Dell Tech Summit: Autonomous infrastructure, as-a-service models, and societal change

The tech giant highlighted Dell EMC PowerOne, Dell Technologies on Demand, and sustainability goals during the opening keynote in Austin.

Dell Tech Summit: Autonomous infrastructure, as-a-service models, and societal change The tech giant highlighted Dell EMC PowerOne, Dell Technologies on Demand, and sustainability goals at its opening news conference in Austin.

Dell announced two new services--Dell EMC PowerOne and Dell Technologies on Demand--during the opening keynote at the Dell Technologies Summit on Tuesday. Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, took the stage to establish the overarching conference theme: The next data decade, in which data will be turned into action over the next 10 years. 

"We are rapidly rushing forward to a connected and intelligent world, as 5G is coming around the corner, along with artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning and neural networks," Dell said at the keynote. "All the physical aspects are becoming instrumented and connected and digitized. That's creating this stream of data in the digital universe; it's everywhere and in everything. It's in our homes or buildings or cars or those the entire world. This is the digital transformation." 

In 2007, the entire cellular network in the US consisted of 86 petabytes of data, but today, 86 petabytes moves across the cellular network in 18 hours. Ten years from now, 86 petabytes will move across the cellular network in only 10 minutes. "This is why we call it the next data decade," Dell said at the keynote.

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"Dell has always been about a culture of technology optimism, that it amplifies human potential." With Dell Power One and Dell Tech on Demand, the company hopes to continue its idea of democratizing access to technology, said Dell.

Along with these services, Dell also emphasized the company's push for societal change in its 2030 Progress Made Real plan. "Our goals are centered around four areas: Advancing sustainability, cultivating inclusion, transforming lives, and upholding ethics and data privacy," he said.

To help cultivate efficiency in the business environment, Dell introduced the EMC PowerOne, an autonomous infrastructure that can automate thousands of manual tasks. 

Dell EMC PowerOne 

Dell EMC PowerOne is Dell's latest autonomous infrastructure platform, integrating PowerEdge compute, PowerMax storage, PowerSwitch networking, and VMware virtualization into a unified system equipped with an intelligence engine to automate manual steps, said John Roese, president and chief technology officer of product and operations at Dell Technologies, during the keynote.

"Power One is Dell Technologies instantiated as an all-in-one autonomous system," Roese said at the keynote. "It is the first time after we've done the end to end product refresh of our infrastructure products that we are putting all of the power branded products together in a new form factor a new system. And that system really has one goal, building infrastructure in a way that is frictionless and low effort and easy compared to the current status quo."

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Image: Dell

"As we look at some of the key trends going on in IT and data centers, IT organizations of course are under a lot of pressure to deliver cloud-like outcomes," said Jon Siegel, head of product marketing for networking and solutions at Dell. "The status quo approach of building their own data center just simply can't keep up with the demands of the cloud era. According to a recent enterprise strategy group survey, a whopping 93% of organizations now view their IT environments as equally or more complex than just two years ago." 

Complexity is the enemy for organizations, but automation is the answer for eliminating complexities, and Dell EMC PowerOne can help businesses navigate their complexities and unlock their data's power, Siegel said. 

The center of PowerOne's autonomous operations is an automation engine, which uses Kubernetes microservices architecture and Ansible workflows to automate monotonous tasks and help the user, Roese said at the keynote. 

EMC PowerOne supplies business with a single system-level application programming interface (API), allowing users to form objective-specific resources. The API helps reduce the amount of clicks necessary to control various management systems, Roese added at the keynote.

The all-in-one system is one of the major benefits of EMC PowerOne. It "bring[s] together our entire Dell EMC power portfolio across our storage compute networking and data protection lines, combined with VMware virtualization into a single package: Factory installed, managed, maintained, and supported as one," Siegel said.

Other benefits are its autonomous operations, which allows users to choose a desired outcome and leaves PowerOne to do the rest, along with its flexible consumption. PowerOne joins the Dell Tech Cloud portfolio, simplifying the path to hybrid cloud, and is offered under the new Dell Technologies on Demand--Dell's other service major announcement, said Roese during the keynote. 

