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Dell Technologies World 2018 – Industry Snapshot

Published May 7th, 2018. In this Industry Snapshot report, we discuss the recent announcements and takeaways from Dell Technologies World 2018. Includes overview and comments. Download the free report now!

Dell Technologies World, 2018

Dell EMC hosted the first Dell Technologies World (DTW) April 30 – May 3, 2018 with over 14,000 attendees in Las Vegas. Opening with the message of Technology Strategy is Business Strategy and a heavy emphasis on “data becomes more valuable than applications,” it is clear the company is all in on AI and being “the essential infrastructure company” for the next generation IT.

Michael Dell is keen on driving efficiencies in IT and at the same time serving the new apps that stretch from the edge (IOT) to the core, seeing the company as the only firm able to deliver end to end solutions.  These focus areas were noted as transformations – IT, Data and Security Transformations. To that end, we see evidence of integration and cooperation across the companies and divisions.  As part of that evidence Jeff Clarke, vice chairman, Products and Operations, laid out five trends they are addressing:

  1. Immersive and collaborative computing that requires edge computing to cloud to core. For Dell this includes the processing power and data storage to support augmented and virtual reality.
  2. IOT, where Dell EMC brings systems for the edge, processing at a distributed core and the core data center.
  3. Multi-cloud environments adoption. This is Dell’s nod to understanding clients – have on-premises and multiple cloud relationships. Challenges they will address extend from cloud tiering to management, data protection, security and utility pricing
  4. Software defined everything, where Dell believes this is the way of the future, and will increase their investments in this direction. For Dell this means a reliance on software running on standardized hardware.
  5. AI and Machine Learning, while in early stages, Dell expects 71% of enterprise apps to have an element of AI in the near future.

What was different this year was the number of announcements.  In the past we have seen announcements across all product lines, whereas this year, there were just a few.  Strategically, Dell EMC gave the stage to PowerMax, PowerEdge and a sneak preview of PowerMX.  Announcements for the other product lines will come out through the year, versus the big bang.

Briefly on Announcements

PowerMax is the next generational of VMAX, an all end to end NVMe and NVMeOF, SCM ready system.  It comes with all the data services we have known with the VMAX plus the addition of no performance impact inline deduplication and compression using offload cards.  They have leveraged the data gathering from years of monitoring the VMAX performance to add AI into the system.  This is in preparation for adding SCM and the tiering necessary to obtain the right price performance once Optane is introduced.

PowerEdge is the next generation servers to address high performance SAP type applications requiring significant memory and combination CPU / GPU.  They have up to 6TB of memory, direct attach NVMe and FPGA capability depending on the model.

The PowerMX announcement was a sneak-peak at their 2H18 composable offering.  Leveraging the Dell blade technology, no backplane, networking and storage with software.  A nod to the traction we are beginning to see for composable systems.

A few other announcements included upgrades for VxRail and VxRack with the latest Dell 14G Dell Intel Processors, NVMe and GPU capabilities.

They also added native replication to XtremIO with the efficiency of only moving block changes over the network.  There is a new entry model for XtremIO, pricing in at 55% less than the next model.  For those using VxBlocks, XtremIO and PowerMax will be available later in the summer, as they finish their testing.

For Clients dealing with resell partners, Dell Technologies rolled out a new program that rewards  selling all lines, not just Dell EMC products.  Expect to see more reasons to buy Dell products from Pivotal to VMware to Dell EMC and RSA as Dell learns to use the full portfolio.  They are also working to find and eliminate conflict between divisions with new deal registrations, that should help partners stay focused on client issues, versus navigating the Dell system.

Evaluator Group Comments

The PowerMax will get attention with their core customers and should provide assurance that Dell is investing in their core.  The question is, what innovations will we see beyond extensions of their core?  How will they use their Dell Technologies Capital arm to bring transformational technologies to compete in the cognitive computing era?

At the same time, it is clear the Dell Technologies consolidation is under full swing and strategically keeping an eye on the shifts in IT transformation for AI, IoT, Multi-cloud and onsite efficiency.  They will leverage the full portfolio to deliver solutions as they  find places to cut costs and gain efficiencies.

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