Kemp Keeps ECS Balanced

Disclaimer: I recently attended Dell Technologies World 2019.  My flights, accommodation and conference pass were paid for by Dell Technologies via the Media, Analysts and Influencers program. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

As part of my attendance at Dell Technologies World 2019 I had the opportunity to attend Tech Field Day Extra sessions. You can view the videos from the Kemp session here, and download my rough notes from here.


Kemp Overview

Established early 2000s, Kemp has around 25000+ customers globally, with 60000+ app deployments in over 115 countries. Their main focus is an ADC (Application Delivery Controller) that you can think of as a “fancy load balancer”. Here’s a photo of Frank Yue telling us more about that.

Application Delivery – Why?

  • Availability – transparent failover when application resources fail
  • Scalability – easily add and remove application resources to meet changing demands
  • Security – authenticate users and protect applications against attack
  • Performance – offload security processing and content optimisation to Load Balancer
  • Control – visibility on application resource availability, health and performance

Product Overview

Kemp offer a

LoadMaster – scalable, secure apps

  • Load balancing
  • Traffic optimisation 
  • Security

There are a few different flavours of the LoadMaster, including cloud-native, virtual, and hardware-based.

360 Central – control, visibility

  • Management
  • Automation
  • Provisioning

360 Vision – Shorter MTTD / MTTR

  • Predictive analytics
  • Automated incident réponse
  • Observability

Yue made the point that “[l]oad balancing is not networking. And it’s not servers either. It’s somehow in between”. Kemp look to “[d]eal with the application from the networking perspective”.



So what’s Dell EMC ECS then? ECS stands for “Elastic Cloud Storage”, and it’s Dell EMC’s software-defined object storage offering. If you’re unfamiliar with it, here are a few points to note:

  • Objects are bundled data with metadata;
  • The object storage application manages the storage;
  • No real file system is needed;
  • Easily scale by just adding disks;
  • Delivers a low TCO.

It’s accessible via an API and offers the following services:

  • S3
  • Atmos
  • Swift
  • NFS


Kemp / Dell EMC ECS Solution

So how does a load balancing solution from Kemp help? One of the ideas behind object storage is that you can lower primary storage costs. You can also use it to accelerate cloud native apps. Kemp helps with your ECS deployment by:

  • Maximising value from infrastructure investment
  • Improving service availability and resilience
  • Enabling cloud storage scalability for next generation apps

Load Balancing Use Cases for ECS

High Availability

  • ECS Node redundancy in the event of failure
  • A load balancer is required to allow for automatic failover and event distribution of traffic

Global Balancing

[image courtesy of Kemp]

  • Multiple clusters across different DCs
  • Global Server Load Balancing provides distribution of connections across these clusters based on proximity


  • Offloading encryption from the Dell EMC ECS nodes to Kemp LoadMaster can greatly increase performance and simplify the management of transport layer security certificates
  • IPv6 to IPv4 – Dell EMC ECS does not support IPv6 natively – Kemp will provide that translation to IPv4


Thoughts and Further Reading

The first thing that most people ask when seeing this solution is “Won’t the enterprise IT organisation already have a load-balancing solution in place? Why would they go to Kemp to help with their ECS deployment?”. It’s a valid point, but the value here is more that Dell EMC are recommending that customers use the Kemp solution over the built-in load balancer provided with ECS. I’ve witnessed plenty of (potentially frustrating) situations where enterprises deploy multiple load balancing solutions depending on the application requirements or where the project funding was coming from. Remember that things don’t always make sense when it comes to enterprise IT. But putting those issues aside, there are likely plenty of shops looking to deploy ECS in a resilient fashion that haven’t yet had the requirement to deploy a load balancer, and ECS is that first requirement. Kemp are clearly quite good at what they do, and have been in the load balancing game for a while now. The good news is if you adopt their solution for your ECS environment, you can look to leverage their other offerings to provide additional load balancing capabilities for other applications that might require it.

You can read the deployment guide from Dell EMC here, and check out Adam’s preparation post on Kemp here for more background information.

Dell EMC Announces PowerProtect Software (And Hardware)

Disclaimer: I recently attended Dell Technologies World 2019.  My flights, accommodation and conference pass were paid for by Dell Technologies via the Media, Analysts and Influencers program. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Last week at Dell Technologies World there were a number of announcements made regarding Data Protection. I thought I’d cover them here briefly. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to dive a little deeper into the technology in the next few weeks.


PowerProtect Software

The new PowerProtect software is billed as Dell EMC’s “Next Generation Data Management software platform” and provides “data protection, replication and reuse, as well as SaaS-based management and self-service capabilities that give individual data owners the autonomy to control backup and recovery operations”. It currently offers support for:

  • Oracle;
  • Microsoft SQL;
  • VMware;
  • Windows Filesystems; and
  • Linux Filesystems.

More workload support is planned to arrive in the next little while. There are some nice features included, such as automated discovery and on-boarding of databases, VMs and Data Domain protection storage. There’s also support for tiering protection data to public cloud environments, and support for SaaS-based management is a nice feature too. You can view the data sheet here.


PowerProtect X400

The PowerProtect X400 is being positioned by Dell EMC as a “multi-dimensional” appliance, with support for both scale out and scale up expansion.

There are three “bits” to the X400 story. There’s the X400 cube, which is the brains of the operation. You then scale it out using either X400F (All-Flash) or X400H (Hybrid) cubes. The All-Flash version can be configured from 64 – 448TB of capacity, delivering up to 22.4PB of logical capacity. The Hybrid version runs from 64 – 384TB of capacity, and can deliver up to 19.2PB of logical capacity. The logical capacity calculation is based on “10x – 50x deduplication ratio”. You can access the spec sheet here, and the data sheet can be found here.

Scale Up and Out?

So what do Dell EMC mean by “multi-dimensional” then? It’s a neat marketing term that means you can scale up and out as required.

  • Scale-up with grow-in-place capacity expansion (16TB); and
  • Scale-out compute and capacity with additional X400F or X400H cubes (starting at 64TB each).

This way you can “[b]enefit from the linear scale-out of performance, compute, network and capacity”.



Dell EMC also announced that the Integrated Data Protection Appliance (IDPA) was being made available in an 8-24TB version, providing a lower capacity option to service smaller environments.


Thoughts and Further Reading

Everyone I spoke to at Dell Technologies World was excited about the PowerProtect announcement. Sure, it’s their job to be excited about this stuff, but there’s a lot here to be excited about, particularly if you’re an existing Dell EMC data protection customer. The other “next-generation” data protection vendors seem to have given the 800 pound gorilla the wakeup call it needed, and the PowerProtect offering is a step in the right direction. The scalability approach used with the X400 appliance is potentially a bit different to what’s available in the market today, but it seems to make sense in terms of reducing the footprint of the hardware to a manageable amount. There were some high numbers being touted in terms of performance but I won’t be repeating any of those until I’ve seen this for myself in the wild. The all-flash option seems a little strange at first, as this normally associated with data protection, but I think it’s competitive nod to some of the other vendors offering top of rack, all-flash data protection.

