Dell ties storage to Kubernetes, sharpens edge strategy

Since its inception 37 years ago, Dell Technologies has been about infrastructure, ranging from servers, networking systems and storage devices that populate enterprise data centers to enterprise clients designed to make employees more productive. Infrastructure is what has driven Dell to become a multinational IT giant, bringing in more than $ 92 billion in net revenue by 2020, and it has made founder and CEO Michael Dell a multibillionaire.

But like longtime peers like Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lenovo, IBM and Cisco Systems, Dell has for much of the last decade had to adapt to an rapidly changing IT environment where data is king, software is increasingly an important opportunity for organizations, cloud is the preferred computer model both inside and outside the data center and the edge is the new border. Automation is in demand to help drive modern workloads from machine learning to data analysis and augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), and computing is widely distributed, where applications and data are accessed, collected, stored, analyzed and acted more and more outside of the central data center.

With this complexity, companies turn to vendors to help them manage these environments and reduce complexity.

OEMs like Dell and others are undergoing huge transitions to address these changes and are taking steps like offering more of their products as services – Dell is doing this through its annual Apex initiative -and make them available on the premises and in the cloud (and increasingly on the edge), adopt cloud-like consumption models for consumption per. Applications, embrace opex over capex, build their capabilities in areas such as software and security and evolve to meet the demands of cloud-native technologies such as containers and Kubernetes.

Much of this was in play this week at the Virtual Dell Technologies Summit. Much focus was on topics such as data management and the edge, with the idea that simplicity was the key.

“What I think is interesting about our option is if you look around the world and let’s say you’re into AI substance discovery, or you’re into autonomous transport, or you’re into metaverse or blockchain, AR , VR, immersive computing, all these things have one thing in common and that is the huge amount of data, ”said Michael Dell during a virtual session with journalists and analysts. ‘The amount of data in the world is just growing. The time it takes for the amount of data in the world to double is shrinking because everything in the world is becoming intelligent and now connected to 5G [and] low latency network. The plot of any organization is to use all of that to create competitive advantage and create success, and that requires new opportunities, new tools, new infrastructure. ”

One step Dell took at the event to manage data in a cloud-native world was to introduce Container Storage Modules, designed to enable DevOps teams to provide automated enterprise storage services such as data replication across data centers. role-based access control (RBAC) authorization and observability and resistance to Kubernetes-based container work.

The modules use CSI (container storage interface) drivers, which already provide lifecycle management and snapshots to Kubernetes, to connect the containers to the storage arrays and inject storage code into Kubernetes so that developers and IT teams can leverage Dell EMC storage products such as PowerMax and PowerStore all-flash systems, PowerScale for scaling NAS, PowerFlex (high-performance scaling) and Unity XT (hybrid and all-flash storage).

“Application developers across organizations of all sizes are increasingly adopting containers for cloud-native workloads,” wrote Magi Kapoor, Director of Warehouse Product Management at Dell EMC, in a blog postsand notes that by 8525, more than 85 percent of companies in the world will be running containerized applications in production. “For all the benefits that containerized workload provides, there are still challenges for companies to overcome – from a lack of internal alignment to visibility and monitoring issues to meeting safety and compliance requirements.”

Dell EMC’s CSMs are aimed at solving such problems by extending such capabilities as replication, authorization, resilience, and observability to Kubernetes-based workloads, she wrote.

Dell’s CSM comes the same week as rival NetApp said its Astra — a fully managed data management service built for Kubernetes workloads — became widely available, another data point in the push of traditional storage providers to evolve into data management companies and embrace cloud-native technologies. Through Astra, companies can protect, restore and move applications on Kubernetes without having to download and install software.

The edge is another area that organizations and technology vendors will have to deal with. According to IDC, more than half of new IT infrastructure will be deployed at the edge by 2023, and the number of new operational processes deployed at edge infrastructure will jump from 20 percent now to more than 90 percent by 2024.

This week, Dell released a range of edge-related products and services aimed at making the edge a more comfortable place for businesses.

“Part of our job is to make this as simple as possible, and we will not be naive about it,” Michael Dell said. “It’s a challenge, especially when you think about what’s going on at the edge. Right now we are at the beginning of the edge computing age. If you talk to all the different companies on the edge – and that would be pretty much all the companies on the planet, because the edge is actually the real physical world, and all of these things become intelligent – there’s a real risk that it’s a complexity. nightmare because you have effectively created a huge number of silos. That is why we are working to get ahead of this and create a platform that helps customers solve it. ”

The company is pushing out is VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure created jointly with VMware -to the edge with its new satellite nodes that have a smaller footprint, an important factor in space-constrained locations such as shops, production facilities and branches. The nodes automate many regular tasks, while enabling health monitoring and life cycle management from a centralized location.

Validated edge-to-edge design with Litmus (an automation technology company) based on Dell EMC PowerEdge or VxRail systems – with the option to use VMware Edge Compute Stack, an offering announced earlier this month by VMware to build, manage and secure edge applications – to help IT teams manage and orchestrate industrial edge devices, data and applications in different locations. In addition, the Dell EMC Edge Gateway allows companies to connect multiple edge devices. It is a 5G cable system powered by Intel 9th Gen Core processors that can run in industrial environments, including temperatures from 4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

The vendor’s Streaming Data Platform (SDP) includes enhanced GPU optimization to improve the latency and frame rate environment when consuming streaming video and to support real-time analysis on VxRail and PowerEdge systems. It is an upscaling offering that can run light workloads on a single kernel utilizing a bundle of edge-focused software suite.

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