Showing posts with label Dell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dell. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Orange and Dell collaborate on multi-access edge

Dell Technologies and Orange announced a collaboration agreement for distributed cloud architectures.

Specifically, Dell Technologies and Orange will collaborate on the definition and development of:

  • Edge technology use cases, business models and proof of concepts
  • Open source consortia and partnerships for the edge ecosystem
  • Definition and validation of infrastructure accelerators, such as FPGAs, GPUs, and SmartNICs, for edge workloads, including Cloud/Virtual RAN (CRAN/vRAN), MEC, and real-time, interactive, latency-sensitive applications
  • AI/ML-enabled software to support remote automation of a multi-technology, heterogeneous edge built on virtual machines, containers, and bare metal workloads
  • Edge infrastructure platforms supporting Telco environmental, space, operational and automation requirements.

“Orange entered this agreement with Dell Technologies to work jointly on a variety of topics revolving around edge computing and acceleration technologies that will be key to reach the full promise of 5G,” said St├ęphane Demartis, vice president, Orange, Corporate Cloud Infrastructure. “We believe it’s essential to prepare the ecosystem for telco use cases while progressing in our knowledge of the future technologies. Orange expects from this partnership with Dell EMC not only technical but also business outcomes in order to fuel our strategy towards Multi-access edge computing transformation.”

CenturyLink Private Cloud offers Dell EMC PowerEdge servers

CenturyLink Private Cloud on VMware Cloud Foundation is now available on Dell EMC PowerEdge servers.

CenturyLink said it is delivering a complete software-defined data center (SDDC) solution based on the Dell Technologies stack – combining Dell EMC PowerEdge servers with the VMware Cloud Foundation software architecture into a fully automated and fully-managed service.

CenturyLink Private Cloud is available in 31 hosting locations on four continents.

"As our customers continue on their digital transformation journeys, it is common to find workloads that don’t fit in the public cloud, yet still require reliable automation, simple operations, and resilient data protection,” said David Shacochis, vice president of Hybrid IT product management, CenturyLink. “With this new capability, we continue to give customers more ways to tap into the power of the software-defined data center while staying connected to a range of hybrid cloud venues through our adaptive, global fiber network."

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

New Dell EMC SD-WAN Edge is powered by VMware / VeloCloud

Dell Technologies introduced an SD-WAN Edge powered by VMware.

The Dell EMC SD-WAN Edge is an integrated platform that bundles VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud software as a subscription with Dell EMC hardware and a single support number.

Dell Technologies Consulting Services also is debuting three new services for customers adopting SD-WAN technologies: Advisory, Design and Implementation.

Dell Technologies said its sales and customer support force can help customers plan, customize and properly scale their SD-WAN for successful deployment and management of modernized virtual network functions.

The service is expected to be available in July 2019.

VMware to acquire VeloCloud for SD-WAN

VMware agreed to acquire VeloCloud Networks, a start-up offering SD-WAN technology for enterprises and service providers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

VeloCloud, which is based in Mountain View, California, says its SD-WAN solution is distinguished by supporting data plane services in the cloud, in addition to on-premise deployments; enabling policy-based access to cloud and data center applications. VeloCloud SD-WAN includes: a choice of public, private or hybrid cloud network for enterprise-grade connection to cloud and enterprise applications; branch office enterprise appliances and optional data center appliances; software-defined control and automation; and virtual services delivery. The solution aggregates multiple access lines (cable modem, DSL, LTE) into a single secure connection that is defined and controlled in the cloud.

VeloCloud was founded in 2013. The company is headed by Sanjay Uppal, who previously ran OnMobile Global.  He also spent time at Citrix through the acquisition he negotiated with Caymas where he was President and CEO. At Citrix, he defined the product strategy and go to market for the Access Management, Delivery Controller and WAN acceleration product lines.  VeloCloud co-founders also include Ajit Mayya (previously Sr. Director of Engineering in the Cloud and Infrastructure Management division of VMware) and Steve Woo (previously head of cloud strategy at Aerohive Networks).

VMware said the VeloCloud acquisition will enable it to build on the success of its NSX network virtualization platform to address end-to-end automation, application continuity, branch transformation and security from data center to cloud to edge.

"In the digital era, a new networking approach is required to solve the hyper distribution of applications and data, as we move from a model of data centers to one of centers of data at the edge," said Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer, VMware. "At the heart of VMware's networking strategy is the belief in delivering pervasive connectivity with embedded security that connects users to applications wherever they may be. With the addition of VeloCloud's industry-leading SD-WAN technology, we will be able to extend the VMware NSX approach of automated, secure, and infrastructure-independent networking to the WAN."

"Enterprises are transforming how they architect and utilize their infrastructure, with a shift towards a cloud-delivered, software-defined model. This enables organizations to have a globally consistent infrastructure regardless of where it is deployed -- from the data center and the cloud to the edge," said Sanjay Uppal, CEO of VeloCloud Networks. "We look forward to helping VMware, the leader in software-defined infrastructure, in the next evolution of the company's networking and NFV strategies."

  • In March, VeloCloud closed a $35 million Series D round of funding for its SD-WAN solutions. The funding was led by Hermes Growth Partners and included new investors Telstra Ventures and Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the strategic investment fund of the Government of Malaysia (“Khazanah”), in addition to existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Venrock, March Capital Partners, Cisco Investments, and other undisclosed strategic investors. This brings total funding to $84 million.
  • In March 2017, VeloCloud reported that its number of SD-WAN sites has grown to more than 50,000 and total customer wins exceed 600, including the two largest SD-WAN wins in the world. The company has secured deals from AT&T, Sprint, Mitel, TelePacific, and Windstream for its “VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN for Service Providers” solution for both Network Integrated and Over The Top implementations.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Dell and Microsoft enable VMware cloud infrastructure on Azure.

