more announcements around appliances from Dell.

The Texas-based company is looking at data centres from a workloads standpoint, seeing that 160 million are in the enterprise, with 30 million of these being non-virtualised and about 15 million in the public cloud. The rest are on-premise private workloads, in one form or another.

Dell had viewed Virtustream, an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider that EMC acquired last May, as an offering for mission-critical apps like SAP, similar to what VMware has done with their vCloud Air network. Dell is also pretty clear that their philosophy is to enable, rather than compete with their cloud, web tech and service provider customers.

So, don’t expect a public cloud from Dell.

Also, in a new unexpected twist on 22nd October, 2015, day 2 of the Dell World conference, EMC and VMware merged to form a new entity, also called Virtustream, which is meant to be a platform for EMC and VMware products.

Spanner in the works much?

What’s next?


(This journalist is a guest of Dell’s to Dell World 2015 in Austin, Texas)


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