Dell spikes VMware public cloud and OpenStack plans for partner services

Dell gives its infrastructure as a service ambitions the flick.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Dell has ended its two-year run as a VMWare-based public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider and is instead moving to sell services from partners.

The Texas-based hardware maker announced yesterday it will discontinue its IaaS vCloud Datacenter Service and has also scuttled plans to launch an OpenStack-based public cloud as well as a public storage as a service offering. 

Customers with IaaS from Dell will now have to go through "best of breed" partners in its US Cloud Partner Program, which initially include cloud hosting company ZeroLag, Joyent (a Dell hardware partner which also offers VMWare-based infrastructure) and ScaleMetrix.

Dell will use US program partners where relevant for EMEA-based clouds, but will be also deliver IaaS through a newly announced Global Service Delivery Partner program. The company did not mention European partners, but said in an EMEA announcement these will include cloud providers that have selected Dell kit to build their cloud infrastructure.

The company claims its new tack will offer customers "freedom from lock-in" to a single platform and pointed to its recent multi-cloud management platform acquisition Enstratius.

Dell's decision to shut its vCloud service was not surprising according to Gartner analyst Lydia Leong, who noted Dell's offer was expensive compared to other vCloud rivals and had so far gained little traction.

"What's more surprising is that Dell has decided to focus upon an Enstratius-enabled cloud services broker (CSB) role, when its two key competitors — HP and IBM — are trying to control an entire technology stack that spans hardware, software, and services," Leong noted.

Dell was betting Enstratius could offer it higher margins in the management layer of IaaS, but, as Leong notes, IaaS providers could also build this functionality into their own platforms.

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