In April, Dell announced that a new VMware-based offering, Dell Data Center-as-a-Service, will become available later this year. It reminded me a lot of AWS Outposts. In both cases, Dell or Amazon will provide, and fully manage, racks of hardware in the customer’s data center which connect back to the public cloud.
It makes sense that Dell would want to position itself as a services organization. As more workloads move to the cloud or to cloud-based service providers, Dell wants to get a piece of that business. After all, according to the Spiceworks 2019 State of IT report, “as a percentage of total spend, hardware budget allocations get smaller as company sizes increase and managed service budget allocations get larger.”
AWS, like the rest of the market, recognizes that workloads will increasingly move to the edge to overcome the inherent latency of public cloud. According to Gartner, “around 10% of enterprise-generated data is created and processed outside a traditional centralized data center or cloud. By 2025, Gartner predicts this figure will reach 75%.”
My reaction? It’s an odd approach to hybrid cloud. At some level, Amazon and Dell are saying that they can run your data center better than you can. But what do Dell or Amazon know about running an on-prem data center?
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Dell and its subsidiary, VMware, are experts at designing, building and delivering the hardware and software to create a data center. But that’s a completely different task from managing a data center day-to-day. They manage their own internal IT networks, of course, but Dell and VMware have no experience running large enterprise data centers for customers, especially at scale. Plus, Dell’s equipment is designed for on-prem use, and still doesn’t operate in a cloud-friendly way.
Likewise, while Amazon has more experience than anyone else running a hyperscale cloud, replicating a cloud architecture on-prem isn’t necessarily the best way to run a local data center. It’s the opposite problem from Dell; Amazon’s racks of hardware and software are designed for the cloud, not for a single enterprise data center. Amazon wants to pick off the application layer: databases, container management and other core operational stuff. But that means you’ll need to run IT their way, which means rewriting all your apps.
What’s more, neither model provides the enterprise any relief from space, cooling and power costs, which makes for a really bizarre model for hybrid cloud. Cloud at its core is all about optimal utilization of resources.
Finally, you’ll still need to manage multiple copies of your data across different locations and clouds, which, again, means IT doesn’t gain all that much efficiency – and it can cost A LOT. In this scenario, enterprises would be turning over operational management of their on-site infrastructure to organizations that, to date, have no experience running customer data centers. From a technical perspective the question remains — what capability does Dell Data Center-as-a-Service or AWS Outposts provide to customers that they didn’t already have?
Managed services that truly add value
At ClearSky, we take a very different approach. We give customers a single, durable copy of their data and then ensure that each user has on-demand access to the data they need, no matter where it resides. To ensure excellent performance, our service architecture stores hot data on-prem in a fully-managed 2U device and both warm and hot data in a point of presence (PoP) at the metro edge (no more than 200 miles from the customer site). With our patented Smart Tiered Caching capability, we move this data automatically behind the scenes, so IT never needs to worry about whether data will be where it needs to be. As a result, our customers can eliminate nearly all of their on-site storage equipment and scale up or down on demand.
In addition, both backup and disaster recovery (DR) are built into the service, with backup and replication happening automatically without disruption to the production environment. We can deliver recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) that are measured in seconds and minutes, not hours or days. There’s no need to maintain a secondary data center for DR, nor does IT need to babysit backups and send them offsite. ClearSky enables the enterprise to declare “Backup Independence.”
With ClearSky, IT can radically simplify storage, backup and DR management, all while increasing data availability, improving data protection and saving customers 50% on their total cost of storage compared to the legacy, on-prem model.
That’s real value.
Interested in learning more about how ClearSky can help your organization simplify storage management, decommission your offsite DR facility and cut your storage costs in half? Schedule a demo today!