So what if you’re an existing Data Domain / NetWorker / Avamar customer? There’s no need to panic. You’ll see continued development of these products for some time to come. I imagine it’s not a simple thing for an established company such as Dell EMC to introduce a new product that competes in places with something it already sells to customers. But I think it’s the right thing for them to do, as there’s been significant pressure from other vendors when it comes to telling a tale of simplified data protection leveraging software-defined solutions. Data protection requirements have seen significant change over the last few years, and this new architecture is a solid response to those changes.

The supported workloads are basic for the moment, but a cursory glance through most enterprise environments would be enough to reassure you that they have the most common stuff covered. I understand that existing DPS customers will also get access to PowerProtect to take it for a spin. There’s no word yet on what the migration path for existing customers looks like, but I have no doubt that people have already thought long and hard about what that would look like and are working to make sure the process is field ready (and hopefully straightforward). Dell EMC PowerProtect Software platform and PowerProtect X400 appliance will be generally available in July 2019.

For another perspective on the announcement, check out Preston‘s post here.

Dell Technologies World 2019 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

Disclaimer: I recently attended Dell Technologies World 2019.  My flights, accommodation and conference pass were paid for by Dell Technologies via the Media, Analysts and Influencers program. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my notes on gifts, etc, that I received as a conference attendee at Dell Technologies World 2019. This is by no stretch an interesting post from a technical perspective, but it’s a way for me to track and publicly disclose what I get and how it looks when I write about various things. I’m going to do this in chronological order, as that was the easiest way for me to take notes during the week. While everyone’s situation is different, I took 2 days of unpaid leave and 3 days paid to attend this conference.



I took a ride sharing service to Brisbane International Airport. I had some sausage and eggs in the Qantas Club before my flight. I flew Qantas economy class to LAX and then American Airlines to LAS. The flights were paid for by Dell Technologies. Plane food was consumed on the flight. It was a generally good experience, lack of sleep notwithstanding. I stayed at the Palazzo Hotel. This was covered by Dell Technologies as well. I took a taxi to the hotel. I’d been provided with some discount codes for a ride-sharing service by Dell Technologies, but faffing about with the app whilst I had limited WiFi didn’t really appeal.

On Sunday afternoon I headed down to Registration to pick up my conference badge. I also received a backpack, some random bits of paper from sponsors, an Intel eco-straw, a notepad, and a $25 discount card at the on-site store for being a Loyalty Member. We didn’t get a backpack last year, so that was nice.

A group of us had dinner at Grimaldi’s in the Palazzo. I had 2 Samuel Adams Unfiltered beers, and a variety of different pizzas. This was paid for by Stephen Foskett.



I had breakfast in the Media and Analyst lounge. This consisted of fruit, yoghurt, and coffee. I couldn’t bring myself to consume whatever it was that was lurking in the greasy paper they had stacked on one of the trays. At the first media briefing we all received an eco-straw in a little much that you could, theoretically, wear on your belt. You can read a bit more about Dell’s work on that sort of thing here.

I had lunch in the Media and Analyst lounge. This was coleslaw, red wine soaked chicken, vine-ripened tomatoes, and some bread.

I then scooted off to meet with Brandon Schaffer at Starbucks to discuss all things data protection. He kindly bought me a flat white. It wasn’t really like an Australian flat white, but it did the job. I then caught up with one of the good people at Dell EMC who look after me in my day job. Let’s call him Bill. He bought me 2 Perroni beers. I’m often amused how I seem to only catch up with people who live in the same country as me when I’m overseas.

I went back to the lounge in between sessions and grabbed a choc chip cookie to sustain me until dinner.

In the evening I went to the Media and Analyst welcome reception at LAVO. I had one Stella Artois beer there, along with some bruschetta, a small bite of pizza, and an alarming amount of shrimp. It was a nice venue, but heaving with people. From there I went to Yardbird Southern Table and Bar with Chris Evans and Enrico Signoretti. We met up with Stephen Foskett and Karen Lopez. I had 3 Tenaya Pilsner beers and some house fries. This was kindly covered by Stephen.



On Tuesday there was a tour of the Solutions Expo organised for media and analysts. They served breakfast beforehand, and I had a green chilli pork burrito, some melon and pineapple slices, and coffee. The burrito was surprisingly good. As I toured the expo, I picked up a reusable bag and some PowerProtect-badged sunscreen.

Lunch in the lounge was:

  • Shaved radicchio Belgium endive and wild arugula salad;
  • Roasted fillet of Branzino, English peas and braised fennel with lemon on a mint vinaigrette; and
  • Beef pot roast with crunchy vegetables in red wine demi.

It was really quite excellent.

I then headed over to Nutanix’s Xperience event at TAO. My primary motivation was to see Magic Johnson speak, and I was also keen to hear about what Nutanix had been up to. I had thought I might be too late to get in, but there seemed to be enough space for everyone. I had some shrimp and some bottled water. We all headed upstairs to be seated for the talk with Magic. Not a lot of people were sitting in the front row, so I sat there. It turned out to be a good move, as I was able to get a photo with the man himself.

If you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak, it’s worth listening. Besides the fact that I’ve been a Lakers fan since my youth, I found his perspective on business to be super interesting. And he was pretty good at telling tales about Larry Bird too. I also picked up some Nutanix-branded socks. Thanks to Nutanix for putting this on.

Back in the village I was given a Dell Luminaries Yeti 10oz Rambler. I did a quick whip around the Solution Expo in between meetings and picked up:

I went to the Royal Britannia for a few beers with Bill. I had the North Coast Brewing Co – Scrimshaw pilsner. I then went to dinner with a group of folks at the Grand Lux Cafe in the Palazzo. I had:

  • 2 Samuel Adams Boston Lager beers;
  • Crispy Calamari;
  • Bread;
  • Buffalo Chicken Bites;
  • Fried Pickles; and
  • Wood Grilled B.B.Q. Burger With Crisp Applewood Smoked Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Tempura Onion Rings, Pickles, Mustard and Special B.B.Q. Sauce

The burger was really quite good. Here’s a photo of how good it was.



Breakfast was in the lounge again. I had the:

  • English muffin, provolone, scrambled egg patty, chicken sausage patty and apple sage compote;
  • Vanilla yoghurt;
  • Coffee; and some
  • Artisanal meat and cheese.

Konnie gave me a Dell Technologies water bottle. One of those ones you can put additional things in with the water. Apparently cucumber is a popular option.

