Dell Has No Future Because It Lacks a Public Cloud

Megalith

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Dell is a big player, but there is one big difference between the company and its competitors that could spell its downfall: the lack of a publicly oriented cloud service. Dell is well and good on that in regard to the IT front, but it hasn’t bothered to match what Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, and others are providing for the general public. I am not sure what the hold-up is, but could this oversight really turn Dell into the next Unisys? Thanks to Kyle for this one.

What doesn't Dell have? A public cloud, that's what. Arguably the single biggest threat for Dell. Sure, it rules the on-premises IT roost. It is one of the four pillars of that part of the IT jungle, along with Larry Ellison's Oracle, Meg Whitman's HPE and Ginny Rometti's IBM. How can these empires ever fall? But the public cloud is colonizing the on-premises IT forest, and clear-cutting it, leaving devastation behind. Oracle knows this, and has gone into public cloud. Microsoft knows this and has gone into the public cloud with Azure. IBM knows this, and has gone into the public cloud with Softlayer. HPE knew it, but threw its public cloud away, and is now in denial.
 

Pusher of Buttons

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Cloud is great and all, but it's a few massive security breech scandals away from collapsing. On-premise will always have a place in any real company's DR plan at least. You need to be able to spin up at least part of your business should a major outage strike.

Dell should rightfully be prepping to maybe scale back a bit and shore up any bottom lines as the reality is companies are going to be replacing less frequently and growth is largely going to be "cloud", but if they play their cards right and don't be stupid about what they are they'll be fine.
 

Ryokurin

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It sounds like he didn't listen to everything Michael Dell said. "We're not saying public cloud is not going to happen or it's not going to grow—it is. It's just not perfect for all workloads. And everything is not going to go to the public cloud." He also missed the Flex on Demand announcement.

Is it just like Amazon and Microsoft? No, and it probably shouldn't be. Their strong suit isn't software, despite the acquisitions, but having resources on demand? that still is a pretty new concept. It's still is a little early to say they are going to lose.
 

Verge

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Dell is a big player, but there is one big difference between the company and its competitors that could spell its downfall: the lack of a publicly oriented cloud service. Dell is well and good on that in regard to the IT front, but it hasn’t bothered to match what Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, and others are providing for the general public. I am not sure what the hold-up is, but could this oversight really turn Dell into the next Unisys? Thanks to Kyle for this one.

What doesn't Dell have? A public cloud, that's what. Arguably the single biggest threat for Dell. Sure, it rules the on-premises IT roost. It is one of the four pillars of that part of the IT jungle, along with Larry Ellison's Oracle, Meg Whitman's HPE and Ginny Rometti's IBM. How can these empires ever fall? But the public cloud is colonizing the on-premises IT forest, and clear-cutting it, leaving devastation behind. Oracle knows this, and has gone into public cloud. Microsoft knows this and has gone into the public cloud with Azure. IBM knows this, and has gone into the public cloud with Softlayer. HPE knew it, but threw its public cloud away, and is now in denial.

I guess i'm the only one who reads the news??? This is from yesterday!

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/08/michael-dell-company-launches-pay-as-you-go-cloud-model.html




wow
 

nutzo

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I buy a lot of Dell hardware, but have no interest in a Dell Cloud service.
I have enough problems with their web server just trying to buy or download stuff.
I'm not about to put my job on the line by depending on them to have a reliable cloud service.
 

Cantroy

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The "cloud" is nothing more than a bunch of servers somewhere out there on the internet. Amazingly enough, we put servers at our location in Dallas and in Fort Worth for DR. Wow, instant Dell cloud, as yeah, we use Dell servers.

I'm just a bit tired of the marketing speech. In other words, when all of the stuff is "in the cloud" and your internet goes down, you have nothing.
 

Dead Parrot

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What's next, Walmart is going to fail if they don't offer public cloud? Or Nvidia? Or Intel? Sounds like someone has a belief that the only future in IT sales is the cloud. That cloud has to run on physical stuff at some level. Dell might have decided there is plenty of profit in selling hardware to cloud companies and letting the cloud companies deal with the security and liability issues of potential data breaches.
 

c3k

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Cats don't have a public cloud. Do they have no future?

