Dell today unveiled an improved range of software for its on-premises storage systems that it believes will offer customers better performance and a more secure environment. The announcement comes 24 hours after unveiling a series of new products for its Apex multi-cloud platform, showing that the company is trying to provide for the workload business in a hybrid, multi-cloud environment. But Dell’s broad approach, covering both cloud and local, could lead to the loss of more focused competitors..

Dell unveils new local and cloud services at its Dell Technologies World event this week (Photo from Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images)

The corporate IT giant says it has made more than 500 software enhancements to PowerStore, PowerMax and PowerFlex. When it comes to PowerStore for general-purpose workloads, Dell says the changes will lead to a 50% increase in performance, while PowerMax, a system designed to support “mission-critical” workloads, gets a bunch of security upgrades. which will make it easier to detect attacks and recover data in the event of a breach.

“Organizations around the world are looking to Dell to help them move faster while making their data a competitive advantage,” said Jeff Clark, vice president and chief operating officer, Dell Technologies. “We deliver major software innovations to our portfolio to help customers make the most of their data and resources.”

These new local innovations run counter to Dell’s core stated strategy of encouraging customers to use their products as part of multi-cloud strategies.

Dell’s strategy: multi-cloud or hybrid?

Dell launched its multi-cloud product, Apex, a year ago, offering customers the ability to manage workloads running on different public cloud service providers through a single interface and consumption-based charging. This approach as a service was an attempt to keep up with competitors such as HPE and Cisco, which offer similar services through HPE Greenlake and Cisco Plus, respectively.

The company’s board will also have noticed that revenues from its infrastructure solutions group, which includes cloud and local services, remain largely static for four years. Although total revenue increased by 17% in the last financial year, this is due to high demand for laptops and desktops created by the company’s customer solutions group.

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How should businesses get out of their data center?

On Monday, Dell unveiled the latest additions to Apex, including a recovery service to help businesses respond to cyberattacks, and a partnership with Snowflake to allow data stored on Dell’s servers or elsewhere to be easily transferred. in the Snowflake data cloud for processing.

“Our customers want help to reduce complexity and are looking for solutions that use a common approach to data management wherever they live – from public clouds, to the data center, to the periphery,” said Chuck Wheaton, chief operating officer of Dell Technologies. . “We build a portfolio of software and services that simplify local and multi-cloud environments and offers.”

These announcements offer limited improvements to Apex’s portfolio, said Sid Nag, Gartner’s vice president of cloud services and technology. “Both Apex storage messages do offer recovery and recovery options for my environment, but they are developing it as a cybersecurity solution,” he said. “As far as Snowflake’s message is concerned, I really don’t see the applicability.”

Will Dell Apex be a success?

Nag says it is too early to judge the success of Apex, pointing out that partnerships like this signed with the operator of the Equinix data center, signed in January, did not have time to bear fruit. “Dell had to respond to HPE Greenlake, which was that HPE did everything and said the company was moving to a full OpEx model,” he said. “Dell did not do that. He calls his approach multi-cloud, but it’s actually a hybrid because it offers me the ability to have multiple cloud and premium solutions.

Greenlake entered the market a year before Apex, giving HPE a significant advantage in the first place. In addition, Nag says Dell may regret not choosing to move all-in to the cloud. “Dell is a crossroads company and they are trying to change the engine of the 747 in flight,” he said. “They give customers a choice [between cloud and on-premise] but in the end you have to tell your buyer that this is a world where everyone is moving and this is what you have to choose. That way you can convince the customer to come with you. “

He added: “At some point, they will have to bet their wand in the ground because they are definitely hedging their bets right now.”

Dell is still hedging its bets on cloud vs on-premise

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