I had lunch at Treasure Island as part of the Tech Field Extra event. This was pretty decent fare as well, and I had:

  • Classic Caesar salad with croutons and fresh parmesan cheese;
  • Fafalle and Pesto Cream Sauce;
  • Pan-flashed Tilapia with Fried Capers and Lemon;
  • Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions; and
  • Fig-glazed pork loin, roasted peppers, spinach and rosemary jus.

During the three sessions I also helped myself to 2 coffees and a granola bar. Before dinner I had a Sapporo beer at the Players Lounge bar at the Encore. This was paid for by Enrico Signoretti. We had dinner at Wazuzu. I had a variety of sushi, some edamame and 2 Asahi beers. The food tasted great but the service was fairly slow. We split the bill evenly seven ways. I then randomly bumped into Bill again so we headed to Stripburger and Chicken for a few beers. I had 3 Pabst Blue Ribbon draught beers. This was covered by Bill.



On Thursday morning I had a late breakfast at Morels with Max Mortillaro. I had the smoked salmon eggs benedict, a cappuccino, and some orange juice. Max very kindly picked up the tab. I went to lunch with Bill at Bonito Michoacán. I had chicken sopes and a coke. I could barely finish half of it. We then visited the Las Vegas South Premium Outlets to do a spot of shopping and Bill dropped me at McCarran airport to start the trek home.

Dell EMC Announces Unity XT And More Cloudy Things

Disclaimer: I recently attended Dell Technologies World 2019.  My flights, accommodation and conference pass were paid for by Dell Technologies via the Media, Analysts and Influencers program. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.


Dell EMC Unity XT

As part of their storage announcements this week, Dell EMC announced the new Unity XT. Here’s a photo of one from the show floor at Dell Technologies World.

There are two variants of Unity XT, and you can grab the All-Flash data sheet here, and the Hybrid data sheet here. The spec sheet for both flavours is here. There are 8 models in all, and the smallest one in hybrid and all-flash won’t support NVMe (to keep the cost down for smaller customers). I’m told the largest model will scale up to 1500 drives, with Dell EMC revisiting the kind of specs that they had with the VNX 7600 and 8000 range.

From an efficiency perspective, Dell EMC are claiming

  • Up to 5:1 data reduction
  • 85% system efficiency

Wait, what about performance? Dell EMC are telling me the Unity XT delivers up to:

  • 2x More Performance (IOPS)*
  • 75% Lower Latency**
  • 67% Faster performance than competition***

Like all performance claims, there are a few caveats:

  • *100% reads, 100% writes & mixed workload – compared to previous generation
  • ** @ 150K IOPS, 8K block size, 70/30 R/W ratio
  • *** Compared to leading vendor


Dell Storage and the Cloud

It’s a multi-cloud world. And Dell EMC have been working to make sure their involved in various cloud things, including:

  • Dell Technologies Cloud Platform (certified with Unity and PowerMax);
  • Cloud Data Services;
  • Cloud Connected Systems; and
  • Cloud Data Insights.

Dell Technologies Cloud Platform

This was a reasonably significant announcement, and I’ll be covering it in a separate article.


Cloud Data Services

Dell EMC are also offering a range of storage and protection data services available in the public cloud provider of your choice.

Dell EMC Cloud Storage Services

Dell EMC have announced that Early Access is coming soon for Dell EMC Cloud Storage Services Integrated with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for File.

[image courtesy of Dell EMC]

  • Ideal for HPC applications, analytics, media and entertainment, life sciences, etc.
  • Backed by enterprise SLAs
  • Pay-as-you-use pricing
  • Proactive monitoring, maintenance, and hardware life- cycle management

They’ve also announced that Dell EMC Cloud Storage Services is now available.

[image courtesy of Dell EMC]

  • Fast – High-speed, low latency connection to the cloud;
  • Trusted – Durable, persistent storage with up to 6-9’s availability and enterprise grade security; and
  • Flexible – Control your data with multi-cloud agility; Independently scale capacity and compute.


DR Services

The cool thing about cloud data services is that you can do cool things with them, such as using VMC on AWS for Automated Disaster Recovery

[image courtesy of Dell EMC]

Dell EMC tell me it’s a:

  • Seamlessly integrated VMware environment;
  • Delivering automated DR operations;
  • With enterprise-grade, pay- as-you-go DRaaS;
  • You only pay for compute in the cloud when failover occurs; and
  • This gives you access to lower RPOs and RTOs

It’s a multi-cloud world though, so you can also access multiple cloud providers for Disaster Recovery.

[image courtesy of Dell EMC]

The benefits of this approach are numerous, including:

  • No secondary DC to manage;
  • Enterprise-grade infrastructure;
  • A Pay-as-you-go model;
  • Only pay for compute in the cloud in the event of a failure; and
  • Lower RPOs.

And it wouldn’t be multi-cloud capable if you couldn’t do other cool stuff like workload migration, analytics and more:

  • Flexible, multi-cloud support;
  • No vendor lock-in with data independent of the cloud;
  • Leverage cloud(s) of choice based on application needs;
  • Reduce risk with centralised, durable storage; and
  • Fast, low cost set up – no additional infrastructure to setup or manage.

Cloud Data Insights

Proactively monitor and manage infrastructure and data with intelligent cloud-based analytics. With CloudIQ you get access to a few neat things, including:

Predictive Modelling

  • Capacity Forecasting
  • Competing Workload Analysis

Accelerated Resolution

  • 3X Faster Insight
  • Performance Anomaly Detection

Broader Support

  • Primary Storage Portfolio
  • VMware
  • Connectrix
  • Isilon and PowerVault*

[image courtesy of Dell EMC]

Dell EMC ClarityNow

  • Single pane of glass view of all file and object storage;
  • Accelerated scan and indexing of unstructured data;
  • High-speed search across heterogeneous storage;
  • Detailed reporting with chargeback views; and
  • Data mobility for self-service archive in cloud.

[image courtesy of Dell EMC]


Thoughts and Further Reading

The Unity XT is an evolution of the Unity line, rather than a revolutionary array. Dell EMC are doing all the things you’d expect them to do with their midrange line, including improving performance and adding support for NVMe on most of the models. I imagine people still have questions about the breadth of Dell EMC’s storage portfolio, with a range of products available from Unity to SC to XtremIO to PowerMax. There’s also Isilon dominating the file options, and ECS delivering some interesting object capabilities. It’s clear there’s still some room for consolidation, but I think it’s smart that Dell EMC have stuck with the “portfolio company” line. Instead of having too many options, the idea is that they can see you exactly what you want. They are, after all, in the business of making money. And if people want to keep buying Compellent, then Dell EMC are going to keep selling it to them. At least in the near term.

