Dell's Cloud Strategy: Supply Tech To The Channel And Let Partners Build Clouds


Nariman Teymourian, Dell's executive director of converged infrastructure solutions and former Gale Technologies CEO, told CRN that Dell's new Active System Manager 7.0, developed from Gale technology as the management application used for Dell's Active Infrastructure converged infrastructure platform, can be used in heterogeneous data center infrastructures or with Dell's Active Infrastructure to build shared resource pools from existing resources that can be used for open clouds.

Dell is already starting to integrate Enstratius with Active System Manager, a move that Teymourian said would allow customers to configure applications on the fly in public and private clouds.

"When this happens, customers could optimize a workload for a private cloud," he said. "They will also be able to move the front end, back end, or the entire workload to a public cloud while using Enstratius to set the proper level of access and to port the application. In this case, they could have a Web 2.0 front end in a public cloud while keeping the database behind it private."

Dell is already actively pursuing some of its top channel partners to get them ready for Active System Manager, and already has several of them going through the certification process, Teymourian said.

Dell is also building a set of tools that will let solution providers build cloud templates for customer, he said.

"We are also building a channel program for partners," he said. "There a significant amount of time and resources invested in training channel partners, and in providing the materials, sales incentives, marketing dollars, and seed units."

Software for managing cloud deployments will primarily be a channel play for Dell," Teymourian said. "If I could push everything through the channel, I'd be happy with that, once the channel gets over the hump," he said.

On the storage side, Dell's strategy for working with public cloud providers revolves around the OpenStack open cloud platform and with Crowbar, Alan Atkinson, vice president and general manager for Dell storage, told CRN.

Crowbar is a Dell-led open source framework for automatically installing cloud software across clusters and scale out systems while providing network monitoring and discovery.

"Most customers either don't know yet which cloud platform they will adopt, or they're an OpenStack or Amazon aficionado," Atkinson said. "We enable OpenStack and Open Compute. Both play into the data center. The whole point of getting into the cloud is to get away from technology lock-in."

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