We are living in a world of transformation. Our daily lives, for example, have been released “into the wild.” I tell a friend something personal involving my family and discover he already knows about it from some online forum. Life today is certainly much more exposed, but this is only one small effect of progress. I am constantly having to reset my expectations in nearly every aspect because the world we live in now is nothing like when I grew up in rural Ohio.
This year’s Dell EMC World was all about transformation, especially the transforming of Dell as a company into what is now known as Dell Technologies. The portfolio of solutions they offer has become much broader and the employees, partners, and customer are having to adapt to that change. Embracing the transformation and understanding the value of the portfolio is key to the success of Dell and their partners abroad.
I interviewed several people from a customer standpoint to gauge their perception of the transformation. They explained that the value of the portfolio will help them solve business problems with a more cohesive approach. Furthermore, each one of them is transforming their business to be more dynamic and serviceable to their customer-base, so the transformation is becoming integrated into the entire service fabric.
Dell EMC World had several sub-themes, coupled with the release of new product updates. The XtremIO portfolio, with the release of the X2 Platform, will provide customers with a more cost effective, purpose-built all-flash approach at the enterprise level. It will offer more granularity in terms of how they grow or scale-up the business, as opposed to scaling it out. It will also feature an array-based replication feature, aimed at simplifying the multi-point approaches required today for disaster recovery. Data Protection schemes are repackaging their philosophy to provide more of a turnkey approach to the backup/recovery frustrations that plague all of us. The release of the Data Protection Appliance should help with simplification, combining both the best-of-breed software and hardware elements into one platform.
As expected, Hyper-converged continues to be a hot issue. Newer versions of VxRail and Scale-out VxRack released from Dell EMC’s portfolio will help them become much more relevant in the future. These new updates, combined with Dell XC Nodes/Nutanix and vBlock/VxBlock, should promote a greater share for Dell in this highly competitive and important segment of the market. Overall, most customers are seeing hyper-converged platforms as an important factor to simplify their infrastructure.
The messaging around Virtustream’s integration into the Dell Technologies family appears to be getting clearer. There are now more formal offerings in the Virtustream Storage Cloud and high-performance Virtustream Enterprise Cloud, on a pay-for-consumption basis. These give customers a more secure and production-oriented option than offerings from typical public cloud players. This same consumption-based modeling is also becoming more available to customers in the private cloud model. I have witnessed discussions where this model was portrayed as very attractive for larger customers who are struggling with the age-old capitalization vs. operational funding battle. It helps them to keep up with the rate of change. This will be an important tool to understand as IT Infrastructure continues to transform into a utility model.
All things considered, attending the 2017 Dell EMC World was a valuable experience. Although it may not have had the splash appeal of some former years, it provided much need clarity around the Dell EMC marriage and the future direction of the company. In a larger sense, it also served to establish the company’s place in the global technological transformation we are all living and give us new tools to embrace it.