5 Big Dell Technologies World Announcements: AI Factory With Nvidia, AI Networking, Storage And PCs, PowerStore Prime

‘We want to inspire you to reimagine organizations for artificial intelligence. And we want to encourage you to act fast,’ Michael Dell tells the crowd at Dell Technologies World.

Dell Technologies’ much-promised blizzard of AI announcements fell on Las Vegas Monday with each one leaving partners a path to add value for the millions of businesses that need AI.

“We want to inspire you to reimagine organizations for artificial intelligence,” Dell founder, Chairman and CEO Michael Dell told the crowd at Dell Technologies World 2024. “And we want to encourage you to act fast. For many of you, the question is as basic as ‘Where do we start?’ Our answer is pretty simple. Here and now.”

Dell unveiled enhancements to Dell AI Factory, which the company unveiled at Nvidia GTC earlier this year that combines its XE 9680 with direct liquid cooling that shrinks the size of the unit by one-third to give more space per rack for GPUs.

“We have seven new announcements today on the Dell AI Factory with Nvidia,” Dell said on stage Monday. “The speed of advancement is pretty amazing. It’s built on our decades of collaboration. We’re making it easy for customers, sort of the ‘easy button’ for AI for enterprise customers.”

Dell also showed off new networking for the system that uses Broadcom’s Tomahawk 5 chips for the data communications layer, as well as a new XE9680L server that runs 72 Nvidia Blackwell processors in a smaller unit than previous XE9680s.

“We are really excited to bring the 9680L with direct liquid cooling, so it goes from a 6U to a 4U form factor so we put 72 of your B200 Blackwells in one rack. It’s amazing density,” Dell said to Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang, who stood beside him on stage.

“Only at Dell World do you talk sexy like that,” Huang deadpanned.

“There’s more tomorrow,” Dell replied. “This is only the warm-up.”

“Don’t seduce me with talk like that, 72 Blackwells in a rack,” Huang said to laughter. “I love that.”

Huang said Dell made the PC one-click easy, so customers could configure the device to their specs, making it accessible to buy and sell, and together Nvidia and Dell are doing that for AI systems.

“These are giant supercomputers that we are going to build at scale, deliver at scale and help you stand it up at scale,” Huang said. “So what appears to be incredibly complicated technology, we’re going to make it easy for all of you to enjoy.”

In addition to the new Dell AI Factory, Dell showed off new storage capabilities for partners, including the newest software advances in PowerStore 4.0, which not only come with greater efficiency and better speeds but because the buffs are software-driven partners can upgrade their customers’ existing PowerStore installations.

However, with the new hardware, customers will get higher-efficiency quad-level-cell architecture and can be eligible for Dell's industdry-best 5-to-1 data compression.

For client devices, Dell has five new AI PCs that use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor. Partners can also now register deals for client-side devices, a new strategy that Dell Chief Partner Officer Denise Millard said is part of the company’s drive to see partners lean into AI.

“For those partners who are building meaningful AI capabilities, we’re giving you access to Dell-validated designs. We’re doing the engineering to make sure those deployments are repeatable and scalable and you don’t have to figure it out on your own. We’re giving you access to Dell solutions centers where we’re showcasing these AI workloads and use cases. We’re helping our partners build AI labs so they can run proofs-of-concept so you can help your customers accelerate their AI journey.”

Here is a look at the five biggest announcements on day one of Dell Technology World 2024.

Dell AI Factory

At the heart of the Dell AI Factory is a Dell PowerEdge XE9680L, which delivers high performance with support for eight Nvidia Blackwell GPUs in a 4U form factor, smaller than the XE9680s’ original 6U design. Dell said the server provides the highest possible rack-scale density for Nvidia GPUs in an industry-standard x86 rack, offering 33 percent more GPU density per node.

In addition, the platform offers 20 percent more PCIe Gen 5 slots and double the north/south network expansion capacity. Direct liquid cooling provides lower electricity costs.

Dell said this is an industry-leading density and highly energy-efficient turnkey rack-scale offering that speeds time to value for large GPU-accelerated deployments. Variants include air-cooled design supporting 64 GPUs in a single rack, or the liquid-cooled XE9680L format featuring 72 GPUs per rack.