I don't have a public cloud. Do I have no future?

(Channeling DeNiro and Focker. ;) )

Edited because gramma escaped me.
 
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YeuEmMaiMai

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the appeal of dell is no extra bs on your business machines. You get their diag utilities and that is it...
 

Nenu

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Cats don't have a public cloud. Do they have no future?

I don't have a public cloud. Do I have no future?

(Channeling DeNiro and Focker. ;) )

Edited because gramma escaped me.
Why you been holding your Grandma?
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I'd argue the opposite.

Dell is BETTER for their lack of loud integration.

I wish everyone else (especially Microsoft) would do the same.

Remember. There is no such h thing as "the cloud". It's just someone else's computer, and you shouldn't trust it because you can't control it.

Anything without cloud is better than anything with it. Doesn't matter what it is.
 

cyclone3d

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"The Cloud" sucks for the most part.

Dell does not need a public "cloud".
 

Verge

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AWS is the only way Amazon makes money. AWS is expensive.

Azure, Google Cloud, IBM, Cisco, and good old AWS are about to have a fucking epic pricing war.





Is Dell staying out of that really making a bad decision?
 

collegeboy69us

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I'm more apt to go dell *because* they don't try and cram that cloud shit down your throat. Seems everyone wants your stuff on the cloud, Microsoft, Acronis, are a few that come to mind I hate being pestered for.
 

Iratus

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Dell would be stupid to get into it now, it costs literally billions to get into public cloud properly and everyone who matters has way too much of a head start. The only reason Oracle will get away with getting into it now is their licensing models and the difficult in extracating yourself from their software.

The server market is going to be dead but for twitching as far as end users go, unless you've got 1000 servers or you are good at infrastructure you can't save money anymore unless you are so small you can't do WAN well. If you're not good at infrastructure, now isn't the time to try to learn. There's a very small percentage of companies that will get a differentiation from doing it themselves, such as Goldman Sachs as fast movers or quant / hft shops and some organisations will do it for treasury reasons (capital intense businesses) but the writing is on the wall. That said, there will be a lot of hold outs, if you've got steady demand then what is true for us as enthusiasts holds true for companies, ie there is little benefit to upgrading CPU. There's an awful lot to be said for having virtual machines and sweating the physical hardware over a 7+ year timeline. That saves heaps of money (if your hypervisor costs are good) but doesn't help Dell any.

Dell need to manage their margins, bleed the last bits out of the stone and find a new cash cow. If they tried to take on AWS, MS and google they'd be just burning money. No USP, if Rackspace and VMware can't do it, how would they stand a chance.
 

BuBBa

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Dell bought EMC last year, forming Dell EMC... So this means Dell now owns VMware. They also offer a cloud service called vCloud Air.

Technically you're right, there isn't a cloud service with "Dell" in the name, but that's splitting hairs.


I'm not saying the product is great, hell, they're even trying to sell it, but they have one. Rather large omission.
 
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krotch

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Dell bought EMC last year, forming Dell EMC... So this means Dell now owns VMware. They also offer a cloud service called vCloud Air.

Technically you're right, there isn't a cloud service with "Dell" in the name, but that's splitting hairs.


I'm not saying the product is great, hell, they're even trying to sell it, but they have one. Rather large omission.
They're selling off that vCloud Air stuff to some French company in Q2 2017. So they won't have a public cloud service.
 

conscript

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I work for Dell EMC...in addition to Virtustream, which is part of Dell Technologies and a public cloud provider, Dell EMC is also tightly integrated into the major cloud players, AWS, Azure, etc. We sell solutions virtual solutions that integrate and support the other cloud offering. I guess in short...the article was poorly researched and written, and I see they added a "PS" to the articles after being called out for not realizing Virtustream existed,,, which while not to the scale of AWS or Azure...certainly isn't niche.
 

