Dell Technologies World 2023: Five Big Announcements
Whether it’s in AI, the cloud, the edge, or the services in between, Dell Technologies took the wraps off opportunities for partners at its show last week.
Dell Technologies partners who are in need of talking points with customers around edge performance, running large language models on premise, and de cluttering the migration between on prem and the public cloud were given their choice of starting position at last week’s show.
Additionally, Dell told partners about two projects it has undertaken in cybersecurity and the ability to sell Dell services.
Dell Technologies World 2023 announced a massive expansion of the company’s cloud services, APEX.
Dell APEX Block Storage for AWS, and Dell APEX Block Storage for Microsoft Azure – which were discussed at the show last year under the code words “Project Alpine” -- gives customers 300-percent better performance, per dollar, through its linear scalability, and performance.
“The architecture itself provides multi-availability zone durability so you can truly have that resilience that you’re used to in the data center and bring that to the cloud,” said Caitlyn Gordon, Dell Technologies vice president of product management. “Ultimately that allows you to bring workloads you never could have before from the data center to the public cloud.”
Additionally, the company’s APEX Cloud Platform now has various flavors: Microsoft, VMware and RedHat. Each is built to drive horizontal consistency across the environment with common hardware platforms built on PowerEdge technology, common software built on PowerFlex technology, and common automated management and orchestration for that entire stack from the firmware up to the cloud operating system.
“Multi-cloud by design isn’t just a tag line. Here at Dell Technologies World over the next ew days we will release the largest expansion ever to our APEX offerings, brining customers a modern cloud experience and consumption model built for multi-cloud,” Dell CEO Michael Dell told the crowd.
Here are some big announcements from Dell Technologies World 2023 last week:
Dell Technologies Co-COO Jeff Clarke, who introduced the product along with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, called it a full stack solution for enterprises to create and run custom AI models built with Dell’s infrastructure and software, as well as Nvidia’s accelerators, AI software and expertise.
“Over the last 30 years we have built a lot of things. Nothing is nearly this impactful,” Huang said. “Every company at its core is about intelligence. For the first time together, Project Helix will help every company be an AI factory and be able to produce their domain-specific intelligence, their expertise, and then do it at lightspeed and do it at scale.”
Clarke said when it comes to hardware, Project Helix has a Dell PowerEdge XE 9680 running eight Nvidia H100 GPUs in a Dell-validated design. He said it can run at any scale and includes AI consulting services wrapped around it.
APEX Cloud Platforms and Block Storage
Dell APEX Cloud Platforms for Microsoft, Red Hat and VMware are built to drive horizontal consistency across the environment with common hardware platforms. Each is built on PowerEdge technology, as well as common software built on PowerFlex technology, and common automated management and orchestration for that entire stack from the firmware up to the cloud operating system.
Also introduced was Dell ApexBlock Storage for AWS and Dell Apex Block Storage for Microsoft Azure. These were discussed at the show last year under the code name “Project Alpine.” Each gives customers 300 percent better performance per dollar through its linear scalability and performance.
“The architecture itself provides multi-availability-zone durability so you can truly have that resilience that you’re used to in the data center and bring that to the cloud,” said Dell Technologies Vice President of Product Management Caitlyn Gordon. “Ultimately, that allows you to bring workloads you never could have before from the data center to the public cloud.”
Industry’s only application that delivers three things in parallel: secure device onboarding at scale, remote management of those devices and locations and multi-cloud application orchestration to edge devices to data center into multi-cloud to make sure the edge outcome is deployed and lifecycled.
Gil Shneorson, who previously ran Dell’s VxRail, said Dell NativeEdge was designed to meet the customer’s needs and challenges at the edge: deployable without skilled resources, with zero-trust architecture in place, connectivity challenges, and multi-cloud by design.
“We had to imagine massive scales, from a few manufacturing plants to thousands of retail stores to tens of thousands fast food chains stores to millions of cell towers,” Shneorson said. “And we had to design this as multi-cloud by design,’ Shneorson said.
Shneorson said with Native Edge, Dell can take a customer, set up a catalog of applications the customer uses.
“From that catalog they can deploy those applications to all of their edge points in an automated manner,” he said. “Those edge points securely onboard automatically. They are drop shipped from Dell to an end user. They are digitally assigned to a specific customer and we have commercialized a process of onboarding at commercial scale. We can drop ship a device. On site that device connects securely is verified that it hasn’t been tampered with. What it does is auto configure to the operating environment in the application that needs to run. Lastly, we can remotely manage all of those pieces for monitoring, securing them, and applying lifecycle operations, firmware, drivers, application updates to all of those devices in an automated way.”
NativeEdge will be available in August in a one- to three-year subscription plan with a fixed fee for device access and variable per-device fee.
In order to woo more partners, Dell is introducing Project Harmony, which gives partners access to Dell experts and technologists, which can be marked up and resold to customers, Whitten said.
Specifically focused on professional services , partners will be able to integrate Dell services into their existing branded services offerings to compliment their shop’s services portfolio.
“This is not a traditional resell model. You are going to purchase Dell capabilities at a discount and embed them into your solutions. Fundamentally, its like having a full spectrum of Dell expertise in your back pocket, allowing you deliver outcomes customers need, but without having to build all of that expertise.”
The concept is to give customers Dell-delivered capabilities around complex issues such as security and automation. They can buy it, integrate it and brand it as their own, according to Dell’s Cheryl Cook (pictured).
“They’re not really reselling Dell, but it’s a way to extend their capabilities,” she said. “There are specific services and capabilities that a manufacturer like Dell would be able to provide that wouldn’t make sense for partners to invest in … They maintain the relationship with the customer.”
Project Fort Zero
Dell said its Project Fort Zero will deliver end-to-end solutions validated by the U.S. Department of Defense by the end of the year.
The idea came from a conversation with senior U.S. military leaders who are eager to deploy hardened, zero-trust envirionments.
“To actually get to an end to end zero-trust capability that’s a complex task for most of our customers. There are a lot of products to integrate. It takes a new architectural approach,” said Herb Kelsey, Federal CTO at Dell Technologies.
“We’re going to go through the 45 capabilities that the Department of Defense requires of us. We’re going to meet the 152 activities that we have to perform in order to be considered zero trust,” he said. “And then we are going to go out and defeat the adversaries that are attacking the systems.”