Dell Technologies and Microsoft will deliver a fully native, supported, and certified VMware cloud infrastructure on Microsoft Azure.

Azure VMware Solutions are built on VMware Cloud Foundation, enabling customers to migrate existing VMware workloads from on-premises environments to Azure without the need to re-architect applications or retool operations. 

The companies said this collaboration will enable organizations to tap into Azure’s scale, security and fast provisioning cycles.  Azure VMware Solutions are first-party services from Microsoft developed in collaboration with VMware Cloud Verified partners CloudSimple and Virtustream (a Dell Technologies company).

In a keynote address at its annual DellTechWorld event in Las Vegas, Michael Dell said “Our goal is to provide a single view from edge to core to cloud – an integrated platform for our customers’ digital future.”

Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, added "“At Microsoft, we’re focused on empowering customers in their digital transformation journey, through partnerships that enable them to take advantage of the Microsoft cloud, using the technologies they already have,” said  “Together with Dell Technologies and VMware, we are providing our mutual customers with an integrated cloud experience and digital workplace solutions to open up new opportunities and meet their evolving needs.”

In addition, joint Microsoft 365 and VMware Workspace ONE customers will be able to manage Office 365 across devices via cloud-based integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory. VMware will also extend the capabilities of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop leveraging VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.


Dell Technologies Cloud targets data center as a service

Dell Technologies Cloud is a new offering enterprises a consistent operating model for private, public, and hybrid cloud operations.

Unveiled at this week's Dell Tech World conference in Las Vegas, Dell Technologies Cloud Platforms promises to be an operational hub for hybrid cloud environments, reducing total cost of ownership by up to 47% compared to native public cloud.  The company officials said the new framework will "control the chaos" of managing hybrid cloud environments. It works across more than 4,200 VMware Cloud Provider Program providers and hyperscalers including new addition, Microsoft Azure.

The Dell Technologies Cloud portfolio consists of the new Dell Technologies Cloud Platforms and the new Data Center-as-a-Service offering, VMware Cloud on Dell EMC.

Dell Technologies Cloud Data Center-as-a-Service, delivered as VMware Cloud on Dell EMC with VxRail, currently is available in beta deployments with limited customer availability planned for the second half of 2019.

“For many organizations, the increasingly diverse cloud landscape is resulting in an enormous amount of IT complexity, and no one is more qualified or capable to help customers solve this challenge than Dell Technologies,” said Jeff Clarke, vice chairman of products and operations, Dell Technologies.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Dell plots return to public market, VMware to pay $11 billion dividend

Dell Technologies will return to the public equity market by offering a new class of publicly listed common stock in exchange for existing Dell Technologies Class V tracking stock. The Class V stockholders will have the option to elect $109 in cash consideration per Class V share, up to $9 billion in aggregate, which represents a 29% premium to the Class V closing share price immediately prior to announcement.

As part of the plan, the Board of Directors of VMware announced an $11 billion one-time special dividend pro-rata to all VMware stockholders.

Michael Dell, who currently owns 72% of Dell Technologies common shares, stated: “I am proud to lead this great company into its next chapter as we continue to evolve and grow to the benefit of our customers, partners, investors and team members. Unprecedented data growth is fueling the digital era of IT, and we are uniquely positioned with our portfolio of technologies and services to enable the digital, IT, security and workforce transformations of our customers. Most importantly, I remain deeply committed to this company and working with our world-class team to build the long-term value of Dell Technologies and its businesses.”

Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer, VMware commented, “We are pleased to be in a position to return capital to stockholders through this one-time special dividend, which is the result of the exceptional performance of our business and our broad-based portfolio’s strong cash flow generation. We remain laser focused on our strategy to deliver innovative software that drives customer success as a strategic and growing independent entity.”

Regarding VMware's status, Michael Dell, who is chairman of the VMware Board as well as the Dell Board, stated: “VMware has thrived as part of the Dell Technologies family and has seen tremendous traction and strategic relevance with all customers, resulting in significant revenue growth and financial performance. After the transaction concludes, I am looking forward to VMware’s continued independent status, strategy and capital allocation policy for organic investment, M&A and shareholder returns."

https://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vmw-newsfeed.VMware-Announces-One-Time-Special-Dividend-to-Stockholders.2205706.html

Monday, April 30, 2018

Dell Technologies Capital: One third of new bets focused on AI/ML

Since emerging from stealth a year ago, Dell Technologies Capital, the venture investment practice for Dell Technologies, has completed 24 new and follow-on investments as part of its $100 million average annual investment run rate.

The company reports that a third of its new investments are focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) and the remaining investments focused on security, next-gen infrastructure and other technology areas strategic to the Dell Technologies family of companies.

Some other notes.

  • Dell Technologies Capital had 11 exits in the past year, of which three of its portfolio companies IPO'd in the past seven months. 
  • Dell Technologies Capital was the first institutional investor in Zscaler (NASDAQ: ZS), a leading pioneer in transforming network security for the cloud era; the startup went public in March 2018. 
  • Dell Technologies Capital invested in MongoDB (NASDAQ: MDB) which went public in October 2017 
  • Dell Technologies Capital invested in DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU), which also went public recently
  • Dell Technologies Capital's portfolio includes several startups currently experiencing growth rates of more than 100% and several exceeding $50 million in revenue. 

"Since coming out of stealth at Dell EMC World last year, we've had a very busy, and very successful, year," said Scott Darling, president of Dell Technologies Capital. "We are delighted with our continued strong performance and the market reception to the DocuSign, MongoDB and Zscaler IPOs. The real value we bring to Dell Technologies and our startup portfolio companies is through our joint work, which allows us to deliver best-of-breed solutions for our customers faster, especially in emerging tech areas."


https://www.delltechnologies.com/en-us/capital/ventures/portfolio.htm

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Dell EMC launches Virtual Edge Platform

Dell EMC introduced its enterprise Virtual Edge Platform (VEP) family for SD-WAN.