TordanGow

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I'd argue the opposite.

Dell is BETTER for their lack of loud integration.....There is no such h thing as "the cloud". It's just someone else's computer, and you shouldn't trust it because you can't control it.
This.

I hate the term cloud. It's just a remote resource on some server not managed by you. Translation, cloud is just rented server space/capacity. We've had this concept forever now, fast data connections just made it more ubiquitous. Marketing speak needs to die.

Also, I'm pretty sure Dell sells tons of servers to these companies. Selling to tools to others that offer a service isn't a bad place to be. If it was, GM would have folded for not offering a taxi service. Hell, it's even smart to avoid the cloud business as a provider IMO, less liability.
 

dgingeri

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After just dealing with migrating email to a cloud solution, I hate cloud. Handing off so much to others' hands is really annoying. Their response time is nowhere near my response time. They don't care about my users, so they only reply to tickets overnight, and have to ask extra questions. It takes 3-5 days to get many things fixed that would take me 5-10 minutes. Management doesn't seem to understand this, though. They just see "Oh, we can get mailboxes for all our internal staff for $8/month and all our contractors for $1.25/month. This is GREAT!" Never mind that it takes a week to get send as a group permissions set. Give me my direct access to my email server back.
 

kju1

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Dell is a pretty shitty company so I am fine with seeing their end...I only wish it would come faster.
 

BuBBa

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They're selling off that vCloud Air stuff to some French company in Q2 2017. So they won't have a public cloud service.
And? They still have it. The article doesn't even mention that fact. Even if it did, I doubt they'd go into any detail as to WHY they're getting out of it. It's a pretty bad article.
 

DoubleTap

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Dell is a pretty shitty company so I am fine with seeing their end...I only wish it would come faster.
Having worked there almost 7 years, that does not align with my personal experience or my observations.

I do have a theory that some people see PC makers as somehow hostile or antithetical to the custom PC hobby - like they are the enemy - instead of people that buy things is so much volume that the rest of us can afford the things we like.
 

dgingeri

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Dell is a pretty shitty company so I am fine with seeing their end...I only wish it would come faster.
Having been a sysadmin in a server test lab for 6 years, where I worked with nearly every server vendor out there, I can confidently say that Dell has the absolute best servers. The cases are completely or almost completely toolless. I can put the rails in with one hand, and rack them by myself with no trouble. Installing the OS almost never requires extra drivers, and if it does most of them have a lifecycle controller that will feed the drivers in automatically, so I never have to download anything for an install. Their support is super quick and quite competent, and always gets me the right part with jsut a half an hour phone call and shipping for delivery the next day. In addition to all that, they're almost as inexpensive as Supermicro while still being more reliable than any others, especially when it comes to fans. We used a LOT of Dell machines in my lab, on the order of hundreds, and I only had to replace about 1 fan per month and maybe one other piece of hardware, except for drives, per year. Drives were the exception, but I don't blame Dell for that. They just buy drives from manufacturers and add a caddy.

IBM/Lenovo x86 are in a close second, but they still require tool use for many things, and they take too long for the pre-post diagnostics. IBM AIX are really bad, and the pre-post diagnostics take about half an hour, before you can even hit the power button. Their support always tries to come up with something to delay shipping a part by an extra day or two. For server hardware, this is bad. I don't want my servers down and extra day because some stupid script monkey wants me to run special diagnostics to confirm that a drive is dead.

HPe is absolutely HORRIBLE to work with, both x86 and HP-UX/Itanium, and they're WAY expensive to boot. Their X86 servers frequently have custom firmware specifically so that the OEM drivers won't work with it, and special drivers are ALWAYS needed to install the OS. On top of that, they require a special size torx tool to work with the hardware. Torx? Seriously? Who thinks that is a good idea? The HP-UX remote management console is done through TELNET! Talk about horrible security. Their support for the x86 servers is pretty good. Their support for HP-UX is absolutely horrible, with response times on the order of days instead of hours.

