Dell Announces Private Cloud Built on OpenStack

Michael Dell gives his keynote at the Dell World conference in Austin, Texas.

Michael Dell, CEO of his eponymous company, used his keynote at this year’s Dell World conference in Austin, Texas to unveil a technical preview of its private cloud.

Other announcements included a partnership with FireEye, over secure customer services, and improvements to support structure such as SupportAssist technology for enterprise platforms. On the consumer side of things, Dell revealed an 18-inch all-in-one Windows 8 PC with a pop-out display that transforms it into a portable workstation.

Dell didn’t actually disclose when the company’s private cloud, dubbed Dell Cloud Dedicated Service, would hit its general-release milestone. For those wishing to participate, however, Dell has invited interested parties to email OStechnicalpreview@dell.com for more information.

“We provide the backbone to some of the largest cloud service providers in the world, and we’re more than happy to help you build out your own cloud environment for customers who want to do that themselves,” Dell told the audience. “But we also have infrastructure and services for customers who want us to architect deploy and run it for them.”

He added: “We can scale our your private cloud, we can do it quickly and easily, and we can link it to the Dell cloud, as an extension of your own environment. In this way you enjoy the best of both world, with a hybrid deployment: seamless, really secure, and fully compatible.”

Dell’s private cloud will be based on the open-source OpenStack, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform developed by Rackspace and NASA that launched in 2010. Dell released a statement supporting the open nature of OpenStack: “While Dell will continue to offer outstanding overall solutions for any type of cloud that customers want to run, the company believes the open and compatible nature of OpenStack allows customers to take advantage of hybrid capabilities to move workloads between private and public clouds.

Michael Dell did not disclose the reasoning behind the decision. Back in 2011, his company announced that VMware technology would provide the foundation for its first public cloud. VMware also sits behind the Dell Cloud Dedicated Service, which delivers managed private cloud IaaS.

Dell is not alone in delivering a private cloud, obviously. Rivals include Amazon and enterprise software giant Oracle, which also announced a private cloud in October. Dell will likely disclose more details about its private cloud plans as the Dell World conference rolls on.

A blurb shown just before Dell’s entrance on stage demonstrated how Dell has evolved beyond a seller of PCs, with an increasing focus on software and services.

New announcements in those areas include Dell SecureWorks now managing the FireEye Malware Protection System (MPS) family of appliances, which protect against so-called “spear phishing” and other Web-based attacks.

Dell also announced new SupportAssist technology with proactive support for Dell PowerEdge servers, PowerVault storage arrays and PowerConnect switches. SupportAssist enables remote monitoring, automatic case creation and data collection, as well as proactive parts dispatch with customer consent.

On top of that, Dell has launched a new Storage Consulting Accelerators service, which includes performing an automated data collection process, business-needs assessment, and gap analysis. Dell ProSupport, which simplifies support with one contract, one support team and one point of accountability, is extending its global multivendor capabilities to cover Apple products.

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