Under Dell Technologies on Demand, users of PowerOne only pay for the service as they use it. "This is really helping customers give them the flexibility for a cloud-like experience and enabling them to shift their spending from a cap-ex type spending to op-ex in a more predictable, sensible way," Siegel said. 

Dell EMC PowerOne will be available on November 22. 

Dell Technologies on Demand 

During the keynote, Jeff Clark, vice chairman of products and operations at Dell Technologies announced Dell Technologies on Demand. The new system aims to "unlock the full potential of data during the next data decade," Clark said. 

Cloud computing's popularity is rooted in its as-a-service models--software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-as-service (IaaS)--which allow users to pay for services on demand, or as needed.

"As we meet with customers around the world, they're really striving to become a more digitized organization," said Sam Grocot, senior vice president and leader of product marketing organization at Dell. "And they're using technology to evolve IT infrastructure, operations, and processes. As they evaluate infrastructure capabilities, businesses are looking for different ways to actually consume that technology. They want flexible consumption solutions to more predictably plan for IT spending and pay for only the technology that is used."

This model presents flexible payment options across the full Dell infrastructure stack, software-defined and hybrid cloud solutions, along with modern data protection, PC and digital workplaces, Clark said at the keynote. 

The on demand model offers three pay per use consumption models including Pay As You Grow, Flex On Demand, and Data Center Utility. Pay As You Grow allows users to pay on deployment schedules; Flex On Demand offers monthly payment solutions across Dell's whole portfolio; and Data Center Utility delivers the most customization to cover business requirements across the ecosystem, Grocot said.

"Customers can scale up or down as required capacities delivered as needed. Procurement is streamlined and automated. Billing is simplified, reporting is standardized, and managed services are often delivered as part of this total solution," Grocot said. "So our structured flexible consumption offers help organizations more predictably budget for IT spending. Pay for technology as it's used and achieve optimal total cost of ownership over the full technology life cycle." 

Both EMC Power One and Dell Tech on Demand are "geared to helping customers more easily consume on-prem infrastructure as part of their hybrid cloud strategy," Siegel said. 

Dell isn't only helping the enterprise grow technologically, but socially too. 

Dell's societal change initiatives 

At the Dell Technologies Summit, the company also announced the company's goals for social impact. The initiatives are summarized in Dell's 2030 Progress Made Real plan, which outlines how tech, data, and the human spirit can drive tangible change, Dell said at the keynote.   

"We've understood for a long time, that the holistic impact of Dell on the planet is very significant and that's always been important to us as a company," Dell said at the keynote. "For decades, before anybody was really paying attention, we led in areas like recycling, sustainable supply chain management and transparency. Since 2013 our team members have volunteered within five million service hours into communities that we operate in. Between team member donations and matching grants, we've raised $244 million for worthy causes around the world. It's in our DNA."

Over the next decade, Dell will continue on this mission. With a focus on cultivating inclusion, Dell committed to having 50% of the company's global workforce occupied by women, with 40% of global managers being female. Dell will also have 25% of the company's US workforce assumed by African American and Hispanic team members. The company also aims to annually educate 95% of all team members about unconscious bias, harassment, microaggressions, and privilege, Dell said at the keynote.

Another social initiative was Dell's mission to transform lives. They aim to digitally transform 1,000 nonprofits and achieve 75% team member participation in charitable giving and volunteerism by 2030, Dell added.   

Ethics and privacy were also highlighted in the keynote. As technology evolves, so do more threat vectors for cybercriminals. To help team members keep their data safe, Dell is fully automating data control processes to make it easier for customers to access, delete, or share their personal data.

Finally, Dell aims to advance sustainability by recycling an equivalent product for every product bought, use 100% recycled or renewable material in all packaging, setting emissions goals across facilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% per unit revenue by 2030, Dell said at the keynote.

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Image: Dell