The Dell EMC VEP4600, which is powered by the new Intel Xeon D-2100 processor, is a universal Customer Premise Equipment (uCPE) meant to displace expensive fixed-function access hardware.

It provides an open Intel architecture-based platform to support multiple simultaneous virtual network functions (VNF). Numerous proprietary physical devices can be consolidated into this single uCPE while maintaining the high-performance levels needed to host many. The modular design includes room to grow with front panel expandability so the platform can be easily upgraded or serviced in the field as needed.

"There is a real need among service providers and enterprises to update network operations to address distributed and cloud-based applications and capitalize on changing economics enabled by cloud models," said Tom Burns, senior vice president, Networking & Service Provider Solutions. "By infusing Open Networking into access networks to the cloud with the Virtual Edge Platform family, Dell EMC can help customers modernize infrastructure and transform operations while automating service delivery and processes."

"As network traffic continues to increase, optimized service delivery is required to meet the demands of a broad range of use cases at the network edge," said Sandra Rivera, senior vice president and general manager, Network Platforms Group, Intel. "A programmable and power efficient system-on-a-chip processor is needed to deliver the performance that users and devices require for edge applications. Using the Intel Xeon D-2100 system-on-a-chip in the Dell EMC Virtual Edge Platform provides flexible and power-efficient network edge solutions with high-performance compute and intelligence."

Intel intros Xeon D-2100 for edge

Intel introduced a system-on-chip processor in its Xeon line that is architected to address the needs of edge applications and other data center or network applications.

The new Intel Xeon D-2100 processors include up to 18 “Skylake-server” generation Intel Xeon processor cores and integrated Intel QuickAssist Technology with up to 100 Gbps of built-in cryptography, decryption and encryption acceleration.

Intel said this processor will be supported by system software updates to protect against the Spectre and Meltdown security exploits.

In addition to edge deployments in communications service provider networks, other use cases for the Intel Xeon D-2100 processor include:
  • Storage: The Intel Xeon D-2100 processor is an option for density-optimized, lightweight hyperscale cloud workloads such as dynamic web serving, memory caching, dedicated hosting and warm storage.
  • Content Delivery Networks (CDNs): The processors can bring higher performance to content delivery at the network edge, which is critical to keep latency low for streaming media to viewers and those working in media fields with massive files.
  • Enterprise networks: The processor family also targets entry enterprise SAN and NAS storage, midrange routers, network appliances, security appliances, wireless base stations and embedded midrange IoT usages, among others.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Netronome offers SmartNIC accelerator for Dell's NFV server

Netronome's Agilio 25GbE SmartNICs and software are being offered through Dell EMC OEM Solutions in a turnkey NFV server solution that accelerates NFV infrastructure and applications (VNFs) by up to 600 percent.

The Netronome NFV Platform is based on Dell EMC PowerEdge R630 servers with dual, 12-core performance-optimized Xeon processors running at 4.30 GHz. The solution features an Agilio 2x25GbE SmartNIC and is upgradeable with Agilio OVS and vRouter software packages. Agilio SmartNICs incorporate 60 to 120 network processing cores to offload network and security processing from servers, accelerating VNFs and other applications while reducing overall server counts.

Agilio 25GbE SmartNIC platform fully and transparently offloads virtual switch and router datapath processing for networking functions such as overlays, security, load balancing and telemetry, enabling compute servers used for server-based networking and cloud computing to save critical CPU cores for application processing while delivering significantly higher performance.

The companies said the Netronome NFV Platform reduces CAPEX by improving server efficiency by up to 20X over traditional COTS servers.

“Dell EMC servers and Netronome SmartNIC technology make this solution a win-win for service providers and enterprises deploying NFV applications,” said Sujal Das, chief strategy and marketing officer at Netronome. “We are excited about this collaboration and the prospects for expanding Netronome’s leadership in the SmartNIC market.”

“Netronome is a pioneer in network processing and the use of SmartNICs to offload servers for higher efficiency,” said Kevin Shatzkamer, vice president, Dell EMC Service Provider Solutions. “With disaggregation in the traditional network software stack moving to servers running network functions, we believe Dell EMC and Netronome can play a major role.”

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The pieces are coming together for Dell Technologies – part 4

During its Dell EMC World conference last week in Las Vegas, the company provided a wide-ranging update on its networking activities. Dell has been a big believer in open networking. Some years ago, it took the bold step of decoupling its networking software from its hardware switching platforms, enabling customers to load an OS of their choice instead of the Dell version; last year Dell, in conjunction with Microsoft Azure and other industry leaders, made foundational contributions to the SONiC effort, which aims to open source all the components needed to build fully-functional networking software. SONiC is a collection of software packages/modules that can be installed on Linux on a network hardware switch which makes it a complete, functional router. Dell has successfully integrated its OS10 base software to serve as a foundational element for SONiC.

Open networking is a big theme, but the company does not disclose the percentage of switching customers that choose a third-party open networking OS over its own OS. There is a free version of the Dell networking OS and a new flagship OS10 Enterprise Edition option that incorporates design elements from the Open Compute Project. The OS10 Enterprise Edition package provides Layer 2 and 3 networking functionality. Open networking partners include Cumulus Networks and Big Switch, although other stacks, such as Pica8, could also be loaded using ONIE.

At the recent Dell EMC World, there were several networking hardware announcements, including:

•   A new S5100-ON series 25 Gigabit Ethernet Open Networking switch, designed to support the new Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers, which will ship with native 25 Gigabit Ethernet support and 100 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks.