The Cloud Data Services announcements are also interesting. I’ve seen plenty of those cloud-native folks question why you’d want something like Isilon running on GCP. But those people aren’t really the ones who’l’ benefit from these types of solutions. Rather, it’s the enterprise who’ve built up particular workloads that rely on file, but still need to shift some of those workloads to a public cloud provider. Remember, not every tech company goes out and builds products without having a user base that has asked for said products. Dell EMC are very much in the camp of not doing things without having a quantifiable appetite from the customer base.

I’m glad I don’t work in a job where I have to manage lots of storage devices anymore. Because I’m not so sure I’d like to do it on my mobile phone. But the ability to view the health of these devices via an app is appealing. Sure, you’re not going to necessarily want to use element managers on your phone, but whne you need to know that status of something without diving too deep, something like CloudIQ becomes super useful. As does the ability to see all of your devices in one place with ClarityNow.

I didn’t hear anything revolutionary in Dell EMC’s storage announcements this year, but they continue to stay the course, and they’re setting the scene for bigger things to come. For another perspective, you can read Max’s thoughts on the storage announcements here. I’m looking forward to digging in to what Dell Technologies Cloud really means, and hope to have something out on that in the next week or so.

Dell Technologies World 2019 – Wednesday General Session – Optimism and Happiness in the Digital Age – Rough Notes

Disclaimer: I recently attended Dell Technologies World 2019.  My flights, accommodation and conference pass were paid for by Dell Technologies via the Media, Analysts and Influencers program. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my rough notes from the Wednesday General Session at Dell Technologies World, titled “Optimism and Happiness in the Digital Age”. The panellists were:


Anxiety today?

AD: Change has been going in for a long time. It’s the pace of change, in every part of our lives. People are questioning what they’re going to do when things keep changing.

WIA: The investment that society has put in AI is much more than it has in human intelligence. We haven’t invested in humanity.

Tell us more about your company Will.

WIA: Marc Benioff pushed us to pivot a long time ago. We had a watch separate to a phone a while ago. Used to have to talk to the watch. Told them to focus on the software. Back in 2004. Did things like voice control. Getting it to be cross-domain. Natural language processing. Now they power Deutsche Telekom’s call centres in Austria, amongst others.

Brynn, can you tell us about your company?

BP: MIRROR is a mirror, and can stream in-home fitness things. We want to make it the third screen in your life. For interactive experiences. Using technology for fitness. You’ve leaned in to screens. The best technology gives you what you need, what you want, and what you can do. Use biometric data to tailor your program.

How many people are tracking their steps? That’s a great example of positive uses of technology. Allison, can you talk about AI? It concerns people when they gaze into the future.

AD: AI is not actually new. Combination of AI, data and compute power. Are we an optimist or are we a pessimist. We need to be pragmatic, responsible optimists. Any technology can be used for good, and used for bad. We use a lot of AI and ML to do our targeting in marketing. IF we only use the data from the past, we only target current customers. We want to expand our audience. So we have to think about the data sets that go into our models, This is human thought and governance going into what we do. Critical thinking and human oversight. Really big social problems – medicine done at scale.

Will, do you want to respond?

WIA: For a company, that’s great. Taking data and using AI to give you a path forward. But people and communities don’t have that. What’s coming tomorrow is a little more personal. Some other companies are accessing people’s free product. “I’m just a data point for them”. Doctor’s still ask you questions like where have you been? My phone knows that. My doctor doesn’t ask for my phone though. We need to have regulations on data, and AI. Government needs to catch up.

Will, you had a previous career. Music industry was hit hard by tech via file sharing.

WIA: Music is technology. The first Steve Jobs was Edison. The first iPod was a gramophone. That way of getting music was disrupted. More music is made today than there ever has. People aren’t getting rich like Lionel Richie any more. Maybe they will in the future. Music isn;’t all about money. Making your heart fell good, and letting other people feel that heart and joy. We need a new business model. There’s a lot of junk, but a lot of good stuff too. Music and VR is the space for dreamers and creators. It’s 1919. The industry hasn’t really blossomed yet.

Brynn, you’re a parent. You have a product that promotes screen time. Should that be limited?

BP: I think about quality more than quantity. We need to think about how tech can play a role in having a positive influence on our children. Inspire curiosity ..

AD: We need to think more about self-monitoring. We never allow our brains to get bored. When we do, we pick up our phones. Your mind never rests on a particular task. That prevents you from doing things like writing and creating music, for example.

Allison, what is the role of tech companies in building those kinds of monitors?

AD: So much of the conversation about tech is about media and social media. The writers are media professionals. There’s the role that companies have in social media, and the role we have in technology overall. Instagram are going to pilot diminishing the importance of likes in Canada. Some people think this is a bad thing, because they make money that way. Point of these technologies is to make a connection. We’re going to see increasing responsibility of media and governments. We try to do this too, in different areas.

Will, as a creator, how do use tech, but avoid being distracted while trying to do something?

WIA: Technology is not the only distraction. Boys and girls in high school. Drugs can be. The Kardashians are. You need to surround yourself with folks who share the same passion as you. You need to be mindful of the squad you select. We do dumb shit with smart phones. Some 18 – 21 year olds will create a new Facebook. They’re out-marketing the marketers. All in 15 – 30 seconds. The engagement is crazy.

Do you try to expressly carve out time from distractions?

BP: I try to set time for specific tasks. Focusing singularly on problems. It’s easy to blame the device.

Allison, are you doing this at Dell?

AD: When I talk about how are brains are wired, we don’t need to blame the device. It’s important to take personal responsibility. You need to have a conversation about not using phones at the dining table.

WIA: We people watch. If we were looking at the 60s, we’d judge them for having too much sex. Sluts and hos. “We don’t have phone sluts or phone hos”.

It’s a bit boring now to bring up government regulation. Do you have concerns for government breaking up big tech companies?

AD: What do you call it Will? “Idatity“? Creating some controls. California has different privacy laws compared to Europe or other US states. Worry about 1000s of different laws being in place to block productivity.

WIA: We live in America. The food isn’t the most healthy. The same company that regulates our drugs regulates our foods. We eat bad stuff then they give us pills. Bad for business. It should be about what’s good for people, not business.

Education. Technology is an important driver of the economy. Education hasn’t caught up yet though.

WIA: 11 years I’ve had a school where I’m from. Started with 65, now 700 kids. It’s hard to raise money for kids. It’s easy to raise money for AI though. That’s inhumane. That keeps me up at night. Why is it so hard to raise money for education?

Do you feel the education system is going to teach your child what they need to know?

BP: Optimistic answer. My 2yo favourite activity is taking tach and putting it back together. Excited to see my child engaging and exploring technology.

Allison, Dell hires a lot of people. Can you find enough engineers and programmers?

AD: Search for tech staff is hard. We have systemic issues in our education system. We need to focus on STEM, build the talent pool. Critical that we need to teach our children to engage in critical thinking. Teach our engineers to write, read, engage with other humans. Need them to think critically about what they ask the technology to work on. Kids don’t know how to talk to people.

