TFD10 Prep: Dell

Dell Logo

This is part of my series of posts for Tech Field Day 10.

Dell have been in the news a bit lately. Funny that.

I assume that for this TFD we’re going to get the usual grab bag of a few different parts of Dell’s portfolio. I further assume we won’t be covering the new Open Networking OS10 in much detail because it was covered just recently at Networking Field Day 11. If you want to know more about it, check out my article at about the announcement, and listen to my interview with Dell’s Jeff Baher, Executive Director, Product/Solutions/Marketing, Dell Networking in The Eigencast 006: Dell Open Networking and OS10.

I’m hoping for another shot at understanding Dell’s cloud strategy since Dell World late last year. I figure the more data points I gather about it, the more likely I am to figure things out.

I still think Dell’s approach of being a supplier to everyone below hyper-scale makes sense when combined with their close partnership with Microsoft. Building everything yourself is really hard, and I still don’t think immediately moving everything to public cloud is a viable option for most organisations. That’s not to say that it won’t be one day, but there are reasons that the industry moved away from timeshare on central mainframes and bureau services to minicomputers and client-server. Imagining that public cloud will remain the pinnacle of possible options seems awfully shortsighted for an industry that’s not even a hundred years old.

And Dell building one themselves would be suicidal at this point. They looked at it, and decided not to, unlike some others who have since changed their minds. And since Microsoft and Dell have been cosy for years, they don’t really need to; they can just piggy-back off Azure.

Cloud is just another data-centre, quite frankly. Its big advantage is that it’s run more efficiently than yours, so it can be cheaper for you and still provide nice margins for the vendor (according to various analyses of AWS’ financials). Theoretically that was the advantage to those big outsourcing deals we saw a decade or so ago. Remember those? It turns out saving a few pennies isn’t the only reason we use computers.

Anyway, I’m sure we’ll see some interesting stuff, since Dell is a long-time supporter of Tech Field Day. I’d quite like an update on the Dell storage portfolio and the cloud-style services offerings they have. I think the last time I spoke to Dell specifically about cloud services was at an Enterprise Forum in 2013-ish when Angela Fox was still head of that division, but she’s been promoted to run A/NZ as a whole now.

I really want to understand how all the bits and pieces fit together into a cohesive whole–and where the gaps are–so I can see how EMC fits into things, assuming the transaction eventually completes.

The gold standard for presentations from Dell is still this one by Carol Pflueger, Servers Product Manager about the FX platform last year. Let’s hope whoever is up this time watched the video and learned a few things.

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  1. Hey mate, as always looking forward to you frank and direct comments on what you learn at TFD re Dell.
    Shout out when you’re back and I can arrange some local perspective on the global Dell vision.

  2. Pingback: TFD10 Prep: Dell - Tech Field Day

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