•   A new S4100-ON series of top-of-rack data centre Open Networking switches optimised for high densities of 10 GBE fibre/copper or Fibre Channel 8/16/32 server and converged LAN and SAN within racks, with 100 GBE uplink ports. Included in this family is the S4148U, a new unified switch for both Ethernet and Fibre Channel traffic. It supports 32 Gbit/s Fibre Channel.

•   New Dell EMC N1100-ON series of campus switches, which include several fanless switches in half- and full-width options, Power over Ethernet (POE/POE+) and non-POE versions, and port configurations from 10/100/1000 Mbit/s to 1/10 GBE. The N1100-ON series switches are designed to pair with Aerohive's HiveManager NG, a next-generation cloud-based management solution that simplifies end-user wired and wireless access.

Opening the door to switching silicon competition

The new 25 Gbit/s switch is powered by Cavium's Xpliant switching silicon. This represents a significant win for Cavium and an opening at Dell to a wider silicon supply chain. Like its competitors, Dell's switching portfolio previously has been entirely powered by Broadcom. This relationship continues, but there are likely to be more silicon suppliers for Dell networking products going forward.

Networking scale and speculation

While other Dell Technologies' units are typically No. 1, 2 or 3 in their respective market categories, it is interesting to note that the Dell networking group has not attained this level of industry prominence. The big networking equipment vendors have found opportunities to position their solutions at the centre of major IT deployments. One typically hears marketing slogan about how 'the business runs on the network', 'the network is the business', etc., so one would think the networking group would be fundamental to Dell Technologies' ambition to be the No.1 IT vendor. Yet at the Dell EMC World event, the networking exhibit was relegated to a relatively small section that could easily be missed – small potatoes compared to the prominent displays for storage and servers.

With the new cross-company momentum inside the Dell Technologies' group, it is possible and even likely that the networking group will grow faster than its industry peers. Its open networking strategy has been in-step with latest network architecture trends. Dell does substantial business in partnership with other networking players, including Arista, Cisco, Nutanix and others, but it must differentiate itself if it is to attain a leadership position in the industry.

One needs to ask whether a major acquisition would be a faster and better way to grow its market share to reach parity with the other Dell units. If so, what are the possibilities? Private equity investors have been willing to buy out public companies. Dell Technologies' current investors, perhaps joined by others, conceivably could raise the funding to buy out even a mid-sized player. Presumably, the purpose of the exercise would be to gain a strong networking position in Fortune 500 accounts, which is Cisco's stronghold. The networking vendor that has been cannibalising these Cisco accounts is Arista Networks. To add to this speculation, it is interesting that Andy Bechtolsheim, founder and CTO of Arista, was a speaker at Dell EMC World in Las Vegas. One would not expect to see an Arista executive appear at Cisco Live!, but now we know that Dell and Arista are on friendly terms.

As noted earlier in this series, David Goulden said that as a private company Dell Technologies now has more leeway to make strategic investments. This week brings news that VMware has acquired Apteligent, a start-up based in San Francisco, providing a mobile analytics platform. VMware plans to integrate Apteligent’s mobile performance management with its own Digital Workspace Platform for enterprises building and delivering mobile applications. This is a strategic acquisition, and one should expect more such deal making on the networking side.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The pieces are coming together at Dell Technologies – part 3

Wrapping up the coverage of last week's Dell EMC World, a key point to consider is how the many component companies now assembled will fit together and what strategic advantage this provides over the likely competition.

At the low end, Dell Technologies will face challenges from the 'white' competitors - vendors can supply generic PCs, servers, switches, etc. on thin margins. even single digit margins. Especially as the industry turns to open networking software and Open Compute Platform (OCP) hardware designs, Dell EMC could find itself in the same race to the bottom in margins. This is the race that drove IBM to sell off its PC and server business to Lenovo.

Looking around the exhibits and customer case studies at last week's event, it looks like there is a solid case that Fortune 500 enterprises are sticking with Dell. They simply have too much at stake to risk being out of date with their technology or going with a dodgy vendor. Just looking at the many victims for the WannaCry ransomware attacks, once again we can hear the experts reminding everyone to keep their systems up-to-date. Businesses must realise that running Windows XP on PCs that are six years old can put the whole enterprise at risk. As a top brand, Dell should have a convincing case that it is the right partner for this.

Enterprise IT shops are also looking to public clouds for a bargain. For rolling out a new enterprise application, cloud vendors such as AWS, Google or Azure, certainly seem like a bargain. No upfront costs to buy server or storage. No wasted time in ordering, testing and provisioning equipment. No complications in planning how to back-up the application or how to scale it if grows quickly. No risk of buying too much and having unused compute and storage resources. And if the new application were to fail or found to be unneeded or redundant, there is no wasted capital for servers and storage that now must be disposed.
As discussed in previous parts, Michael Dell cited a key figure in his keynote, saying he believes public cloud services are 2.5 times more expensive than on premise solutions when considering long term costs, which one would expect means applications with heavy compute, networking and storage characteristics. Over a 3-year period, it is easy to see how public cloud expenses would exceed the cost of buying a server and operating it locally.

However, making a business case centred on long term cost is not the only way that Dell Technologies is tackling the challenge of public cloud migration. One way of fighting the attrition of enterprise customers to the public cloud, is to bring the public cloud on premise. Newly released is the Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack, an on-premises hybrid cloud platform for delivering infrastructure and platform-as-a-service with a consistent Azure experience on-premises or in the public cloud. Everything you need to run Azure Stack is pre-configured on Dell hardware that resides in your own data centre. The Azure Stack APIs, tools, apps and services remain behind the enterprise firewall, and yet remain consistent with the customer's Azure public cloud experience. For Dell EMC, this is an opportunity to sell more PowerEdge R730XD and S-Series switches. For Microsoft, it is an opportunity to keep the customer running Microsoft server software while perhaps luring some, but not all, of the workloads into the Microsoft data centres.

