Dell: Everything from 5G mast to the cloud to the edge

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There were three main announcements at this year’s Dell Technologies Summit: more edge, more multi-cloud, and a whole new offering for telecom providers. With the latter, the company innovates and has set itself the objective of equipping the operational field of telecommunications with systems and services.

To this end, extensive cooperation with T-Mobile was presented. The two companies have developed what is called a bare metal orchestrator. The basis for this is “bare” hardware, for example servers, which have no preinstalled software – including no operating system. This then comes from the respective supplier and differs from company to company.

“What we deliver in terms of software is the level of management, which is deployment, configuration and inventory management,” said Dennis Hoffman, general manager of Dell for telecommunications systems . Dell uses the Redfish standard for this, so that non-Dell servers can also be discovered and started. According to Hoffman, there is a huge need for these systems, which is partly due to the building on which the 5G infrastructure is driven, where many servers are installed far away near the radio masts. “It must be possible to manage the 5G servers completely remotely, because traveling there is extremely time-consuming and expensive,” continues Hoffman. As a result, Dell expects sales of “a few hundred thousand” bare metal systems.

The second part of the announcements relates to Dell’s efforts to prevent all workloads from migrating to a public cloud with its internal Apex cloud. Apex is an IT infrastructure that Dell installs and operates at the customer’s premises, but which is used exclusively by the customer and for which – within certain limits – it pays only according to consumption. HPE has a comparable offer with Greenlake.


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However, these cloud offerings only make sense in connection with a public cloud as an “extended workbench”. As a result, Dell favors such a multi-cloud architecture and sees the future of cloud computing in it. The associated innovations concern the integration of Apex with VMware. VMware cloud is now also offered for Apex, making it easier to move workloads between different clouds. Another novelty is that the Dell VxRail HCI system with VMware Cloud and Tanzu are now available. Tanzu is VMware’s container and Kubernetes offering, so the development of cloud native applications is now better supported.

A number of new tools for real-time data collection and analysis, as well as extensive multi-cloud use, have been added to the Edge portfolio. These include the new VxRail satellite nodes, which can be used to improve automation and lifecycle management of edge workloads.

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The latest version of Dell’s streaming data platform features an improved GPU so that more data streams can be captured at the edge for real-time analysis in VxRail or PowerEdge systems. A new cooperation with Litmus’ IoT platform aims to connect different devices, data and edge applications and manage them centrally. To this end, a “validated design” has been created which aims to simplify this interoperability.

The new generation of fanless gateways use the ninth generation Intel Core processors and the systems can be connected wirelessly via 5G. The better performance and the fast 5G connection should mean customers can outsource more analytics to the edge, according to Dell. The company defines the advantage much more broadly than in Germany, where it is primarily engaged in manufacturing. “We see the advantage over machines in manufacturing, but also in retail point-of-sale, point-of-processing in healthcare or data collection and analysis in agriculture. Said Aaron Chaisson, Dell vice president for the Perimeter Zone. With this wide range of applications, analysts expect edge computing to flourish again. IDC estimates that about half of all new IT infrastructure systems will be installed at the edge by 2023.

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