The Dell logo on an office building.
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Dell reconfigured several of its multicloud and hybrid services under the APEX brand name as part of the suite of announcements at Dell Technologies World on May 22. The change is in response to customer demand for large-scale multicloud and hybrid hosting, said Sam Grocott, senior vice president of product marketing at Dell Technologies, during a press pre-briefing for the event.

“Now, Dell APEX spans the breadth of our portfolio to give customers greater freedom for technology to support businesses as their needs dictate,” said Chuck Whitten, co-chief operating officer at Dell Technologies, in a press release.

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From cloud to ground and back

Dell’s existing APEX SaaS has shifted to include several new services to support cloud storage from the data center to the edge. Multicloud services previously known as Project Alpine will now live under the same banner as APEX Storage for Public Cloud. This brings Dell’s software-defined block and file storage to the public cloud, said Caitlin Gordon, vice president of project management at Dell Technologies.

The new subscription addresses cloud services from three directions:

  • Ground to cloud, or bringing software customers are using in their data center to the public cloud
  • Cloud to ground, or bringing cloud operating models from different providers into the data center
  • APEX as-a-service and changed subscription offers

The additions or enhancements to Dell’s APEX portfolio include:

  • Dell APEX Cloud Platforms
  • Dell APEX Storage for Public Cloud
  • Dell APEX Navigator for Multicloud Storage and Kubernetes
  • Dell APEX Compute
  • Dell APEX PC-as-a-Service
  • Dell Technologies and Databricks collaborate on Dell object storage with Databricks’ Lakehouse Platform

Essentially, Dell’s data protection storage services are being moved into this product family and enhanced with some interoperability.

APEX cloud platforms will offer the following benefits, Dell said:

  • Extend and optimize a customer’s on-premises cloud ecosystem.
  • Combine common platforms and automation.
  • Offer familiar, simple operational and developer experiences appropriate for non-specialized or small teams.
  • Extend data and apps across multicloud environments.
  • Offer consistent compliance and governance.

APEX offers customers looking to move into the cloud a choice of cloud providers. For instance, the “ground to cloud” customers using APEX Cloud Platform can now choose between Microsoft Azure, Red Hat OpenShift and VMware.

“VMware and Dell Technologies have a track record of jointly engineered solutions and innovation that spans nearly two decades,” said Dave McGraw, vice president of partner solutions engineering, office of the CTO, VMware. “The introduction of Dell APEX Cloud Platform for VMware broadens customers’ VMware multicloud deployment options, providing greater choice and flexibility to modernize applications while streamlining multicloud operations.”

“Microsoft and Dell are simplifying hybrid cloud management with an integrated solution that gives customers consistent operations across the Azure public cloud and their on-premises and edge environments,” said Bernardo Caldas, corporate vice president, Azure Edge PM, Microsoft, in a press release.

Ground-to-cloud support for Kubernetes and more

Two new SaaS offerings were added within the “ground to cloud” aspect of APEX Navigator: APEX Navigator for Multicloud Storage and APEX Navigator for Kubernetes. Both are public cloud storage assets that can deploy and monitor any storage type and any public cloud. These Dell SaaS products can also be hooked to an API as needed when customers have their own monitoring tools.

The latter includes cloud-native application mobility, discovery of assets and storage for anyone using Dell storage assets with Kubernetes.

“With the growth of cloud-native software and Kubernetes, there are more and more workloads being done in cloud-native environments,” said Gordon.

SEE: Check out our head-to-head comparison of Dell APEX vs HPE GreenLake

APEX-as-a-service availability

APEX Block and File Storage for AWS, APEX PC-as-a-Service, APEX Compute, and the Dell object storage and Databricks Lakehouse Platform connection are available now, with some geographic limitations. Specifically, PC-as-a-Service and Compute can be used in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

In the second half of 2023, Dell is expected to add APEX Cloud Platforms (global), APEX Block Storage for Microsoft Azure (global), APEX Navigator for Multicloud Storage (starting in the U.S. with plans for expansion) and APEX Navigator for Kubernetes (U.S., U.K., France and Germany).

Competitors to Dell’s software-as-a-service

Dell’s hybrid and multicloud and edge management SaaS competes with HPE GreenLake, IBM Cloud, Cisco Systems’ Cisco+, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and more. It has also competed in the past with Microsoft Azure and VMware.

Disclaimer: Dell paid for my airfare, accommodations and some meals for the Dell Technologies World event held May 22-25 in Las Vegas.

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This is your go-to resource for the latest news and tips on the following topics and more, XaaS, AWS, Microsoft Azure, DevOps, virtualization, the hybrid cloud, and cloud security. Delivered Mondays and Wednesdays