Moving IT spending to a consumption model

One of Dell Technologies' big announcements is that it will now offer a consumption based model for its IT infrastructure products.  This is its answer to the no-upfront cost lure of public cloud services. In a sense, the public cloud companies are paying to pre-deploy compute/storage/networking equipment in their data centres. They earn this money back as they fill it up with customers. At some point, the money collected exceeds the cost of purchase and from then forward until the day it is obsolete the equipment is delivering profit. With interest rates continuing to remain low, Dell can play this same game, and maybe they do not even need to borrow money and can self-finance the operation. For customers who choose the consumption model, Dell will provide the equipment, as the workloads increase and storage drives get filled, the bill increases. Customers pay only for the storage capacity needed. Importantly, the service promises instant access to additional buffer capacity during spikes driven by the business, with payments adjusting to match usage. If not needed any more, Dell can take back the equipment. Of course, the leasing contract will likely have many conditions and clauses, but certainly this model provides a direct answer for project managers comparing this quarter’s heavy capex spending for a new project with a much leaner opex alternative from Amazon Web Services. The flex pricing is initially available for all Dell EMC storage solutions, but company executives suggested that it could be expended across the IT portfolio.

This consumption model is already being used by other tech companies. There are processor cores that are activated and paid-for on-demand; similarly, Infinera offers a Bandwidth On-demand licensing model where network capacity can be activated in 100 Gbit/s chunks when demand justifies it.

Looking for start-up opportunities

Meanwhile, the new Dell Technologies Capital has just been introduced to manage the company's investment strategy. Specifically, Dell Technologies Capital will invest in start-up companies globally on behalf of all the business units, including Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware.

Dell Technologies figures that it has more than just capital to invest. Targeted start-up will also benefit from Dell's full resources, OEM and go-to-market relationships and global distribution challenge. While this new investment arm has just been unveiled, it has been running for several years and has already staked out equity positions in more than 70 early-stage start-ups. Targeted areas include storage, software-defined networking, management and orchestration, security, machine learning/artificial intelligence, big data/analytics, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and DevOps. Two Dell Technologies Capital portfolio companies were highlighted at Dell EMC World this year:

•   Edico Genome, which created the first bio-IT processor and an end-to-end platform designed to analyse the massive workloads associated with DNA sequencing. The company is delivering a pre-configured, out-of-the- box solution with Dell Technologies that enables the analysis of an entire genome in 22 minutes compared to more than 24 hours using standard software.

•   Graphcore, which developed new technology to deliver massive acceleration for Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications. The company's Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) is the first to be designed specifically for machine intelligence workloads.


All start-ups tend to look for an exit for their early investors, usually in the form of acquisition or an IPO. With Dell Technologies now having many companies under its umbrella, one can expect some of the portfolio investments to become acquisition targets. This is the well-known model of Silicon Valley, with some R&D essentially outsourced and the risk/reward is shared.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The pieces are coming together at Dell Technologies - part 2

The 13,500 people gathered at the Dell EMC World conference in Las Vegas this week came from 122 countries, basically reflecting the global reach of the tech industry. About 50% of Dell Technologies' annual revenue of $62 billion came from outside the U.S. Whereas Hewlett-Packard famously split its PC and printing operations (now HP Inc.) from its enterprise solutions business (now HPE) in November 2015, Dell has kept the family together while massively adding new market segments to its portfolio.

The company has a stated mission of becoming its customers' essential infrastructure provider and insists that the 'death of the PC' has been greatly exaggerated. While consumers now rely mostly on smartphones, tablets and laptops, enterprise customers are still buying PCs in significant numbers because they know that PCs are the primary tool for accomplishing most office tasks. Dell sees the PC as an essential link in its overall value chain. Dell supplies nearly all the Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. to some extent, and its brand is especially strong with retail companies, the hospitality industry, transportation and others. As described in Part 1, Dell Technologies is emerging as an IT superpower. Its nearest competitors are HPE, Huawei, IBM and Lenovo, but the comparisons are rough. Unlike the American rivals, Dell remains in the low margin consumer PC business, and unlike the Chinese vendors it has stayed out of the massive mobile handset business.

The integration of two major corporations - Dell Inc. and EMC - is admittedly an enormous project that will take years to fully accomplish and not everything has found a place under the big umbrella. There have been three divestitures amounting to $7 billion. The most notable of these was the decision in March 2016 to sell Dell IT Services (the old Perot Systems) to Japan's NTT Data for $3.05 billion. In June 2016, Dell agreed to sell its software division to Francisco Partners and Elliott Management for a reported $2 billion. The deal involved Dell’s Quest Software and SonicWALL division. Dell paid $2.4 billion for Quest in 2012. Despite the paper loss, these divestures enabled Dell to pay down its significant debt before completing the acquisition of EMC.

Quick update on Dell’s financial picture

For its most recently completed fiscal 2017, Dell Technologies posted consolidated revenue $61.6 billion and non-GAAP revenue from continuing operations of $62.8 billion. The company generated an operating loss of $3.3 billion, with a non-GAAP operating income of $5.1 billion. The company ended the year with a cash and investments balance of $15.3 billion, an increase of $287 million from the third quarter.

Dell Technologies' overall sales mix is approximately:

•   60% from Dell Client Solutions Group (desktop PCs, virtual desktops, notebooks, tablets, and peripherals, such as monitors, printers, and projectors under the Dell brand name).

•   35% from Dell EMC (storage solutions, servers, converged infrastructure, switching, security, cloud services).

•   5% from VMware.

Highlight from Q4 2017 results:

•   Gross margin for the quarter of 32.0%.

•   Since closing the EMC transaction, Dell Technologies paid down approximately $7 billion in debt and repurchased $824 million of Class V common stock.

