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Dell Partners: High Cost Of Public Cloud Is Causing More Customers To Eye Dell Software-Defined Solutions

"We're seeing almost all of our customers pull back on public cloud," said World Wide Technology technical solutions architect Emilio Trenzado.

Partners attending Dell Technologies World say exorbitant public cloud bills are causing more customers to eye Dell on-premises software-defined solutions.

"We're seeing almost all of our customers pull back on public cloud," said Emilio Trenzado, global technical solution architect for cloud and automation for World Wide Technology – a $10.4 billion solution provider powerhouse and top Dell partner. "Before we would have to show them, 'Do you notice that you're doing $10 million, $12 million dollars on [public cloud] across all your departments?' They were not having that visibility, but now they're seeing that. … CFO's are saying, 'You can't do this anymore. You're spending $12 million dollars a month.'"

[Related: Michael Dell Takes Center Stage: His 5 Boldest Statements At Dell Technologies World 2018]

Customers are moving away from the public cloud after realizing cost benefits and secure advantages of a on-premises solutions powered by software-defined technology, Treznado said.

Treznado and other Dell partners made the public cloud comments after Dell Technologies Chairman and CEO Michael Dell's keynote address Monday, which raised the issue of public cloud versus on-premises software-defined solutions.

"By software-defining compute, storage, networking and security – it enables automation and improves agility. But this is no way the exclusive domain of the public cloud," Dell told the 14,000 customers and 5,000 partners attending the conference. "Automating modern infrastructure also creates hyper-efficient on-premise systems, especially for the predictable workloads, which for most organizations are about 85 to 90 percent. And we're working to ensure that you can run your workloads seamlessly in any cloud environment."

Dell said most customers are beginning to realize that "the cloud is not a place, but rather a way of doing IT" where everything is software-defined and infrastructure is code. "IT is not a question of the public cloud versus the private cloud, but rather there's a right answer for every workload," said Dell.

That "right answer" begs the question of whether there are many workloads being moved to public cloud that are better suited to an on-premises software-defined IT environment, solution providers said. The high price of public cloud services is turning customers from a public cloud-first approach to a hybrid strategy with on-premises software-defined solutions, solution providers said.

Public cloud providers Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft did not respond for comment by press time.

Through automation and orchestration innovation, businesses are starting to realize the cost benefits of leveraging on-premises software-defined solutions compared to public clouds. Not only are customers realizing the financial burdens of public cloud, but in a multi-cloud environment, workload agility can become an issue, Trenzado said.

"You have different solutions and different data centers – you can't just get rid of all your legacy stuff. You can't just have everything move to AWS or [Microsoft] Azure," said Trenzado. "Customers are seeing that moving to AWS or Azure, it's hard to move things back as well. So now they're looking at Kubernetes in the cloud or some things like Pivotal Cloud Foundry and moving the workloads back and forth from your public to your private cloud."

Although startups and smaller companies have had success going all-in on public cloud, cost can become a prohibitive factor as those solutions grow, said partners. "As you scale, you're going to see a problem," Trenzado said. "So you kind of have to have that in mind where eventually, if you get really big, you're going to have to have something where you have your own data center and control as well."

Dan Smith, vice president of sales at Anexinet, a Blue Bell, Pa.-based Dell EMC and VMware partner, said for many customers public cloud bills can skyrocket out of control. "Public cloud cost is exceeding expectations. We're seeing that time and time again with customers," said Smith.

Anexinet provides tools, insights and real-time analytics around monitoring and managing customer cloud infrastructure budgets on a daily basis, Smith said. For example, the solution provider evaluates where the most cost-effective and efficient place is to put applications.

"We're monitoring and managing their spend because we've already seen this occur -- six to eight months into a project, that X-Y-Z-budget has more than doubled their monthly bills now," said Smith. "So many customers have a cloud-first strategy, but it doesn't mean it's going to land there – that's where that hybrid world comes into play."

Dell, for his part, said converged and hyper-converged solutions like VxRail and VxRack are the fast tracks to super-efficient software-defined data centers.

"We have solutions ready to support your on-premises and hybrid cloud with VMware, Pivotal, Microsoft Azure Stack, Oracle, SAP and many others," he said. "For those workloads best suited for the public cloud, VMware is extending its lead as the No. 1 private and hybrid cloud to the public clouds – extending and embracing -- for example with VMware Cloud on AWS and on the IBM Cloud. We're innovating to make it much more secure to move your data in a hybrid and multi-cloud world by software-defining and virtualizing the network with VMware NSX. This is an absolute game changer."

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