Dell, VMware combine on versatile Apex-based platform for multi-cloud deployments

The New IaaS offering, still in testing, will give enterprises the ability to manage files and data safely in any cloud, hybrid cloud, or data center.
Written by Chris Preimesberger, Contributor

After Dell Technologies announced its divestiture of VMware last April, and despite the fact the two companies soon will be going their own merry but separate ways, they're both huddling for an important industry solution that should keep them united with their common customers for a long time to come.

As the first major announcement of the virtualized VMworld 2021, Dell on Oct. 5 introduced a new type of infrastructure-as-a-service, co-engineered with VMware, to connect its Apex Cloud Services platform with VMware's cloud. The combination, loaded with potential benefits, is designed to automate and otherwise smooth out the management of hybrid and multi-cloud deployments for a large number of organizations that use both companies in their IT systems. 

Basically, Dell Technologies Apex Cloud Services with VMware Cloud, now in private beta testing, aims to provide secure and routine operations across multi-cloud environments. The new IaaS offering will allow enterprises to move workloads across multiple cloud environments and scale resources quickly with predictable pricing, the company said. 

Dell said that ease of management and deployment isn't the only thing the Dell-VMware product brings to a system. To help organizations safeguard their data and avoid potential threats to their business, Apex Cloud Services with VMware Cloud assists enterprises with meeting local regulatory requirements for storage and helps protect them from malicious attacks with built-in cyber resiliency, the company said. 

Monitor, optimize the service on Apex Console

It's easy to see that this versatile data platform is all about choice. Using the Apex Console, IT managers can subscribe to, monitor, and optimize the service. Dell has preconfigured cloud-instance templates for many common workloads, making it easier for new users to get started. Deployment options are many: Organizations can house the management app in their data center, at an edge location, or co-location facility with partners such as Equinix and others.

The offering can also be used with VMware's Tanzu observability platform, allowing customers to build, test, and run cloud-native applications alongside traditional ones. The company said that customers could migrate workloads across multiple clouds with VMware HCX, which is included in the service and eliminates the need to re-architect applications for different cloud environments.

Customers can migrate workloads across multiple clouds with VMware HCX, included in the service, which eliminates the need to re-architect applications for different cloud environments.

The new solution also can be used with Tanzu, ObjectScale

Is there anything this Dell-VMware app cannot do? Apparently not.

"The biggest thing is what we've announced with Tanzu application platform," Ajay Patel, VMware's Senior VP and GM of the Modern Applications and Management Business Group, told ZDNet. "Our belief is that developers have too many things to hand-stitch together today, particularly when you're using things like containers and Kubernetes in the cloud."

On the storage side, Dell EMC ObjectScale software also works natively with the Apex-VMware package and enables enterprises to run Amazon S3-compatible object storage alongside VMware virtual machines. This brings Kubernetes-native, software-defined object storage to VMware vSphere with Tanzu and the vSAN Data Persistence Platform for the first time. Dell said that by providing developers with self-service storage in a private cloud operating model, ObjectScale helps IT manage and scale using familiar VMware tools.

"These practical features and developer-focused capabilities address many of the core needs of modern enterprises, so Dell Apex Cloud Services with VMware Cloud should be attractive to a wide range of organizations leveraging both on-premises IT infrastructures and public cloud platforms," PUND-IT principal analyst Charles King told ZDNet.

"The emphasis on 'co-engineering' offers some subtext since it emphasizes how Dell and VMware's continuing collaboration pays notable dividends to the two companies' shared customers and partners. Since Dell's spinoff of VMware will reportedly happen before the end of the year, that's an important point for both companies to highlight."

Dell Technologies Apex Cloud Services with VMware Cloud is currently in private preview, with planned availability in the United States, the UK, France, and Germany by the end of Dell's fiscal year on Jan. 31, 2022.

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