Dell APEX: Reducing Complexity, Increasing Consistency in Multi-Cloud Deployments

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  January 19, 2022

Virtually every computing innovation has potential, often hard to define costs such as higher complexity, lower predictability and compromised security. As a result, calculating the value of IT offerings needs to include how vendors discuss and help customers meet those challenges. That has been a notable issue during the evolution of cloud computing where the simplicity and ease of accessing services from AWS and other vendors obscured concerns that might have dampened or derailed traditional IT solutions.

However, as enterprises have increasingly preferred and chosen multi-cloud deployments over single vendor engagements, the need to define and address complexity has never been greater. Dell Technologies’ new APEX services and DevOps capabilities for multi-cloud applications offer a prime example of how vendors can proceed.

Dell APEX: Increasing multi-cloud consistency

Dell expressed two goals in launching APEX as-a-Service solutions in May 2021: to simplify how customers consumed and managed IT assets and services, and to ease their access to and control of cloud compute resources.

In essence, the company was working to ensure that organizations could deploy and use compute, storage and other IT resources, whether on- or off-premises, as easily as they did public clouds. At the same time, Dell recognized the importance and value of making sure that customers’ IT assets, wherever they were located, delivered the same consistency, efficiency, predictability and security as those in on-premises data centers.

Since then, Dell has steadily added new multi-cloud solutions to the APEX portfolio, including close integration with VMware Cloud solutions, enterprise-ready data storage and protection features and collaborations with all major public cloud vendors and platforms.

Dell’s new APEX and DevOps offerings

The company’s new multi-cloud services reflect this approach for distinct cloud-focused business audiences:

  • APEX Multi-Cloud Data Services offers file, block, object and data protection solutions with simultaneous access to all major public clouds, managed through the APEX Console. This solution is designed to help customers avoid vendor lock-in, excessive fees and the costs and risks of moving data from one cloud to another.
  • APEX Backup Services secures SaaS applications, endpoints and hybrid workloads with end-to-end scalable data protection and centralized monitoring functions. Features including instant threat detection, rapid response and accelerated recovery are designed to protect customers against cyberattacks.
  • New DevOps-ready platforms and a refreshed developer portal are designed to accelerate modern application initiatives and improve developer and IT productivity. Reflecting its ongoing partnerships with leading cloud vendors, including AWS, Google, IBM/Red Hat, Microsoft and VMware, Dell is increasing its support for Kubernetes to include Amazon EKS Anywhere on PowerFlex and PowerStore, and SUSE Rancher on VxRail. The refreshed developer portal offers DevOps professionals and teams continual access to Dell’s latest APIs, modules, plugins and SDKs.

In addition, Dell announced a new cloud storage initiative, Project Alpine, which will bring the software IP of its flagship block and file storage platforms to leading public clouds. As a result, customers will be able to purchase Dell storage software-as-a-service using existing cloud credits and simplify managing and sharing storage in on-premises facilities and across multiple public clouds.

Expanded access and Dell partners

The availability of Dell’s APEX Data Storage Services is expanding to 13 countries across Europe and Asia and is also available with Equinix colocation services in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Australia. APEX Cloud Services with VMware Cloud is now available in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany.

It is also worth noting that while APEX services are available directly through Dell, the company has also designed the APEX portfolio for channel partners’ value-added offerings and customer engagements. Systems integrators with established practices around popular public cloud platforms, including AWS, Azure and Google Cloud are potential beneficiaries.

In addition, partners with storage and data protection businesses that desire to expand into cloud-based solutions can use Dell APEX as a foundation. Finally, cloud service provider (CSP) partners that are building or hosting Storage-as-a-Service and cloud solutions can use APEX Data Storage Services and APEX Cloud Services with VMware Cloud to simplify solution integration and operations while accelerating customer time-to-value and also creating opportunities to layer on their own specialty services.

Final analysis

So, what is the bottom line on these new services and offerings? From the beginning of its work on cloud computing, Dell Technologies focused on demystifying involved technologies while addressing the needs of its cloud-bound businesses. Firmly positioning itself as an agnostic cloud enabler rather than becoming tightly tied to a small handful of large vendors has placed Dell in a prime spot for developing and supporting multi-cloud solutions, including its APEX aaS offerings.

The new APEX Multi-Cloud Data Services and Backup Services extend Dell’s existing solution sets, as well as its leadership position in enterprise storage markets. The new DevOps ready platforms and refreshed portal highlights the company’s support for the increasing number of businesses planning or deploying modern and cloud-native applications and processes. Finally, Dell’s Project Alpine offers insights into the company’s future, and how it will continue to smooth customers’ journeys to multi-cloud environments and help ensure the consistency and security of their experiences.

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