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Dell explains private cloud strategy, Quest Software plans

Dell's cloud services strategy seeks to win over enterprises that want to build a private cloud first. It’s also got big plans for Quest Software.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Dell has introduced some fruitless cloud services in recent years but this week, the company laid out a new strategy to gain cloud momentum from its home turf – the enterprise data center.

Dell Inc. has spent more than $12 billion in the past three to five years to transform from a hardware company to one that delivers a full complement of IT services. Today, it offers all the components necessary to build private clouds – a concept that public cloud provider Amazon recently dismissed.

Still, it may be a worthwhile endeavor for Dell. Dario Zamarian, Dell Inc.'s executive vice president and general manager, spoke with Margie Semilof, an editorial director at TechTarget, about Dell's cloud services strategy.

Q. What should Dell's priorities be in going after available opportunities in the cloud, given the positions already staked out by traditional competitors like IBM and HP?

Zamarian: First, we want to make sure we are using the word ‘cloud' the same way, as Dell comes from a midmarket heritage.

We talk to a lot of customers in depth around what applications they use and what virtualization projects they have. The virtualization trajectory is what brings us to a private cloud. After that we bring in the architecture reference designs that have server, storage and networking put together. We ask what are you trying to do in the application space, and if the application space requires a private cloud concept, that is our center of gravity. So can we create a virtualization layer, can we orchestrate virtual machines, and run applications on top of that.  Applications can be anything that runs the customer's business.

After we have the workload conversation, we talk about private cloud. Within that is the notion of the private cloud and the public cloud. If you are ready to modernize your data center, it is in that context that we do a balancing act between what goes on premise and what stays off.  Other competitors might come from a public cloud point of view. It makes sense for us to start from the private cloud.

Q, Tell me about Quest's role in Dell's cloud services strategy?

Zamarian: In a world where converged infrastructure is not just a term but a necessity to buy servers, storage, networking, and systems management, [it's Dell] going after pre-integrated systems and being able to load a virtualization layer and application. In that context, Quest can be a layer on top to be used for application performance monitoring, management.

Q. I've received some feedback from IT pros here that say you've acquired so much that they fear your ability to digest the acquisitions, and fear you are not communicating clearly with customers. They don't know what you have. What's on tap to address that?

Zamarian: There is no doubt that we've invested a tremendous amount of money. There is no denying the real hard problem after an acquisition is the integration itself. The problems we make are significant but job is not done. Events such as DellWorld, helps us put together the bigger picture.

We are on top of the trends. [It may be suggested that] we have indigestion and that is just natural. We are focused now, even more than during the primary acquisition phase, on putting together a coherent and logical message, not just for the industry but for customers.  We've made progress on that.

Read what Dell had to say about data center network architecture with SDN automation.

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