WIA: I blame what we have on technology companies. If I ran FIFA, we makes sure there’s a World Cup every 4 years. They’re recruiting from a very young age. The Oscars make sure everyone is watching the red carpet. Acknowledge the makeup artists, the scriptwriters. The Grammies. There’s a shortage of jobs. We’re not inspiring kids to dream about that path. The tech companies need to pay so that every kid is dreaming of getting into tech.


BP: The ability to automate things that we need to do so we can do things we want to do

WIA: is it going to love me, and am I going to love it? Everyone picks up their dog, because the dog gives the illusion that it loves you. Will a robot do that because it knows everything about you? Is it going to love me too?

AD: The Cylon / Wall-E fight off. Cylons are bad, Wall-E is good. Which one will win.


AD: Already everywhere

WIA: Who owns my data when I’m going around pinging everything?

BP: Every day essentials made easier in a way that seamlessly integrates in my environment.

Genetic engineer?

BP: Pass.

WIA: Is the new rich. Humans born a certain way, and then the “super elite”. Data is currency now. Countries that will be poor in data, and countries that will be rich in data.

AD: I can see the possibility. Some of it is good – solving cancer. But I don’t want a girl, etc, that’s really scary.

WIA: I want to chop these legs off and join the Olympics. Now I want big breasts. You can do that now.

AD: Too much of the conversation is about the media. But it’s important too. After the Sri Lankan bombings, they shut down social media channels. Contributed to stopping some of the violence. But it’s scary. What do you think?

ES: Forums being used to propagate hate, there’s a need for some control. But it’s a first amendment issue too. It’s complicated.


Audience Q and A

Q: WE know there’s a correlation between fitness and happiness. But we’re all busy. Any tips?

BP: Treat your body like it belongs to someone you love. We’re always faced with a series of choices.

Q: Do you see technology as a way to not only celebrate diversity and eliminate biases we see? How does technology help us create respect for diversity? Do you see technology as a way to bring that forward?

AD: It absolutely can be, it’s whether you want to. It’s about the data sources you use. If you widen the source of information, you can solve the problem faster. You run into trouble if you apply the same processes to data that you already did, and don’t address the hidden bias.

BP: Social media is fundamentally a platform that enables everyone to be a story teller, and find their own community.

WIA: If tech could borrow from the world of music, and collaborate more. Music is all about collaboration. If we could be a bit more collaborative, diversity is solved.

Q: Is there anything that truly frightens you about tech?

AD: Tech can be used to bring out the best in humanity, and also used to inspire mass hatred. That’s why the emphasis I have on responsible and pragmatic is so important. We need to make sure we don’t pretend that the problems don’t exist. The truth is in the middle.

WIA: The technology doesn’t terrify me. People terrify me. The decisions we make, the hate we make, the divisions we create. Machines are machines. It’s not machines that made the Congo that way, or the hood has liquor stores and strip clubs near schools – that’s zoning. It’s people that scare me.

BP: The idea that innovation requires revolution. Over-emphasis on what we can do, rather than what the world needs.

Q: I grew up in a poor environment. When you gave back to the community, where did you start? And how did it progress?

WIA: 2008 – fresh off of what America felt like. On that Obama high. What’s next? Focus on the neighbourhood. Start where you come from. I went small with 65 kids at my school. It was $10 million over 9 years. How am I going to come up with that? It can be heart, passion, mentorship, not necessarily money. I’m going on 12 years now.

Q: Being a technology creator, are you worried about the dangers of AI in the future?

AD: We feel incredible responsibility about what we’re doing, and our role in steering humans. Focusing technology on stuff that isn’t a real problem. Let’s focus on eradicate poverty, not how to deliver burritos faster.

AD closes by thanking the panellists. “Don’t be a phone ho”.

Entertaining session. 4 stars.

Dell Technologies World 2019 – Media Session – Architecting Innovation in a Multi-Cloud World – Rough Notes

Disclaimer: I recently attended Dell Technologies World 2019.  My flights, accommodation and conference pass were paid for by Dell Technologies via the Media, Analysts and Influencers program. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my rough notes from Media & Analyst Conference Session II – Architecting Innovation in a Multi-Cloud World: Chairman Q&A with Michael Dell; Discussion with Jeff Clarke and Pat Gelsinger.


Q and A with Michael Dell

MD: We’re innovating like crazy across our businesses.

Q: As organisations begin to adopt more technology, they’re adding more risks too. How does Dell mitigate this risk of lock-in if they choose to go all in with Dell?

MD: Customers don’t want to be systems integrators anymore. What we do is broad, but the alternative could be 20 companies. Our breadth has been resonating with customers. They want fewer companies to deal with. Part of this is the sense of urgency that is a function of this digital transformation. Customers have to be reimagining what they’re doing. And they need to do it quickly.  Fewer partners and industry consolidation will be the trend.

Q: In the context of data privacy and security, can you talk about the Secureworks Red Cloak offering.

MD: We’re now offering Red Cloak. Secureworks grew up in the last 20 years helping customers solve an important problem. You buy all these different security products, but you don’t know what to do with all the events, indicators. Yo need to build an AI engine to deal with it. Only Secureworks could use this engine though. Customers wanted the capability for themselves, the ability to customise it. Will open up a new set of capabilities for customers to deal with al these threats. The ingenuity of the bad folks out there is stunning. The bad guys are using AI and ML and the cloud too.

Q: A lot of the announcements today had the VMware brand on them. Are you going to differentiate?

MD: We are VMware, VMware is us. The collaboration has never been greater. We own over 80% of VMware. VCF was created a couple of years – seamlessly move applications across on-premises through to public cloud and the edge. Partnership with VMware is only getting stronger, and it’s what customers wanted.

The DT Cloud is inclusive of the VMware cloud, but also uses the Dell EMC infrastructure. Starting with VxRail, but this will extend.

Q: Dell is investing in startups in India. We talk about diversity, but how do you remove biases from AI and ML?

MD: DT Capital has invested in over 90 startups all over the world. Unconscious bias is a significant problem. We’re experimenting in our hiring and Human Resources to try and ensure bias is not reflected in our activities. We’re trying to work it out. Make sure these technologies reflect our humanity.

Q: I’m interested in SME. Indian SMEs are in the millions. They are different to SMEs in the US, or other parts of the world. How is Dell looking at this pool of business potential?

MD: We love large customers, but also small and medium. When have had a specific strategy to invest and grow that part of the business. 18 countries have a specific small business focus. Take a very local approach. Attractive growth vector for the company. All companies start small. We want to serve those companies from their beginnings. This new technology will unleash new business models. We strive to be the best provider of capabilities, and it has to be highly localised.

Q: Dell Technology Cloud is for on-premises. VCF is AWS, SoftLayer. Are you going to do DTCloud in your own DCs?

