In one of its busiest news-making days in the last few years, Dell EMC on May 5 at its virtualized Dell Technologies World unveiled a new data storage and management platform, an important new partnership with the world’s largest and fastest-growing independent data center owner/manager and new additions to its lineup involving connected technology, next-gen networking, 5G and analytics.
Other than that, it was a seemingly normal Cinco de Mayo for the huge, Round Rock, Texas-based IT corporation.
There are many news-related data points, so we’ll get right to them. These are all relevant to IT managers, technology buyers, investors and developers.
What is APEX?
Just when you thought you had seen every “as-a-service” idea that could be imagined, this new package of as-a-service offerings amounts to a “Portfolio-as-a-Service.” Could this be mere marketspeak that attempts to tie a lot of existing products and services together under one new brand? Possibly, but the APEX concept has been in the works for months, so it appears that there is actual IT news here–and more than only marketing folks built it.
In bullet points, according to Dell (which will manage all these services in its own cloud), here we go:
- APEX Data Storage Services is designed to provide a simplified storage-as-a-service experience;
- APEX Cloud Services provides a consistent look-and-feel cloud experience across public clouds, private clouds and at the edge;
- APEX Custom Solutions offers flexible payment and IT management services for the industry’s broadest infrastructure portfolio;
- Customers can manage the lifecycle of their APEX offers in one place through the APEX Console; and
- Dell Technologies and Equinix collaborate to extend the reach of APEX to colocation sites worldwide.
Those colocation sites will naturally include all of Dell’s data centers worldwide, but they also will include a new partner: Redwood City, Calif.-based Equinix. Collaboration with Equinix expands access to the new APEX platform of services, offering organizations the flexibility to benefit from the “as-a-service” offering wherever it delivers the most value for the user, Dell said.
Dell said its customers want IT that delivers business outcomes and solves top business challenges, such as scaling IT up or down based on changing needs, getting assets off the balance sheet, or managing underutilized IT resources. With the APEX outcomes-based approach to IT, Dell said, organizations remove the worry of managing a particular product line, version of a technology or specification.
APEX Data Storage Services offers enterprise storage with transparent pricing and no overage fees and high-speed data movement in the public cloud. With technology deployed on-premises, at customer locations or at colocation facilities, enterprises can select three performance tiers of block and file storage to meet their requirements. One- or three-year subscriptions are available, and capacity starts as low as 50 terabytes and scales from there.
As subsets of APEX Cloud Services, APEX Hybrid Cloud and APEX Private Cloud feature integrated compute storage and networking resources with support for both traditional and cloud-native applications. Users can choose hybrid or private cloud resources designed to meet the needs of important workloads, such as AI and virtual desktop infrastructure.
APEX Cloud Services provides automated lifecycle management. Once the cloud resources are selected, customers can have a fast hybrid cloud deployment. With secure and consistent infrastructure across private cloud, public cloud and the edge, customers can place workloads in the environment most suited to their needs.
APEX Custom Solutions brings a broad infrastructure portfolio to customers as-a-service. APEX Flex On Demand provides Dell Technologies servers, storage, data protection, hyperconverged infrastructure-as-a-service.
APEX Console provides a self-service, interactive experience where customers can manage their entire APEX lifecycle.
‘Simplicity of IT capabilities’
Dell said that this new deal with Equinix brings “simplicity of IT capabilities” owned, deployed, supported and billed on a single invoice from Dell Technologies but deployed at an Equinix data center. CFOs will enjoy hearing that.
Additionally, users can adopt a hybrid or multi-cloud strategy and connect IT spending with their specific use-case requirements and needs to scale IT up or down, Dell said.
Equinix has a large global footprint of more than 220 data centers spanning five continents and a digital ecosystem of more than 10,000 companies. Users benefit from a hybrid cloud environment with the ability to shift to an OpEx budget model. Customers pay for what they use, with a single rate and no overage fees; accountants will know in real time how much IT is used each month. Companies can order nearly any capacity of block and file data storage at a variety of performance levels, simplifying how they consume storage infrastructure.
Users can configure, order, monitor and make changes to their APEX services from the APEX Console. Customers will be able to use the Console to provision APEX services at select Equinix locations.
Dell EMC Streaming Data Platform brings real-time analytics to edge of the network
Details announced at Dell Technologies World:
- Dell EMC Streaming Data Platform: An upgraded Dell EMC Streaming Data Platform (SDP) now offers powerful, real-time analytics at the edge. With a smaller footprint, Dell said, SDP is good for capturing, storing and analyzing streaming data in real-time at the edge. For example: An amusement park customer is using SDP to send alerts to staff when a ride needs maintenance. The park can quickly evaluate and fix the attraction instead of waiting until it requires costly repairs.
- Dell Technologies manufacturing edge solutions: The Dell Technologies Manufacturing Edge Reference Architecture with PTC helps manufacturing companies derive insights from workstations, computers, mobile devices and other endpoints within the manufacturing environment. With access to edge data in one place, companies can increase production line reliability, reduce operational costs and make more informed real-time decisions, the company said.
Integrated with APEX Private Cloud, it offers a high-availability edge framework as-a-service, so companies can virtualize and containerize applications, removing complexity and saving time, Dell said. Manufacturing customers get a consistent cloud experience and pay only for what they use.