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

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

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.

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

"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."

Smith and other Dell partners made the public cloud comments after Dell Technologies Chairman and CEO Michael Dell's keynote address Monday at Dell Technologies World, 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.

Jonathan King, vice president of strategy, data center and cloud at Maryland Heights, Mo.-based World Wide Technology, agreed with Michael Dell that for predictable workloads, software-defined data center solutions can be cheaper than public cloud.

"Workloads for a long time have been one of the key criteria in considering whether you should put something in the public cloud or keep it on-premises, and as virtualization and now containerization are becoming more common, you can get more and more efficiency on-premises that lets you get a better economy of return," said King. He said software-defined and automation technologies allow customers to "get the kinds of benefits that the public cloud companies have been tapping really since their creation."

King said customers sometimes do not realize the total cost of public cloud before it's too late because they didn't consider application design and deployment optimization. "If you just lift and shift and move applications to the public cloud and have them arrive in the same way that they ran on-premises, it can cost you more money because you haven't designed or re-architected the application in the environment to take advantage of the design of public clouds," he said.

The WWT executive said some customers are taking a hybrid approach and still leveraging public cloud where it makes sense for workloads. "It's less an 'or' -- meaning public cloud or private cloud -- and more of an 'and'. Companies want to find a way to design and operate their end-to-end infrastructure, taking into account what public cloud they're working with and then also how they're modernizing and optimizing their dedicated systems," said King. "Customers are looking at how do they optimize and modernize the systems they need to maintain on-premise, while also integrating in a smart way with public cloud for workloads that makes sense to run there."

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

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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