What You Missed: Dell Technologies World 2022
By Michael Colonno, AVP, Solutions Architects, CDI
Dell Technologies World 2022 is one of the first vendor conferences to happen in person. Many are sticking with virtual only for another year.
First, I have to comment on the atmosphere.
You feel and hear a positive energy in the air. People are genuinely happy to be here. You usually see people in a good mood due to being entertained but in sessions people are engaged and focused. Presenters have extra vigor, as well, even commenting on how happy they are to be there in person. I must say the experience was enhanced by the fact this was our first year being Titanium Black.
We are one of only sixteen companies globally to have this designation.
Why does it matter for the conference? VIP status! Special seating and special access to events.
You didn’t click on this blog however to hear my play-by-play on people watching – but I will say that people were way more comfortably dressed than I have ever seen.
Let’s start with the Keynotes, Dell has two; the first one is typically cultural and company focused, with a sprinkling of what announcements to expect. The focus was all around the idea of services and how do you deliver them in a secure, highly available way. With this service based outlook, you had announcements on new APEX offerings, Multi-Cloud and new edge offerings. This also means you have to enable developers more to make your systems more accessible.
Taking a moment to explain Apex; some people look at it as a fancy lease but it’s more than that.
The idea is to deliver a service and outcome, not worry about infrastructure. Just like automation and API’s make things easier to consume, Dell needed a way for infrastructure to act like software. APEX is that new model to enable this.
A few statistics and projections were shared around this. 90% of customers use a public cloud offering and of that, 75% use more than one. I am always wary of these numbers because it could be someone uses M365 and AWS, but either way it means more people are learning to consume the cloud correctly. Additionally, it is their belief in 2025 70% data will be off premises in the Public Cloud. This is where the edge becomes important, if you are going to remove data and services from sites you need an easy and manageable way to deliver them.
So what enables this new Multi cloud? Project Alpine.
Under the covers this is none other than ScaleIO now unchained. PowerFlex is in the end just software defined storage, it has always been one of the most ‘free’ systems being able to run on and with almost anything. Now it is enabled to work on Public cloud and allow data to move from on-prem to cloud, and cloud to cloud. When it was first announced I immediately thought, NetApp will finally have a good rival for its CVO product.
The edge is enabled first with two announcements: the edge VxRail, which is a single node appliance, and the new Dell – Snowflake partnership.
The VxRail use case is pretty obvious why that will help small edge use cases, but Snowflake isn’t. Data lakes have been an interesting problem to solve for Hybrid data. How do you enable a data lake to span on premises and public cloud?
How can you talk multi-Cloud and edge without talking about security? Cyber, cyber, cyber, and more cyber. As the statement goes, it’s not an IF I get affected by viruses and ransomware, it’s WHEN.
Dell will now be able to extend their Cyber Recovery and Cyber Sense into the cloud. This is important as it now allows you to not just backup your data using their solution, but also be able to validate it is clean from infection and functional at time of restoration.
Let’s blend two of the above together, Cyber via Apex. This is important due to the fact that Cyber always starts small and grows. Also, Cyber can be as simple or complex as you want it to be, this now allows people to start maybe with just an Air Gapping of data, grow to Cyber Recovery, and end with Cyber Sense.
PowerMax, PowerFlex, and PowerStore together had over 500 enhancements released.
- PowerMax now offering 4:1 DRR guarantee and NDU
- PowerStore is getting a 50% performance boost, native replication for File/Block/vVols & “5 Click Metro Sync”
- PowerFlex is getting Lifecycle Management, NVMe over TCP and embedded cybersecurity
Dell also announced they will be launching a cloud marketplace called “Dell Digital Cloud“, and that they’ve partnered with Snowflake to offer analytics without moving your data, boasting that it’s the first time Snowflake has been available for on-prem hardware. This offering connects Snowflake Data Cloud to data stored on Dell ECS on-prem and enables customers to analyze their object storage or to copy data to the public cloud.
Our team attended a number of breakout sessions that took a deeper dive into some of the other future upgrades and offerings that Dell has on the roadmap.
The first session attended was called “VxRail Innovation 6 Years On” which was a journey starting with the first generation of VxRail and covered the key enhancements to each generation as well as some highlighted future enhancements.
These enhancements include more robust lifecycle management, the addition of single socket nodes, and an all-NVMe lineup coming soon. It was also discussed that CloudIQ would be available to manage and update multi-clusters.
We touched on Dynamic Nodes and Satellite nodes, which seemed to be the most interesting enhancements. Dynamic nodes are compute only with no vSAN licensing, allowing you to scale compute independent of storage, and Satellite nodes are a single node extension for existing VxRail customers, with an onboard RAID controller and locally protected storage that can be managed all together with your existing VxRail.
There were more details on multi-cloud and PowerStore, the OS can now run in any hyperscaler and is more resilient and cost-effective than native storage (will be available in marketplace). The PowerStore Cloud Storage is a great solution for use cases such as bursting, Test/Dev, and Disaster Recovery. It can also be deployed on demand and pay-as-you-go. Dell also mentioned that there are some integrations with Cyber Recovery Vault.
PowerProtect Data Manager now offers cloud native protection for Kubernetes and provides self-service backup & restores at a low cost while being easily deployed from cloud marketplace. PowerProtect Data Manager also offers Cloud Snapshot Manager, which is policy based protection for cloud-native workloads with orchestrated snapshots, and the ability to copy to different regions, accounts, and data centers.
PowerProtect DataDomain for Multi-Cloud is a cloud based deployment of DDVE that has almost all of the same features as a physical DataDomain, supports up to 256TB of usable storage and is built on object storage to be more cost effective. Dell’s new APEX Backup Services include SaaS backups for M365, Google Workspace and Salesforce.
FINALLY… PARTNER OF THE YEAR!
Wrapping up, it was a great conference! I, as well, was one of those people walking around with a smile on my face.
I do have to add a shameless plug, while at the conference we attended Dell’s Partner of the Year event and won “Excellence in Storage.” Please realize there isn’t a conference per geography so this is overall not just for North America.
A big thank you goes out to Dell for putting on the event. I am simplifying many things in this write up and I encourage you to sign up for one of CDI’s ‘What you missed’ in-person sessions, or reach out to learn more.
Now that conferences are returning, look out for other write ups we will be attending this year.