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Dell EMC Attacks Public Cloud Cost And Complexity With Combo ITaaS Solution: Enterprise Hybrid Cloud On VxRail

Channel partners call the turnkey combination of Enterprise Hybrid Cloud integrated with VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure appliances a unique solution that brings public cloud automation into a customer's data center.

Dell EMC is bringing together its VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure appliances with its Enterprise Hybrid Cloud technology into a combined solution it says provides a turnkey hybrid cloud to small and midsized enterprises.

The new solution, called the Dell EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, is aimed at combining the VxRail's automation capabilities and EHC's services as a way to help small and midsize enterprises navigate their move to the cloud, said Peter Cutts, senior vice president of Dell EMC's hybrid cloud platforms.

"We're taking our leading automation and data protection, and putting it on the leading hyper-converged infrastructure platform," Cutts told CRN. "We're providing IT-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service with lifecycle management and services."

[Related: CEO Says NetApp Will Soon Introduce Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Solution Based On All-Flash SolidFire Tech]

The Dell EMC ECH targets hybrid cloud deployments for 200 to 1,000 virtual machines. An entry deployment, based on four VxRail P470 appliances and all the necessary software and lifecycle services, has a list price starting at about $1.25 million. An all-flash-storage version based on the VxRail P470F starts slightly higher, the company said.

The solution presents a unique opportunity to the channel, said Curt Stalhood, principal solution architect for automation at World Wide Technology, a St. Louis-based solution provider and Dell EMC channel partner.

"I’m not aware of any competitors that have combined up HCI [hyper-converged infrastructure]with an engineered solution like EHC together to sell as a total package to deliver a turn-key hybrid cloud," Stalhood told CRN.

Because the combination of VxRail and Enterprise Hybrid Cloud offers a turnkey cloud solution, it is hard to think of who might compete with it, Stalhood said. Other vendors have offerings pointing towards that type of solution, like Cisco's ACI with Cisco Cloud Center, or Red Hat Cloud Forms. "But you still have to piece in other components," he said.

World Wide Technology has worked with both VxRail and the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, and finds the use of VxRail as a management piece for EHC to be beneficial for a lot of clients, Stalhood said.

"VxRail can decrease the amount of time needed to deploy EHC," he said. "And it reduces the entry point to create an Enterprise Hybrid Cloud for customers vs. using a VxBlock or Vblock base."

Michael Tanenhaus, principal at Mavenspire, an Annapolis, Md.-based solution provider and long-time Dell partner, said his company is just getting training on the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, and sees a lot of possibilities for the new solution.


"Using VxRail with the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud is an amazing idea, depending on how much it might cost in terms of services," Tanenhaus told CRN. "If the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud is scaled to fit on VxRail, the biggest question will be how to charge for the services."

The Dell EMC ECH gives customers a full self-service cloud, Cutts said. It provides full cloud automation with technologies like NSX, as well as swift and easy deployments of cloud services like Dell EMC's Avamar and Data Domain data protection technologies, all based on the VxRail, he said.

"It provides an end-user catalog where users can get security, automation, backup-as-a-service, all out of a self-service portal," he said. "We're turning IT into a self-service portal."

The solution lets customers start with a small deployment and then scale by adding more VxRail appliances, Cutts said. Applications can be "cloudified" more easily with Enterprise Hybrid Cloud than with a public cloud.

For larger customers, VxBlocks in a central data center can be tied to VxRail appliances with the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud in remote and branch offices, he said.

Gill Shneorson, senior vice president for Dell EMC VxRail appliances, said the Dell EMC ECH is a complete solution.

"The outcome for the end user is a complete end-to-end infrastructure-as-a-service solution," Shneorson said. "It's the ultimate implementation of the software-defined data center."

The Enterprise Hybrid Cloud provides a full stack of turnkey, ready-to-go solutions, Tanenhaus said.

"Customers can pull services just as if they were talking to a public cloud," he said. "If the monthly services cost is less than that of a public cloud, and can be offered to clients without the need to build a whole rack or two of computers, that’s a big advantage. The whole idea is to mimic the ease of the public cloud."

Stalhood said the Dell EMC EHC was built for easy deployment and support.

"With other vendors, you get more contact points for support," he said. "This can be set to do things like on-demand backups and restores through vRealize Automation, the core management piece of the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud. And you can do third-party integration of solutions like Infoblox as services modules with automation and chargeback capabilities."

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