Supermicro has decent designed cases, but their motherboards have many compatibility issues. Their support is rather annoying, with the ones answering the phones not being even decent enough for desktop hardware support. It takes forever to convince them something needs replacing mostly because they don't understand what is wrong.

Cisco should stick with making switches. Their attempts at servers are almost as bad as HPe, and their remote console is far WORSE than HPe. The UCS blade systems are extremely difficult to set up. I think they went with the same design philosophy as they did with their switches: let's make sure to make it extra hard to do anything so we'll get the support of the sysadmins who keep their jobs by not documenting anything. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have not had to deal with their support.

Oracle engineering is more like locking 50 monkeys in a 12ftX12ft room with computer hardware for their design team: a WHOLE LOT of s**t thrown on the walls. By far, the absolute worst to work with. Their software design is even worse. None of it makes any sense. Their support is only available by paying extremely high annual maintenance contract fees that would have gotten me an extra 3-4 Dell servers per year. In addition, their fans and batteries are HORRIBLY unreliable. Out of 18 Oracle/Sun machines I had to care for, I was replacing about a dozen fans and half a dozen batteries per year. As far as Solaris goes, who puts a UI in for networking that can't actually DO anything? Seriously, half the UI designs in Solaris look like they could do something, but then don't, and the actual changes are only able to be made by command line. It's absolutely asinine.

(Note on Unix versions: IBM AIX was designed by engineers for engineers, and only engineers will be able to ever understand it, it has a logic to it, but that logic is so arcane that only a dedicated few will get it, Oracle/Sun was designed by a bunch of crap throwing monkeys, with absolutely NO logical sense in anything, and finally HP-UX was designed by demons with the Devil himself as lead dev, with everything so hidden away it takes days find anything, it is certainly designed to be a torture device for humans, but at least it has some logic to it.)

So, yeah, I'm a fan of Dell servers.
 

Iratus

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Goes to show how important it is to take not of relevant, recent, experience. I still shudder over Dell servers from like 13 years ago.

Still remember the cheese grater ones and having three different engineers sitting in reception at the same time, to fix different servers and one very choice argument with the premier support to get someone to bring a motherboard with them as they kept coming out without the parts to fix what was obviously wrong.

Unfortunately I'm in a position to make decisions over purchasing at a pretty large scale and still don't even look at them. Not going to change right now as we just replaced all our servers but I probably should let them tender next time.

Interesting you say that about Cisco. Our guys rave about their servers, but anyone not heavily invested in their network certifications would be happy to put the networking kit in a pile and burn it (well over a thousand wan sites and a massive aggregation layer with ACI core).
 

dgingeri

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With Cisco UCS, once the framework is set up, it is pretty easy to manage and expand. It's setting it up that is bad. Of course, the initial setup is all command line on their switches, so it's more about the switch interface than the actual servers. After that, all the NICs are virtual NICs, and don't have a proper physical interface. The PCIe connection hooks into a virtual management interface for the NICs, which have to be then defined in the management software to actually give the server a network connection. Then managing the server blades and the virtual NICs requires a special software, written entirely in Java of all the hellish things, to get a console. It all requires a master to set up. Once set up, sure, it works pretty well, but getting it there is hellish.

With Dell's remote management, iDRAC, it uses a web html interface to do most things. The remote console is in Java, but it is a stand alone app. Plus their NICs are direct, physical, real NICs that don't require any special interface.
 
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Iratus

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Probably that they've done the set up then. All our servers just auto build as kvm hosts as soon as the mac address is added to the pool and it gets a network address. Don't think anyone goes near a management console for anything.

I really wanted to look at white box servers because of that but it's not worth it for a few hundred physical boxes when you spread it over 5 years, especially when you've got outsourcers looking for a reason to get slopy shouldered over apps all the time.

I do remember a lot of pain with iLO back in the day (IBM version was much better) and yeah, serial cables into the back of unix boxes to get the terminal network enabled has been a pain since forever :)
 
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