Dell Technologies today launched Project Apex, an initiative that promises to significantly expand its ambition to deliver IT as a service from the edge to the public cloud.
Announced at the online Dell Technologies World 2020 conference, this initiative builds on the Dell Technologies Cloud Platform through which Dell manages IT infrastructure as service on behalf of customers.
Sam Grocott, senior vice president of product marketing at Dell Technologies, said via a single pane of glass organizations will be able to deploy and manage application workloads running on IT infrastructure provided by Dell as well as public cloud service providers using the Dell Technologies Cloud Console, which is currently available as a public preview.
In the first half of next year, Dell plans to roll out Dell Technologies Storage as a Service (STaaS) for on-premises IT environments, which also can be managed via the Dell Technologies Cloud Console.
In addition, Dell is reducing the entry-level cost of its existing hybrid cloud offering built on top of Dell Technologies Cloud Platform to $47 per instance per month with a subscription, in addition to making the service available in the UK, France and Germany.
Dell is also making a pre-approved Flex On-Demand pricing option that charges organizations on a usage basis for IT infrastructure, and has expanded its managed data protection services to include multiple public clouds.
It’s not clear whether organizations will prefer to rely on Dell to manage their IT versus continuing to manage it themselves or rely on a third-party IT services provider. In theory, organizations will be able to invest more in application development that would eventually consume more IT infrastructure than is consumed today. However, it’s not clear internal IT organizations are prepared to cede control over IT infrastructure and applications to a single IT vendor, especially if they employ IT technologies provided by a broad spectrum of vendors.
In the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, Grocott noted the number of organizations that prefer to treat IT as an operational expense has increased substantially. In addition, with more employees working from home organizations are looking for a more flexible approach to IT that is a challenge for them to achieve relying on legacy systems. To facilitate that transition, Dell is expanding the refurbishment and recycling services it makes available to customers.
In effect, Dell is enabling a cloud operating model to be applied to all of IT regardless of where applications or IT infrastructure is deployed.
Of course, Dell is not the only IT platform provider with such ambitions. Not only are longtime rivals in the data center expanding the scope of the managed services they provide, but every major provider of a cloud service has also expanded the reach of their offerings to include on-premises and edge computing platforms. It may be a while before this titanic struggle for control over IT plays out, but the one thing that is for certain is the way IT is consumed is changing utterly.