MD: No, we’re not going to build our own DCs. We have over 4000 VMware partners, and Azure. Customers will be able to move workloads between those partners, and their on-premises cloud. Appliances have been created that are highly autonomous. Take away the management overhead of having 1000s of ppl managing this stuff. We believe there will be a boom in edge computing. We have a consistent way to manage all of that.

Q: Can we expect at some point in the future that we might see AzureStack or OpenStack running on-premises from you?

MD: Yes. Trend of the public cloud services finding their way on-premises. True definition of multi-cloud.

Q: HPE signed up with Nutanix. Are these announcements a strategy to beat out the competition.

MD: We’ve already beat these companies in HCI. No-one has a better hybrid cloud strategy. It’s an admission from HPE that their strategy is not working well. If you’re going to get in a brawl, take the first punch, and make it a good one.

Q: With the Secureworks announcement today. Moore’s Law is facing its end. Intel delaying chips for PCs. Something is slowing down. You’re a big customer – what do you do?

MD: Our next speakers know a bit more about this. There have been supply challenges in the microprocessor area. We’re dealing with it. Seeing dramatic advancements in compute power, not just in CPUs, but GPUs.

Q: DCaaS and Workspace One – what’s the impact on Dell’s channel partners, MSPs and VARs?

MD: Partners are embracing multi-cloud. Looking to us to extend our capabilities further into the cloud.

Q: You paint a compelling picture of a new age of miracles. How do we bring these to emerging markets? What other miracles do you imagine will come?

MD: I don’t know that I have a perfect answer. Creating a more inclusive world is super important. Other miracles? The combinatorial inventions of the future are hard to predict. We can think about the ingredients. 5G, AI. There will be a massive wave of innovation. Technology has been an enormous force for good. Exactly how? I don’t think people know just yet.

Q: AWS can do stuff in days, but SDDC from DTC is 30 days.

MD: We under promise, and over deliver.


Pat Gelsinger and Jeff Clarke

Q: What functional changes have occurred? To mash together VMware and Dell Technologies together.

Jeff: Pat and VMware are still independent. But we’ve changed the collaboration dynamic. How do we do HCI? Common data services? Compute? We’ve broken down the traditional layers that existed between us.

Pat: The financial restructuring, hasn’t changed the operational model.

Q: Project Dimension is significantly new.

Pat: Today’s announcement on the unified workspace is a big deal.

Jeff: Unified Workspace – VMware, Secureworks, Dell PCs, Dell support. Dell Technologies Cloud. There’s the platform side – VCF on VxRail out of the factory. There’s the DC managed as a service component.

Q: Who’s going to build a VMware ecosystem on Azure?

Pat: The offerings of VMC on AWS is a VMware-offered solution. VMW on Azure is a Microsoft offered service. Google Anthos – it’s a directional announcement.

Q: A key element to digital workspace is security. Workspace One is not a full IAM suite.

Pat: The Workspace One model is that most places have picked an IAM solution already. We federate. And uniformly deploy that across all of the devices.

Jeff: You might be pleasantly surprised in the future. Creating a substrate to allow the 7 businesses to work as one.

Q: Will you support OpenStack?

Pat: OpenStack competes with VCF. We’ve embraced the interfaces. We do deliver VIO. Builds on top of VMware Cloud Foundation. We announced support for OpenShift on top of the VMware SDDC solution. We also have PKS competing with OpenShift.

Q: Are you considering that Nutanix is your first challenger? And what about NTNX and Dell now?

Pat: Dell has the broadest offering, ecosystem. There are competitors. Microsoft, RedHat, NTNX. VMware is ahead of all of those. Regarding HCI, VxRail is now the leader. We’re growing much faster than #2 in the marketplace.

Jeff: There is no doubt in our mind about what our preferred solution is that we take to our customers. If customers want choice, we can offer choice. But we will lead with our own IP (Dell and VMware).

Q: The biggest drawback to all of this seems to be maturity and vendor lock-in. How do you guys address that?

Jeff: Customers want lifecycle management. They want it to be easier to deploy and manage. That’s what we’ve done with VMware and VxRail.

Pat: Customers want fewer, more strategic vendors. Less attention looking at the lower part of the stack. Our objective is to give them solutions that allow them to look up. But that can be seen as taking away choice. VMware strategy has been to keep open interfaces at every layer, and keep choices open. Trying to balance both of those.

Q: Having been in the PC business, what new form factor do you see coming in the future? Do you see voice becoming a key part of the interface?

Jeff: We don’t need another form factor. We are going to evolve to a world with a natural user interface with these products. Will become unconstrained from the keyboard and mouse. Augmented reality. 5G and low latency data. Experience across a 5” device through to 100” device will continue. That’s more interesting than what our new notebooks will look like. It’s much more about the rich, immersive experiences.

Informative session in places. 4 stars.

Dell Technologies World 2019 – Tuesday General Session – Innovation to Unlock Your Digital Future – Rough Notes

Disclaimer: I recently attended Dell Technologies World 2019.  My flights, accommodation and conference pass were paid for by Dell Technologies via the Media, Analysts and Influencers program. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my very rough notes from Tuesday’s General Session “Innovation to Unlock Your Digital Future” at Dell Technologies World 2019.

Jeff Clarke takes the stage. Dell is creating a substrate, with

  • Dell Technologies Unified Workspace;
  • Dell Technologies Cloud; and
  • VMware Cloud on Dell EMC.

It’s the “Data Era”, and you need to focus on your “data capital”. IT has to modernise to meet the data needs of today and tomorrow. Dell is investing in data management and data services.

  1. Powerful and modern infrastructure to handle things like AI / ML
  2. You’ll need a hybrid cloud strategy for your multi-cloud strategy
  3. The edge is coming. 25% of all data volume will be real-time generated at the edge
  4. Software-defined
  5. It’s about a modern workforce experience

Five generations spanning the workforce today. Generation Z is the latest. Focus on workforce, IT, application, and security transformation.

[Customer testimonial video – Under Armour]

John Roese, President and CTO, takes the stage. We’re creating more data than we ever have before. That’s the fuel of the modern enterprise. But all the data and algorithms don’t matter if we can’t turn that into value quickly. You need the Cloud – core – edge working as a system



There are 2 types of edges. The first type are entities that are smart and mobile – people. Keeping them productive is a focus. A new range of laptops is announced – the 7000, 5000, 3000.

Rahul Tikoo takes the stage to talk with John about laptops …

And a new dock.

The second edge is dominated by IoT and sensors. We are redistributing IT back out into the real world – in hospitals, factories. 5G is about distributing compute into the edge. You need to be able to deliver IT anywhere it’s needed. And it needs to be hardened, resilient. Roese talks about Dell Technologies as being a strategic partner to most telcos. They’re helping companies building not just smart factories, but “insightful” factories.

