Dell has unveiled a public cloud offering aimed at providing a low-risk means for enterprises to “evolve” and adopt hybrid cloud environments.
The hardware vendor yesterday joined VMware’s vCloud Datacenter Services program, which certified cloud computing service providers that used a standard set of VMware products.
Dell’s chief technology officer Mark Bilger said the Dell service would initially be served from its data centre in Plano, Texas, and a new, custom-built facility in Quincy, Washington.
The service targeted enterprise customers seeking a low-risk, enterprise-grade public cloud offering that could be easily integrated with on-premise VMware technology.
Dell Cloud would be available to beta customers next month, US customers later this year, and customers in Europe and the Asia Pacific region from regional data centres next year.
Customers could choose to use Dell’s infrastructure as a service on a per-hour or a cheaper, per-month basis. The latter option required a minimum commitment of one year.
Dell also offered a per-blade option that allowed customers to rent servers in its Dell Cloud data centre.
Bilger told the VMworld conference in Las Vegas that the service was more secure and provided a “higher level of industrial strength than typical in the market”.
Dell Cloud customers could choose to take up upgraded SATA or high-performance SAS storage, support for Windows or SUSE Linux, SecureWorks and vShield security, and extended Dell support.
“We’re not trying to create a commodity cloud where cheapest is best; the design is really enterprise cloud and secure computing,” he said.
Beta customer Vince Kellen, chief information officer of the University of Kentucky, said the university was attracted to Dell Cloud due to its enterprise licensing and contracting.
“I’m not the chief infrastructure officer; I’m the chief information officer,” he said, highlighting benefits of consuming infrastructure as a service.
Dell’s Bilger said it chose to build its cloud offering on “safe and sound” VMware technology as its customers preferred an “evolutionary”, rather than a “revolutionary”, approach to technology.
Although software-as-a-service offerings still accounted for “a fraction” of organisations’ IT spend, he expected the cloud to have “an enormously potent disruptive influence on all IT markets”.
“For all of us that are thinking that cloud is going to go away, it’s time for us to wake up,” he said.
“What’s Dell’s design point? It’s really hybrid cloud computing. We don’t think the right answer is to make the complete shift to cloud computing; nor do we think that 100 percent on-premise is the best solution for the world.”
Along with Dell Cloud, the vendor also entered into a reseller agreement with VMware so it could deploy virtualised, on-premise data centres on behalf of customers.
Bilger said Dell would also consider joining VMware’s Global Connect network, which presented services from multiple providers as a single, virtual cloud.
Liz Tay travelled to the United States to attend VMworld and Dreamforce as a guest of VMware and Salesforce.com.