Dell Tech’s PowerOne approach to hybrid cloud

As competition in the hybrid cloud space continues to heat up, Dell Technologies continues to expand its offerings to address shifting IT architectures while leveraging its broad portfolio of companies – including its deep connection to VMware.

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“The security industry is broken and ineffective with too many fragmented solutions and no cohesive platform architecture. By bringing Carbon Black into the VMware family, we are now taking a huge step forward in security and delivering an enterprise-grade platform to administer and protect workloads, applications and networks,” he went further to say. “With this acquisition, VMware will also take a significant leadership position in security for the new age of modern applications delivered from any cloud to any device.”

The competitive landscape in brief

As the hybrid and multi-cloud market continues to migrate to a metered consumption-based model, technologies that simplify how compute is delivered will gain traction and market share. HPE with its plans to move its entire portfolio to Everything-aaS in the near-term future, is an obvious infrastructure competitor and the company now has a clear vision and plans to become a leader again in core IT infrastructure following corporate divestitures and restructuring in previous years.

IBM, which dropped a huge amount in $34 billion to acquire Red Hat is another competitor. And the acquisition was not to buy a Linux distribution, but rather to acquire the OpenShift technology. Which can be read as the company’s clear sights being set on hybrid and cloud native.

Cisco is another competitor to watch and perhaps above all, the hyperscalers AWS and Azure, and to some extent GCP will be the biggest threats to Dell Tech. With Azure Arc and growth of edge to core Azure Stack along with AWS Outpost and its growing hybrid offerings – which will almost certainly expand at this year’s re:Invent – the fight for hybrid cloud domination will become more the old vs. the new with public cloud leaders migrating on prem and on-prem wanting to own the control plane of the enterprise. It’s a competitive battle between cooperative companies.

Of course, Dell Tech’s own VMware are also in some odd way a threat to Dell Tech, as the two companies operate separately, and customers could use VMware without using Dell for large parts of on-prem converged infrastructure. For shareholders, it probably doesn’t matter that much, but for ISG, the goal is to provide as much of the stack as possible. So, VMware is in good shape in this space, based on its massive market share of virtualized enterprise workloads and its growing portfolio of cloud offerings and its market share leadership position.

Finally, containers and open stack are an obvious threat. As Kubernetes emerges as the architecture of choice, pretty much all of the traditional IT vendors and cloud vendors have doubled down on Kubernetes and its container orchestration strategy. While other smaller vendors such as Docker and Rancher are positioned as players in this market. Realistically, the competition for pure open source, at least in the Linux space, will probably be IBM with Red Hat and more specifically OpenShift solution.

Final word

I have long been sentiment-positive on much of what Dell Technologies has been doing with its core infrastructure components and the new products, services and executive changes should serve it well as it addresses the emerging dynamics in the cloud and HCI market. I am particularly bullish on the new PowerOne Autonomous architecture and it will be important to watch this solution go to market and to better see how enterprises benefit from the deployment as well as consume the new service offerings.

Overall, I see the real win for Dell Tech as the combination of Dell Tech and VMware as these businesses goes from strength to strength especially in handling the pivot to Kubernetes and containers, while maintaining virtual machines and the transition that will follow. After all, we know the transition is coming, but the key is handling it smoothly as the cloud slowly becomes as important to the enterprise IT as it has been to marketing enterprise IT.

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Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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