The edge – it’s where most of the data is created and where most of the action happens.



The core is becoming more distributed and multi-cloud is becoming important for workload migration.

  • Scale up and scale out
  • NVMe and SCM
  • SW-defined
  • Cloud-enabled
  • Trusted
  • Built-in AI/ML

From a PowerEdge perspective, Dell EMC announced the Dell EMC DSS 8440. You can add up to 10 accelerators, such as Nvidia GPUs.


From a storage perspective, there have been a few announcements, including

  • A new Isilon model, and support for up to 58PB, and 252 nodes;
  • PowerMax is now supports dual-ported storage class memory – using it as a primary tier of storage; and
  • The new Unity XT range has been announced.

Craig Bernero takes the stage to talk about the XT and Dell EMC Cloud Storage Services. There’s a brief CloudIQ demo.

Data Protection

Beth Phalen takes the stage with John to talk about data protection. Data protection requirements are changing. They still have IDPA, DPS, and Data Domain. They now also have PowerProtect.

  • X400 – Multi-dimensional data protection appliance
  • Software-defined offering as well
  • Scale out or “grow in place”

First ever all-flash data management appliance. PowerProtect demo.

Roese: “It’s not secondary storage – it’s protected, managed infrastructure”.


Strategy has been focus on the future. The Dell EMC networking range has now been rebranded as PowerSwitch.

Roese says they’ve always built products for the hybrid cloud. Dell are most used hardware and software to build clouds (public and private) – whatever that means. Chad Dunn takes the stage and talks about all things VxRail and Pivotal, including VxRail Analytical Consulting Engine (ACE).

Roese says “every industry will go through these transformations. You can’t execute it with just a great product, or a great data centre. You need a great modern essential infrastructure”.

Jeff Clarke comes back on stage. By next year we’ll have finished modernising the entire Dell EMC portfolio

[Customer testimonial video – Home Depot]



Pat Gelsinger takes the stage and talks about the “superpowers of tech”

  • Cloud
  • Mobile
  • AI / ML
  • Edge / IoT

“If I take your AMEX, I can build a 10000-core supercomputer over the weekend. If I take Michael’s AMEX, I can build the world’s biggest super computer”

VMware’s Vision has been “any cloud, any application, any device”

3 laws of hybrid cloud

  • Physics – low latency. You can’t do 250ms RTT if you want 50ms response time.
  • Economics – intelligence at the edge
  • Land – if it needs to be on-premises then you can’t take it to the public cloud

VxRail as a core unit of computing


“Everyone needs to become a great software company”

VMware PKS

  • Enterprise PKS
  • Essential PKS
  • Cloud PKS (Beta)

Laptop / edge announcements dominated the conversation, rather than some of the cool storage stuff. Interesting. I’ll have some more coverage of the storage and data protection announcements soon. 3 stars.

Dell Technologies World 2019 – Monday General Session – The Architects of Innovation – Rough Notes

Disclaimer: I recently attended Dell Technologies World 2019.  My flights, accommodation and conference pass were paid for by Dell Technologies via the Media, Analysts and Influencers program. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my very rough notes from Monday’s General Session “The Architects of Innovation” at Dell Technologies World 2019.

Michael Dell takes the stage. Time is flying by. And we’re inspired by what you all have accomplished. Fearlessly facing into the digital future.

We’ve created the “Essential Infrastructure Company”. We’ve invested more than $20B in R&D in the last 5 years, and the 35th birthday of the company is coming up. Dell has always been a culture about technology optimism. People are at the centre of everything we do.

Global life expectancy is up, vaccinations are up, Global GDP is up. The next 3 decades will have more progress than ever before. We’ll possibly see the eradication of deafness. A new age of miracles is just around the corner.

We’re creating a digital twin of reality. Ensure technology reflects our humanity and values. Fire can burn a village, but it also warms the home. Technology can improve out lives, but it comes with challenges. The aim is for better lives on a global scale. This is why we all come together. Through million of actions, we’re working with you to build a better world.

Draper Labs in Massachusetts (customer video)

Northern California Campfire, 2018 – So much more data coming from satellites. Opportunity to put all of that together. Learning the full story to understand how to solve these problems in the future. MD recognises the team from Draper.

It’s a time of unprecedented progress. Driving new digital native models and services. Technology is the enabler of progress. Its impact is far beyond what it used to been the IT organisation. Every organisation needs to reimagine itself in the new digital age.

The story starts with a tsunami of data. It’s our greatest asset and most important resource. It’s completely renewable and inexhaustible. Turning that data into action and progress and success is at the heart of digital transformation.

  • Computing power
  • Artificial intelligence
  • 5G

We’re doing this through

  • VMware – virtualising all of your infrastructure (including the network)
  • Partnering with all of the public clouds
  • Edge – core – multi-cloud

Pivotal is fast becoming the leading platform for developing apps in the multi-cloud world.

“Dell Technologies is truly better together”

Secureworks – Red Cloak Threat Detection & Response announcement

Bank of America is transforming into a leading digital organisation. Cathy Bessant says they “need a lot of data to be effective”. They share a strategic understanding of the importance of trust. Don’t get lost in some ethereal concept of access. Requirements change at the pace of a consumer, not at the speed of enterprise. Speed, iterative thought, knowing the answers before the questions are known. Whatever got us to this point will not get us to the future. We are only as good as the sum of our great partnerships.

MD says whether you’re a powerhouse or a farmhouse – you matter to us. The future is AI-powered and software-defined

Jeff Clarke takes the stage. What a time to be in the technology sector. Data-centric workloads are changing the way we work. There’s a new distributed edge. New entrants to the workforce – “Digital natives” – mixing personal and work in a very time sliced way. IT has to respond by modernising its methods. IT has become an integral part of the business. Holistic solutions from the edge to the core to the cloud

What’s next?

Worked with Pat Gelsinger in the industry over the last 30 years. Need to drive smarter and simpler IT in this era. Pat Gelsinger joins Jeff on the stage.

Modernise the PC experience while eliminating complexity. Simpler is always better.

  • 81% workforce outside of traditional office
  • 76% work in 2 or more places
  • 52% work in more than 3 places weekly

Companies need engaged employees. Mobile, multi-device workforce. IT needs to provision and deploy simply and securely. It’s a complex problem. Users need simpler provisioning, deployment, processes. Users want the modern, mobile device experience

Dell Technologies Unified Workspace announcement

  • Extended PCaaS capabilities
  • Deploy, secure, manage and support
  • PCs from Dell – rent, buy, or lease

Gelsinger – Public and Private need to work together

  • 93% applications use multiple clouds
  • 5+ cloud architectures used
  • $120B new hardware spend for on-premises private clouds through 2022
  • $100B software & services spend through 2022

With this evolution, you get a lot of complexity. So much of the work of the last decade has been “solving silos”. Complexity of cloud silos is slowing down adoption. Where’s your data? Storing it, protecting it, backing it up?

