Dell’s Apex “hardware as a service” expands to include data analysis and recovery

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In context: In 2006, British mathematician Clive Humby coined the now oft-repeated phrase that “data is the new oil”. Since then, there have been many vigorous debates over the accuracy or validity of the comment. No matter where you stand in these discussions, it now seems pretty obvious that for most businesses and organizations, data represents some type of lifeblood, providing insights and opportunities that can lead to new successes or signal potential problems and failures.

The importance of data has become particularly evident in light of the ever-expanding array of analytical tools that can be used to derive useful insights from it, as well as the staggering number of efforts to steal or destroy it via cybersecurity threats. While the needs and requirements needed to best address these two sides of the data coin are radically different, they underscore just how important the proper use and care of data has become.

In this context, the latest additions Dell’s Apex line of as-a-service offerings are both timely and relevant. The company first announced the Apex concept in November 2020, reflecting a significant shift in both the way Dell Technologies viewed the advancement of computing and the types of products and services the company sold. Since then, Dell has evolved from its original storage-centric services to integrated models of on-demand computing, networking, hyperconverged infrastructure and hybrid computing, all delivered in a single-serve model. the map. (See “Dell’s Apex Brings Hardware as a Service to Consumers” for more.)

To this year Dell Technologies World, the company previewed a new relationship with cloud-based data analytics firm Snowflake and added additional vault recovery services to restore data in the event of a major cybersecurity breach. On the analytics front, the partnership with Snowflake opens up a number of potentially significant opportunities for enterprises that keep some or all of their key data in their own data centers or other tightly managed colocation centers. Specifically, Dell Technologies and Snowflake announcement the ability to run Snowflake Data Cloud analytics tools on cloud data managed by Dell or, more importantly, data stored locally on-premises.

For organizations that have moved some of the data to various public clouds, this capability is very important. This means that organizations looking to find insights by combining cloud-based data sets with on-premises sets can now do so and without significant data egress costs. For highly regulated industries or companies that have rules on data sovereignty, this is absolutely essential as they could not easily take advantage of Snowflake’s analytics capabilities without an agreement like this. Let’s also not forget that even in organizations that don’t have these requirements, a huge amount of corporate data still lives on-premises.

In addition to this, Dell Technologies said it is working with all three major public cloud providers – AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud – to enable this capability, ensuring organizations will not be limited in the types of data they can use. for these analytical efforts.

Virtual vaults are essentially a collection of disconnected or “isolated” storage resources that businesses can use to keep a backup of their critical data.

On the cybersecurity front, Dell is expanding its suite of virtual vault services and working with AWS and Azure to help support them. Virtual vaults are essentially a collection of disconnected or “isolated” storage resources that businesses can use to keep a backup of their critical data.

In the event of a cyberattack aimed at damaging, destroying or deleting data (unfortunately, an increasingly common occurrence), vault recovery services can quickly restore a secure, malware-free copy of the data. In the case of Dell Technologies, the company’s new Apex Cyber ​​recovery leverages its own sophisticated storage software to create a system capable of autonomously maintaining a clean backup of critical data stores on-premises or in the cloud at an external location.

Recognizing that many businesses may have similar needs, but very unique ways to achieve them, Dell Technologies has also added additional ways to obtain similar services from major cloud providers. The company previously announced an agreement with AWS to provide this automated service through the AWS Marketplace and to leverage the company’s existing contracts and credits with AWS to help pay for the service.

At Dell Technologies World, a similar service agreement with Azure was announced, so businesses now have a choice of public cloud providers to work with for data storage. In the case of AWS, Dell Technologies has expanded its capabilities not only to store the data, but also to perform indexing, security scanning, machine learning-based corruption detection and forensics. post-attack. Presumably, the company will also bring these expanded features to its Azure offering in the near future.

Ensuring that an organization’s data is safe, well-protected, and available to be leveraged to create important new insights and opportunities is clearly one of the most important, if not the most important, tasks IT has to do. company is responsible. Having access to new ways to deliver these essential features from a well-known partner in an as-a-service model will clearly be an attractive option, although I suspect many companies are still getting used to the idea of ​​Dell Technologies as a service provider. However, like its competitors, Dell is evolving into a new kind of company that strives to create the kinds of solutions the market now demands while providing the guidance that many of its more traditional customers still need. to upgrade their IT infrastructure. The path will not be short, but it is important to take.

Bob O’Donnell is the founder and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, LLC a technology consulting firm that provides strategic consulting and market research services to the technology industry and the professional financial community. You can follow him on Twitter @bobodtech.

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