•   The Client Solutions Group generated revenue of $9.8 billion, up 11% versus the fourth quarter of last year; revenue for the full year was $36.8 billion, up 2% year over fiscal year 2016.

•   PC shipments reached 11 million, representing the largest volume of products shipped since the fourth quarter of 2011.

•   16 consecutive quarters of gaining yr/yr PC share and grew fastest of the top 5 in yr/yr unit shipment growth in Q4 and for full year.

•   Dell attained the No.1 share position worldwide for displays, gaining unit share yr/yr for the 16th consecutive quarter.

•   The Infrastructure Solutions Group generated $8.4 billion of revenue, including $3.6 billion in servers and networking and $4.8 billion in storage, and an operating income of $1 billion.

•   Dell regained the No.1 worldwide server unit share position driven by strength in the mainstream PowerEdge business.

•   Attained the No.1 market share position in all-flash arrays4, which exited 2016 at a more than $4 billion demand run rate.

•   No.1 in Converged Infrastructure, accelerating in Hyper-converged.

•   No.1 in x86 server unit share.

•   VMware revenue for the quarter of $1.9 billion, with operating income of $565 million, or 29.2% of revenue.

The essential argument

Applications increasingly run on clouds. Private clouds are more secure, have better performance characteristics, and are less expensive that public clouds. Clouds run on data centre infrastructure (servers, storage and switches). Dell is the leading supplier of IT infrastructure, therefore Dell benefits from cloud migration. For the past decade, CIOs have sought to optimise IT for their businesses. With the digital transformation underway, CIOs now know that IT is their business. The corporate vision sees: (1) cloud-native apps driving the public clouds; (2) traditional apps moving to hybrid clouds; and (3) hybrid clouds being built on converged infrastructure. If Dell can capture these app migrations with software frameworks, then sales at the hardware layer could follow.

For mission-critical apps, Dell now has Virtustream, a hot start-up based in Bethesda, Maryland, that EMC acquired in 2015. Virtustream’s cloud management software provides the ability to run SAP, Oracle and other complex enterprise software in a cloud environment using micro VMs. The system measures and allocates the precise amount of compute, networking and storage resources needed for a given task. Virtustream also provides cloud archiving and restoration services.

For traditional apps, VMware is the king of virtualisation. Its vSphere is widely used in enterprise data centres. The NSX software defined networking (SDN) delivers virtualisation and programmability for network resources. The hottest application for NSX to date has been micro-segmentation of the network for security purposes. VMware is run as an independent business unit. While it is early to say if the VMware franchise will provide a long term competitive to Dell EMC over other networking and storage vendors, it is a prized asset that is good to have in house.

For cloud-native applications, Dell Technologies has Pivotal Software, a San Francisco-based cloud foundry company that was formed in 2012 after spinning out of EMC and VMware (investors in Pivotal include Dell EMC, Ford, GE, Microsoft and VMware). The Pivotal framework for software gives developers the ability to build micro-services-based dynamic data pipelines. By deep understanding the app development process, the infrastructure can be optimised and ready to respond to cloud native requirements.

Dell’s strategy acknowledges that we live in multi-cloud world. The company is also a big advocate of open software and disaggregated networking hardware. It further sees software developers building cloud native apps. Yet it knows that its revenues depend heavily on the sale of x86 laptops, desktops, servers and flash storage. It now has a vision as well as business teams in place to differentiate from commodity hardware suppliers. The race is on to see if management can execute on this vision by integrating these component companies.


(Parts 3 and 4 will look at Dell's networking business and Dell Financial Services.)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The pieces are coming together at Dell Technologies - part 1

Dell Technologies is somewhat of a contrarian when it comes to business trends. While other major technology providers have been busy downsizing and pulling their organisation apart, for example Ericsson and HP, Dell Technologies went in the opposite direction, pulling together a mega-merger and bringing together satellite companies in adjoining spaces.

Led by its iconic founder, chairman and CEO Michael Dell, the company has set its sights on becoming the No.1 IT super-power with strengths in computing, storage and networking. It retains its crown as leading supplier of laptops and desktops while pushing ahead in new areas through marquee brands, such as RSA for cybersecurity and VMware for network virtualisation.

Dell’s $67 billion acquisition of EMC, first announced in October 2015 and completed 11 months later, ranks as the largest tech merger of all time. For comparison, HP's acquisition of Compaq was valued at $33 billion, Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn is valued at $26.2 billion, Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp was valued at $19.1 billion, and Google’s acquisition of Motorola at $13.2 billion.

Dell Technologies, is a public company with a class V tracking stock that trades on NYSE under the symbol DVMT. It is the successor to Dell and EMC, which merged in September 2016. Dell Technologies reported 2016 revenue of $61.642 billion with a net loss of $3.737 billion. The company has some 138,000 employees and is based outside of Austin, Texas.

This week, the company attracted an estimated 13,500 of its customers and partners to its first integrated Dell EMC World conference at the Venetian in Las Vegas. The event served as the debutante ball for the newly integrated Dell Technologies empire and the launch pad for several critical products: its 14th generation of Dell PowerEdge servers, due out this summer, new all-Flash storage solutions, more Hyperconverged platforms, its first 25 Gbit/s networking solutions and a new consumption model for its IT products.

The theme at Dell EMC World was transformation, not just for the newly-merged company but for its customers as they become cloud-enabled businesses. The event was the opportunity to showcase how marquee customers such as Boeing, Citibank, Nike and Jaguar Land Rover are not just updating their IT hardware but fully-transforming themselves into 'digital' companies. The goal was to get customers talking about how IT does not just run the business, it is the business. For its own business, the Las Vegas event was the opportunity to show how the pieces of its empire are coming together to ensure bigger sales and better feedback.