Jeff: Is it time for a better cloud?

Pat: I think it is.

Read more about Dell Technologies Cloud powered by VMware here.

  • Remove the complexity, and control the chaos in a multi-cloud world.
  • Hybrid done right.
  • Consistent infrastructure across all of your environments. IaaS and PaaS across all of your environments. Support for PKS and containers. Consume on a monthly basis.
  • VxRail now fully supports VCF. PowerMax and Unity are VCF-ready.

Pat: Project Dimension – DCaaS. VMware Cloud on Dell EMC – working on bringing it to market this year.

People go the cloud because it’s easier, not necessarily cheaper or better.

  • VMware-operated end-to-end
  • Hybrid cloud control plane
  • VMware SDDC delivered on Dell EMC VxRail
  • Co-engineered & delivered by Dell Technologies

June Yang, VP, Engineering and Product Management, VMware comes on stage with Pat to do a demo.

  • All-inclusive subscription price
  • Start as small as 3 nodes
  • Control plane stays on-premises
  • Available H2 2019

Jeff leaves the stage. Michael comes back on the join Pat.

MD: We’ve been talking a lot about multi-cloud, and the importance of choice and flexibility. Distributed innovation, and interoperability among the leading companies. Satya Nadella (Microsoft CEO) joins them on the stage. Read more about the Microsoft, Dell Technologies and VMware announcement here.

Azure VMware solutions – best of VMware and the best of Azure. VCF into Azure.

MD: Back when we started working with Microsoft, it was all about the PC. Now we’re talking about cloud resources. The PC is still and important part of what we’re all doing.

Satya: We’ve always been working to empower employees. Windows 10 has momentum – 800 million devices out there. Microsoft 365 has become the essential tool for collaboration, security and compliance.

Pat: Workspace One, Office 365, Microsoft 365, Windows 10, Azure Active Directory coming together

How about NSX and Azure networking? How can we bring Azure services on-premises on VMware?

Pat and Satya leave the stage.

MD: Customers are at the centre of everything we do.

Cloud-agnostic interoperability. Cleaner world, humane world, working across the ecosystem to solve our challenges

Karen Quintos (Chief Customer Officer) takes the stage. It’s great to see when technology takes a key role in solving problems. But it’s people behind the technology. Phoebe’s story – 3D-printed prosthetics. Read more about e-NABLE here.

MD joins Karen on stage.

“Our mission is to advance human progress”.

Solid session. 4 stars.

Dell – Dell Technologies World 2019 – See You Soon Las Vegas

This is a quick post to let you all know that I’ll be heading to Dell’s annual conference (Dell Technologies World) this year in Las Vegas, NV. I’m looking forward to catching up with some old friends and meeting some new ones. If you haven’t registered yet but feel like that’s something you might want to do – the registration page is here. To get a feel for what’s on offer, you can check out the agenda here. I’m looking forward to hearing more about stuff like this.

I’ll also be participating in a Tech Field Day Extra event at Dell Technologies World. You can check out the event page for that here.

Massive thanks to Konstanze and Debbie from Dell for organising the “influencer” pass for me. Keep an eye out for me at the conference and surrounding events and don’t be afraid to come and say hi (if you need a visual – think Grandad Wolverine).

Dell EMC News From VMworld US 2018

I’m not at VMworld US this year, but I had the opportunity to be briefed by Sam Grocott (Dell EMC Cloud Strategy) on some of Dell EMC‘s key announcements during the event, and thought I’d share some of my rough notes and links here. You can read the press release here.


It is a multi-cloud world. Multi-cloud requires workload mobility. The market requires a consistent experience between on-premises and off-premises. Dell EMC are doing some more stuff around that.


Cloud Platforms

Dell EMC offer a number of engineered systems to run both IaaS and cloud native applications.


Starting with vSphere 6.7, Dell EMC are saying they’re delivering “near” synchronous software releases between VMware and VxRail. In this case that translates to a less than 30 Day delta between releases. There’s also support for:

VxRack SDDC with VMware Cloud Foundation

  • Support for latest VCF releases – VCF 2.3.2, and future proof for next generation VMware cloud technologies
  • Alignment with VxRail hardware options – P, E, V series VxRail models, now including Storage Dense S-series
  • Configuration flexibility


Cloud-enabled Infrastructure

Focus is on the data

  • Cloud data mobility;
  • Cloud data protection;
  • Cloud data services; and
  • Cloud control.

Cloud Data Protection

  • DD Cloud DR – keep copies of VM data from on-premises DD to public cloud and orchestrate failover of workloads to the cloud
  • Data Protection Suite – use cloud storage for backup and retention
  • Cloud Snapshot Manager – Backup and recovery for public cloud workloads (Now MS Azure)
  • Data Domain virtual edition running in the cloud

DD VE 4.0 Enhancements

  • KVM support added for DD VE on-premises
  • In-cloud capacity expanded to 96TB (was 16TB)
  • Can run in AWS, Azure and VMware Cloud

Cloud Data Services

Dell EMC have already announced services such as:

And now you can get Dell EMC UnityVSA Cloud Edition.

UnityVSA Cloud Edition

[image courtesy of Dell EMC]

  • Up to 256TB file systems
  • VMware Cloud on AWS


  • No cost, SaaS offering
  • Predictive analytics – intelligently project capacity and performance
  • Anomaly detection – leverage ML to pinpoint deviations
  • Proactive health – identify risks before they impact the environment

Enhancements include:

Data Domain Cloud Tier

There are some other Data Domain related enhancements, including new AWS support (meaning you can have a single vendor for Long Term Retention).


ECS enhancements have also been announced, with a 50%+ increase in storage capacity and compute.



As would be expected from a company with a large portfolio of products, there’s quite a bit happening on the product enhancement front. Dell EMC are starting to get that they need to be on-board with those pesky cloud types, and they’re also doing a decent job of ensuring their private cloud customers have something to play with as well.

I’m always a little surprised by vendors offering “Cloud Editions” of key products, as it feels a lot like they’re bolting on something to the public cloud when the focus could perhaps be on helping customers get to a cloud-native position sooner. That said, there are good economic reasons to take this approach. By that I mean that there’s always going to be someone who thinks they can just lift and shift their workload to the public cloud, rather than re-factoring their applications. Dell EMC are providing a number of ways to make this a fairly safe undertaking, and products like Unity Cloud Edition provide some nice features such as increased resilience that would be otherwise lacking if the enterprise customer simply dumped its VMs in AWS as-is. I still have hope that we’ll stop doing this as an industry in the near future and embrace some smarter ways of working. But while enterprises are happy enough to spend their money on doing things like they always have, I can’t criticise Dell EMC for wanting a piece of the pie.