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5 Reasons Why Dell Apex Beats Public Clouds: Jeff Clarke

Mark Haranas

‘We have built [Apex] to deliver the very model and the very set of capabilities that customers have received from the public cloud, yet give them all of the agility and the control that they desire to have without having to be forced to move data from on-premise to off-premise to control the things that they want,’ says Dell Technologies Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman Jeff Clarke.

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Dell Apex

Dell Technologies is ready to take market share from public cloud providers in the new hybrid cloud era with the launch of Apex at Dell Technologies World 2021 this week.

“What we’re trying to accomplish here is really provide our customers this notion of a modern consumption and customer experience that they have had with the public clouds,” said Dell Chief Operating Officer Jeff Clarke (pictured) during a Q&A session with media and analysts at Dell Technologies World.

“We have built [Apex] to deliver the very model and the very set of capabilities that customers have received from the public cloud, yet give them all of the agility and the control that they desire to have without having to be forced to move data from on-premise to off-premise to control the things that they want,” added Clarke.

Apex is Dell’s new as-a-service portfolio of offerings that changes how customers and channel partners buy, sell, deploy, manage and maintain Dell’s vast and market leading IT infrastructure products from servers and storage to PCs and cloud.

Clarke, along with Dell Technologies’ global chief marketing officer, Allison Dew, take a deep dive on why Apex is an overall better IT solution for customers compared to public clouds in terms of cost, control, speed, agility and simplicity.

You can read CRN’s full coverage of Dell Technologies Dell Technologies World hereWorld here .

The ‘Hidden Costs’ Of The Public Cloud

Dell’s Clarke and Dew (pictured) emphasized that Apex’s cost and pricing is open and transparent, while many businesses who go to the public cloud are shocked by “hidden costs” of storing, controlling and moving data.

“The control and predictability of the model that we are building with Apex is really important to customers. We know that there are so many hidden costs in so many of these other models if you think about the public cloud, and all of these unexpected costs that customers run into -- the ability for our competitive advantage and transparent approach to pricing is something that customers are really responding well to,” said Dew.

For example, new Apex Data Storage Services provides transparent pricing and no overage fees with its portfolio of scalable and elastic storage resources. Customers select the either block or file data services, their preferred performance tier, base capacity – which starts as low as 50 terabyte – and one- or three-year subscription terms. Customers also select the deployment location whether it be in a data center, edge or colocation facility. Organizations pay only for what they use with single rate.

Apex Simplifies ‘The Billing’ With ‘No Surprises’

Dell’s Clarke said businesses will know upfront what their costs for Apex are, unlike the billing complexity organizations face with public cloud providers.

“We’ve continued to hear the stories about large [public cloud] bills that are complex and take a lot of time to digest -- that’s not what we’re doing here,” said Clarke. “We’ve simplified how you will be charged, you’ll know upfront, and then we will consistently deliver against it. … We’ve attempted to simplify the billing. I think the team has done a very good job at doing that. We’ve been very transparent with how the billing will work going forward, so there are no surprises.”

Customers can monitor and manage all of their Apex resources – from billing and invoices to product lifecycle – all in one place: Apex Console.

‘World-Class’ Speed

Businesses can rapidly deploy Apex resources in just 14 days, reducing IT complexity and driving scale unlike ever before, Dell said. Once operational, Apex customers can then expand in as few as five days.

“The ability to deliver this asset, and not just for it to show up but actually ordering it and having it deployed and turned on in 14 days, is world class capability,” said Clarke. “And then, to be able to build additional capacity within five days is world class capability.”

In most Apex cases, Dell Technologies will deliver, own and maintain the infrastructure for the customer.

Michael Norring, CEO and president of GCSIT, a Dell Platinum partner who has experience working with public cloud providers, said the 14-day Apex implementation is an “incredibly fast way” of getting a customer’s data in place. “I don’t know how they accomplished that, but that’s a very impressive play,” he said.

Better Customer Control Of Data And Infrastructure

Dell’s Apex lets customers choose where their IT infrastructure resides whether in private cloud, hybrid cloud, or in a colocation or edge facility – all managed in one place. Clarke said customers have better control of their own data within whatever IT environment they choose versus the public cloud, while Dell will provide continuous delivery of new features and offers.

“In the purest sense, we built a capability that is cloud native and brings the cloud operating model in place. We built a cloud control plane that allows us to work across our infrastructure [such as our] Cloud IQ that works from the cloud and manages our storage assets. We have built these tools and capabilities to deliver the very model and the very set of capabilities that customers have received from the public cloud, yet give them all of the agility and the control that they desire to have without having to be forced to move data from on-prem to off-prem to control the things that they want,” said Clarke.

VMware Partnership Makes ‘Apex Even More Powerful’

Dell Technologies and VMware have been jointly creating market-leading solutions like VXRail for years. Although Dell is spinning off its 81-percent stake in VMware later this year, the two companies have agreed to a five-year commercial agreement to keep in-tact its joint go-to-market and innovation strategies, which includes Apex.

“We’re working with our VMware team of how we can integrate across both VMware and Dell more of our combined services and capabilities and offers to make Apex even more powerful for our customers,” said Clarke.

At Dell Technologies World 2021 this week, both top executives from VMware and Dell doubled down on their commitment to each over in the years ahead. Clarke said the “pipeline is rich” ahead for VMware and Dell around revenue growth, joint engineering and channel partner synergies.

“The pipeline is rich with future opportunities -- whether we look at what’s happening at the edge, whether we look at what’s happening with 5G and what could be built out in a private 5G network,” said Clarke. “The work that we’re doing together on the next generation data center and composability, our teams are deeply engaged on the next generation a wave of technologies. So there’s equal, if not more, opportunities with partners going forward than we demonstrated to date. I’m pretty excited about that.”

 

Mark Haranas

Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at mharanas@thechannelcompany.com.

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