Dell updates private cloud to become PCI compliant

Moves mark the company's new strategy of focusing on private, not public, clouds

Looking to solidify its refocused efforts on private cloud platforms, Dell today rolled out new features to improve security and manageability of its offerings.

Dell now offers a payment card industry (PCI)-compliant cloud computing service. It also rolled out a new choice that allows customers to rent Dell-owned and operated hardware in their data centers. Dell is also expanding its cloud-based applications, adding a disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) option.

The moves come months after Dell announced plans to refocus its cloud computing strategy more on its private cloud business, instead of the public cloud market. The company had been developing an OpenStack-powered public cloud, but it halted those development efforts to focus on private and managed clouds this summer.

[MORE DELL: Dell dumps OpenStack and VMware for public cloud, shifts to focus on private clouds]

Jeremy Ford, Dell’s executive director for cloud services, says that today’s moves fall in line with the company’s philosophy of offering customers choice. Dell offers customers everything from a range of private cloud offerings based on VMware, OpenStack or even Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors.

Instead of offering its own public cloud offering, it now partners with public cloud providers from around the world and offers software for customers to deploy workloads to any one of those providers.

As for the announcements made today, Dell’s new PCI-compliant cloud is hosted in the company’s data center. Dell also offers HIPAA-compliant services.

The new capabilities around deploying private clouds on customers sites that are managed by Dell is an offering that uses the company’s Active Systems converged infrastructure hardware. That is a bundled product that combines compute, network and storage functionality. In this new managed agreement, the infrastructure sits on a company’s premises, but patches and monitoring are managed by Dell. Customers can also choose to manage it themselves if they want though.

Finally, Dell also rolled out a new DRaaS offering. The company has offered DRaaS to some customers in the past, but is rolling it out as a standardized offering now.  

Senior Writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing for Network World and NetworkWorld.com. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW. Read his Cloud Chronicles here.  

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