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 Technologies recently announced their Dell Technologies Cloud Platforms and Dell Technologies DCaaS offerings and I thought I’d try and dig in a little more to the announcements here.
[image courtesy of Dell Technologies]
Dell Technologies Cloud Data Center-as-a-Service (DTC DCaaS) is all about “bringing public cloud simplicity to your DCs”. So what do you get with this? You get:
- Data residency and regulatory compliance;
- Control over critical workloads;
- Proximity of data with cloud resources;
- Self-service resource provisioning;
- Fully managed, maintained and supported; and
- Increased developer velocity.
VMware Cloud on Dell
At its core, DTC DCaaS is built on VMware Cloud Foundation and Dell EMC VxRail. VMware Cloud on Dell EMC is “cloud infrastructure installed on-premises in your core and edge data centres and consumed as a cloud service”.
[image courtesy of Dell Technologies]
- Cloud infrastructure delivered as-a-service on-premises
- Co-engineered and delivered by Dell Technologies; ongoing service fully managed by VMware
- VMware SDDC including compute, storage and networking
- Built on VxRail – Dell EMC’s enterprise-grade cloud platform
- Hybrid cloud control plane to provision and monitor resources
- Monthly subscription model
How Does It Work?
- Firstly, you sign into the VMware Cloud service account to create an order. Dell Technologies will then deliver and install your new cloud infrastructure in your core or edge DC location.
- Next, the system will self-configure and register with VMware Cloud servers, so you can immediately begin provisioning and managing workloads with VMware’s hybrid cloud control plane.
Moving forward the hardware and software is fully managed, just like your public cloud resources.
Speeds And Feeds
As I understand it there are two configuration options: DC and Edge. The DC configuration is as follows:
- 1x 42U APC NetShelter rack
- 4 – 15x E560 VxRail Nodes
- 2x S5248FF 25GbE ToR Switches, OS10EE
- 1x S3048 1GbE Management Switch, OS9EE
- 2x VeloCloud 520
- 6X Single-phase 30 AMP PDU
- No UPS option
The Edge Location configuration is as follows:
- 1x 24U APC NetShelter rack
- 3 – 6x E560 VxRail Nodes
- 2X S4128F 10GbE ToR Switches, OS10EE
- 1X S3048-ON 1GbE Management Switch, OS9EE
- 2x VeloCloud 520
- 2x Single-phase 30 AMP PDU
- 2x UPS with batteries for 30 min hold-up time for 6X E560F
Thoughts And Further Reading
I haven’t explained it very clearly in this article, but there are two parts to the announcement. There’s the DTC Platforms announcement, and the DTC DCaaS announcement. You can read a slightly better explanation here, but the Platforms announcement is VCF on VxRail, and VMware Cloud on AWS. DTC DCaaS, on the other hand, is kit delivered into your DC or Edge site and consumed as a managed service.
There was a fair bit of confusion when I spoke to people at the show last week about what this announcement really meant, both for Dell Technologies and for their customers. At the show last year, Dell was bullish on the future of private cloud / on-premises infrastructure. It seems apparent, though, that this kind of announcement is something of an admission that Dell has customers that are demanding a little more activity when it comes to multi-cloud and hybrid cloud solutions.
Dell’s ace in the hole has been (since the EMC merger) the close access to VMware that they’ve enjoyed via the portfolio of companies. It makes sense that they would have a story to tell when it comes to VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Cloud on AWS. The box slingers at Dell EMC are happy because they can still sell VxRail appliances for use with the DCaaS offering. I’m interested to see just how many customers take up Dell on their vision of seamless integration between on-premises and public cloud workloads.
The public cloud vendors will tell you that eventually (in 5, 10, 20 years?) every workload will be “cloud native”. I think it’s more likely that we’ll always have some workloads that need to remain on-premises. Not necessarily because they have performance requirements that require that level of application locality, but rather because some organisations will have security requirements that will dictate where these workloads live. I think the shelf life of something like VMConAWS is still more limited than some people will admit, but I can see the need for stuff like this.
My only concern is that the DTC story can be complicated to tell in places. I’ve spent some time this week and last digging in to this offering, and I’m not sure I’ve explained it terribly well at all. I also wonder how the organisations (Dell EMC and VMware) will work together to offer a cohesive offering from a technology and support perspective. Ultimately, these types of solutions are appealing because companies want to focus on their core business, rather than operating as a poorly resourced IT organisation. But there’s no point entering in to these kinds of agreements if the vendor can’t deliver on their vision. “Fully managed services” mean different things to different vendors, so I’ll be interested to see how that plays out in the market.
Dell Technologies Cloud Data Center-as-a-Service, delivered as VMware Cloud on Dell EMC with VxRail, is currently is available in beta deployments with limited customer availability planned for the second half of 2019. You can read the solution overview here.