Dell PowerSwitch Z9864F-ON

The speed that data moves between the hardware is a throttle to AI progress that Dell hopes to open up with a new networking fabric that accelerates AI performance. The Dell PowerSwitch Z98654F-ON is powered by Broadcom’s Tomahawk 5 chipset. It doubles the networking performance of AI applications through modern network architecture that gives users high throughput and low latency for ease of scalability.

In addition, Dell’s PowerEdge 9680 servers support Broadcom’s 400G PCIe Gen 5 Ethernet adapters, giving organizations better performance, scalability and efficiency.

Dell said its enterprise SONiC Distribution advancements help AI performance while SmartFabric Manager for SONiC software simplifies deployment, orchestration and life-cycle management with a single view of SONiC fabrics.

New AI Storage

The size of the data sets used to train AI models provides partners with a massive storage opportunity that Dell wants them to seize early.

To start conversations with customers about the latest storage, Dell introduced PowerScale F910 all-flash file storage. With up to 127 percent improvement in speed, it addresses the needs of demanding AI workloads.

Meanwhile, PowerScale: Project Lightning is a new, highly performant parallel file system software architecture that Dell said will be integrated into PowerScale to accelerate training times for large-scale and complex AI workflows. The Dell Solution for AI Data Protection helps partners protect critical AI applications and data with Dell data protection software, appliances and a reference design to streamline deployment.

PowerStore 4.0

Partners who talked with CRN at the show said the software updates to PowerStore are an immediate, low-cost way to improve a customer’s storage environment and begin conversations with them about preparing for AI.

The newest version gives partners a 30 percent performance boost to workloads through a no- cost software update to new or existing customers. In addition, according to Dell Vice President of Product Marketing Shannon Champion, the software alone gives customers’ data stores 20 percent less latency. The software also provides a 20 percent improvement in data reduction for all PowerStore models, she said.

“That helps with overall energy costs, so you require fewer drives to pack the same amount of data in,” Champion told CRN.

Dell has pushed an aggressive update cycle for this software, with the the PowerStore 3.5 release increasing performance last year and a 3.65 update in the fall, said Ben Jastrab, Dell’s director of product marketing, storage and connectivity.

“One of the things we love to point out is that we’ve had seven major software updates and releases in just four years’ time,” he said. “When we introduced PowerStore, we talked about how the modern architecture was going to allow us to innovate extremely rapidly. I think this is another example of that.”

PowerStore Prime

PowerStore Prime is the first product released under Dell’s new go-to-market Partner First For Storage strategy and it is targeted at the $13 billion midrange storage market.

“Why that’s important is that we’re incenting our Dell sellers further when they are selling PowerStore Prime in a Partner First for Storage account,” Millard said. “We’re seeing a lot of strength in our Partner First for Storage strategy. We’re seeing strong revenue and strong pipeline. We just concluded our advisory boards, and I would say our partners are seeing really strong engagement from field sellers. That’s all in the spirit of being predictable and trusted with our partners. We’re excited about what PowerStore Prime brings to the table.”

PowerStore Prime incorporates the software advances in PowerStore 4.0 with hardware advances that provide customers with 66 better performance and the industry’s best 5-to-1 data compression, which provides 9.6 petabytes of effective capacity with a minimum buy-in of 11 units.

The hardware is top-of-the-line quad-level cell SSD architecture, which packs four bits and 16 charge states per cell. Champion said PowerStore Prime comes with enhancements to future- proof and services programs that help partners optimize and protect customers’ PowerStore investments.

“Here we’re talking about 5-to-1 data reduction guarantees,” Champion said. “This is the industry’s best guarantee that helps customers buy and save with confidence on PowerStore. We also have the ability to consume PowerStore via a flexible as-a-service or subscription options, pay only for what they want on a monthly basis, with an Apex subscription, and the last element here is the life-cycle extension with pro support. This is our new premier investment protection program so that this combines world-class support, flexible technology upgrades, capacity trade-ins and advisory services that let customers extend the value of PowerStore.”


Dell has put Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite and Qualcomm Snapdragon Plus chips into its newest laptops. Five new devices contain the new chip, including its Inspirion, Latitude and XPS models.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon chips are also being used by Dell’s larger PC rivals to grab share in the AI-enabled PC market with promises that the new chips are designed to enable better AI workflows.

In addition, the new XPS model is Dell’s first Copilot +-enabled device designed to give users a better experience in Microsoft Copilot-driven applications. As Dell leans more on partners, it has also allowed for deal registration on client devices.