David Goulden, president of Dell's Infrastructure Solutions Group, said the private business structure enables the company to make strategic investments and operational changes that would have been difficult as a public entity, where every move is judged by the impact on its quarterly financial statements. Goulden cited two areas: moving the IT industry toward a pay-on-consumption model (more on this below), and longer-term R&D investments that put a strain on current financials but set the stage for future growth.

Dell Technologies is essentially a holding company with seven brands under a single umbrella, as follows:

  • Dell - supplies PCs, laptops, printers and monitors, and currently ranks as the third largest PC company in the world with a market share of about 16%.
  • Dell EMC - IT solutions, including servers, all-flash storage solutions, hyper-converged appliances, cloud and data centre products.
  • Pivotal - the San Francisco-based cloud foundry that helps mission-critical applications run better in the cloud.
  • RSA - the iconic cybersecurity company and operator of the annual RSA Conference on network security.
  • Virtustream - cloud computing management software.
  • VMware - the network virtualisation company based in San Francisco.

Competition in the public cloud

It is well known that in the networking business, the pendulum swings back and forth from public to private. Sometimes it is better to use resources on a shared infrastructure and at other times economics will dictate that it is better to build your own network. In various presentations throughout the week, Dell executives made it clear that the big public cloud companies are not the perfect solution for every app and every customer. Both Michael Dell and Tom Sweet, the company's CFO, said the public cloud can be 2.5 times more expensive for some applications compared to an on-premise hardware solution. This 2.5x cost saving factor could be a huge competitive advantage for Dell EMC, although it appears to be a 'soft' number based on anecdotal evidence rather than a formal study that could be analysed in depth.

Nevertheless, one can see where this discussion is headed. One after another, Fortune 500 companies have been consolidating their data centres and moving many of their most innovative workloads into AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Softlayer or Google Cloud Engine. Some big players, such as Netflix, have even boldly stated that they are all in for public cloud services. The IT budgets that are now paying for cloud services were previously being spent equipment from the likes of Dell or its competitors. But in his keynote address, Michael Dell said that he is not worried, the current public cloud enthusiasm just reflects the exuberance of an early market. The Dell view is that: (1) it will be a multi-cloud world rather than an industry dominated by just one or two players; (2) hybrid clouds are logical outcome; (3) Dell EMC is already the leading supplier of hyperconverged platform and any organisation moving to a hybrid data centre will needs solutions that can tie together the multi-cloud strategy.

(Part 2 will cover the key announcements from Dell EMC World.)


Monday, May 8, 2017

Dell Offers Flexible Models to Counter Public Cloud

Dell Technologies will offer flexible consumption models for its products company-wide. The idea is to let enterprise customers pay for IT products on an as-needed basis similar to public cloud services. The flexible payment model, which is arranged through Dell Financial Services, enable customers to reduce the large up-front costs of on-premises hardware.
tal costs.

The flex pricing is initially available for all Dell EMC storage solutions. Customers pay only for the storage capacity needed, which reduces costs associated with overprovisioning. Importantly, Flex on Demand provides instant access to additional buffer capacity during spikes driven by the business, with payments adjusting to match usage. DFS offers a low capacity commitment and a flexible payment period so customers may pay only for what is consumed, freeing up budgets for other projects.

“Many IT leaders worry about unforeseen costs and risks when adopting new or different technologies, but organizations that do not invest in IT Transformation initiatives risk falling behind their competitors,” said Howard Elias, President, Dell EMC Services and IT. “With flexible, simple and predictable payment solutions, we help organizations adopt the technology—from the desktop to the datacenter—that best suits their business needs today and allows a more pay-as-go model for modernizing and transforming IT.”

http://www.dell.com

Dell Readies its 14G Poweredge Servers

Dell EMC will launch the 14th generation of its Poweredge servers as soon as Intel releases its new Xeon processors.

The new 14G PowerEdge servers will be embedded in storage and data center appliances, hyper-converged appliances and racks, ready nodes, bundles and other Dell EMC solutions. Key enhancements include:

  • Increasde application performance and response time – with 19X more Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) low latency storage than the prior generation.
  • One-click BIOS tuning enables quick-and-easy deployment of many processing-intensive workloads
  • Enhanced storage capacity and flexibility lets customers tailor their storage configurations to their application needs especially in a software-defined-storage (SDS) environment
  • Newly enhanced systems management features embedded in the Dell EMC PowerEdge portfolio uniquely automate productivity and simplify lifecycle management from server deployment to retirement. 

http://www.dell.com

Monday, June 20, 2016

Dell Launches New High Performance Computing Portfolio

Dell launched a new a family of high-performance computing (HPC) systems tuned for specific science, manufacturing and analytics workloads with fully tested and validated building block systems, backed by a single point of hardware support and additional service options across the solution lifecycle. Dell's new HPC Systems feature an Intel Scalable System Framework configuration with the latest Xeon processors, support for Intel Omni-Path Architecture (Intel OPA) fabric, and software in the Dell HPC Lustre Storage and Dell HPC NFS Storage solutions.

Dell has instituted a customer early access program for early development and testing in preparation for Dell’s next server offering in the HPC solutions portfolio, the Dell PowerEdge C6320p server, which will be available in the second half of 2016, with the Intel® Xeon Phi™ processor (formerly code-named Knights Landing).

http://www.dell.com

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Dell Advances its IoT Program

Marking the one-year anniversary of the formation of its IoT division, Dell announced the addition of VMware, Nokia, Eurotech and others to its Dell Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions Partner Program.

“We’re proud of the progress that we’ve made this past year,” said Andy Rhodes, executive director, Commercial IoT Solutions, Dell. “With the launch of the Edge Gateway and Embedded Box PCs, our quickly growing partnership program and now our successful IoT Gateway Contest, our efforts underscore Dell’s deep commitment to driving IoT adoption for real world use.”

In addition, V5 Systems, a provider of portable, solar-powered security and Industrial IoT solutions, was named the platinum winner of
“Connect What Matters” IoT Contest run by Dell and Intel. V5 Systems' technology can be deployed without being tied to power or data cables for applications from law enforcement to agriculture to other outdoor uses. The portable units contain analytics, multiple sensors (including video, acoustic and chemical detection), power, computing and Wi-Fi and cellular communications. V5 evolved its intelligent security platform to support more use cases and technologies by working with Dell OEM Services to provide intelligent gateways for use at the edge of networks expanding Industrial IoT applications.

http://www.dell.com

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dell Pushes Ahead with its Open Networking Initiatives

Dell announced several steps in advancing its Open Networking initiatives:

  • Newly released Operating System 10 (OS10) aligns with community building and integration projects including Open Compute Project’s (OCP) Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC) and partners Ansible, F5 and Silverpeak. 
  • Dell OS10 and OCP SONiC– Dell, in conjunction with Microsoft Azure and other industry leaders, made foundational contributions to the newly-announced SONiC effort. The goal is to open source all the components needed to build fully-functional networking software. SONiC is a collection of software packages/modules that can be installed on Linux on a network hardware switch which makes it a complete, functional router. Dell has successfully integrated its OS10 base software to serve as a foundational element for SONiC.
  • Ansible – from app deployment to multi-tiered orchestration, Ansible Tower by Red Hat powers enterprise automation by adding control, security and delegation capabilities.
  • F5 – F5 with OS10 delivers load balancing over active-active clusters across network services for scale out deployments.
  • Silver Peak – Silver Peak provides optimized SD-WAN interconnects between the data center and branch offices across public and private clouds.
  • Two new in-rack switches are optimized to accelerate 10G deployments and harness the latest silicon-based features. The S4048T-ON and S6010-ON are ONIE-compliant to provide cloud and Web 2.0 customers an Open Networking environment with fully-tested and validated third-party operating systems. They include advanced features for VXLAN, larger tables and expanded buffering compared to other Dell models.
  • A new collaboration with  Aerohive will deliver cloud-managed solution that integrates and manages wired and wireless infrastructure. The co-branded solution incorporates Dell N-Series switches and Aerohive access points into Aerohive’s HiveManager NG – a next-generation cloud-based management solution. 


http://www.dell.com

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cumulus, Dell, Red Hat Collaborate on OpenStack

Cumulus Networks is working with Dell and Red Hat to simplify large-scale OpenStack deployments without the need for proprietary software-defined networking (SDN) fabric solutions. The goal is an all-Linux OpenStack pod that is easy to install and maintain, and incorporates the latest networking technologies.

The companies cited a joint project underway since February to see how advances in automation and networking could be applied to a production-scale OpenStack pod while removing scalability and maintenance challenges for end users. Some project highlights, “all the way down” the OpenStack pod:

  • Scalable 300+ node 100% Linux OpenStack pod
  • Installation and provisioning in six hours using standard open source DevOps tools
  • Simplified IP networking and controller-less VXLAN-based SDN

Using certified Dell hardware for Cumulus Linux and Red Hat OpenStack Platform the pod included more than 300 PowerEdge rack-mount servers installed in nine racks interconnected with 24 Open Networking switches. Dual attached 10Gb Ethernet server connections and 8.6TB cluster bandwidth provided ample capacity for the OpenStack storage and distributed application communications. Ansible by Red Hat, Git, and Red Hat OpenStack Platform formed the deployment tool chain and a virtual environment allowed for prototyping and testing of all components. DevOps tools and principles enabled the geographically distributed team to hit a six hour deployment window to full operation. The pod used an all IP VXLAN networking topology using Cumulus Linux and OpenStack Neutron spanning the leaf/spine switches as well as all OpenStack compute nodes.

“When we launched our Open Networking initiative more than two years ago, our intent was to innovate the network and transform the data center by delivering industry-standard hardware and providing choice of network operating systems and data center applications,” said Tom Burns, Vice President and General Manager, Dell Networking. “This project demonstrated the power of that innovation and how, when combined in a DevOps model, can greatly simplify business challenges for customers.”

“With the increase in production rollouts of OpenStack, customers want the ability to scale without compromising on performance and manageability,” said Radhesh Balakrishnan, General Manager, OpenStack, Red Hat. “In collaboration with Cumulus Networks and Dell we have demonstrated the ability to scale with Red Hat OpenStack Platform and we're looking forward to bringing this powerful solution to our customers. What makes this project even more unique is our focus on delivering a fully open source tool chain, including Ansible, to simplify deployment.”

“It’s powerful to witness the software-defined data center at work,” said JR Rivers, co-founder and CTO of Cumulus Networks. “This project tied together automation, virtual testing environments, tight deployment schedules, and ‘Linux all the way down’ to deliver a production-ready OpenStack pod.”

Monday, April 11, 2016

Dell SecureWorks Sets IPO

SecureWorks, a provider of information-security services based in Atlanta, announced its initial public offering of 9,000,000 shares of its Class A common stock. The initial public offering price is expected to be between $15.50 and $17.50 per share.

SecureWorks will trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “SCWX.”

Some background notes on the company:

  • Dell acquired SecureWorks in 2011.
  • Claims 4,200 clients worldwide.
  • Generates revenue from managed security and threat intelligence solutions through subscription-based arrangements, as well as revenue from security and risk consulting engagements through fixed-price or retainer-based contracts. 
  • Total revenue was $339.5 million in fiscal 2016, $262.1 million in fiscal 2015 and $205.8 million in fiscal 2014, for annual growth of 30% and 27%, respectively. 
  • Incurred net losses of $72.4 million in fiscal 2016, $38.5 million in fiscal 2015 and $44.5 million in fiscal 2014. 
  • Headed by Michael R. Cote
  • Total of 2,47 employees

http://www.secureworks.com

See also