With so much going at Dell Technologies World (DTW) every year, every attendees’ personal journey is a different one, and so I thought I would share mine. While I work for Dell Technologies, this is not a corporate blog. It is my own personal opinion of the highlights and what impacted me the most.
With over 15,000 attendees, thousands of partners, over 400 media and analysts, around 800 attendees from APJ, this event was nothing short of epic. Here’s my top 10 countdown…
Number 10: Dell Technologies Cloud
A core part of the day one keynote was the Dell Technologies Cloud. This is really a combined strategy and architecture on a multi-cloud platform enabled by Dell EMC and VMware. Key announcements and updates were:
- Dell EMC and VMware have one unified cloud strategy
- VCF (vCloud Foundation) and VxRail has launched and is a tightly integrated architecture
- VMware cloud on Dell EMC as a service (see demo screen shot below). A data centre as a service offering which was previously code named Project Dimension. This is a fully managed on premises solution around VCF and VxRail
- VMware now runs on Azure – this is huge! See Satya Nadella section below
We saw a demo of the VMware cloud on Dell EMC solution which is a seamless way to manage a multi-cloud architecture.
Number 9: Product Launches
It would not be Dell Technologies World without some power punching, big impact product launches, and this year was no exception. I won’t capture everything here – you could write an entire blog on each product launch. Here are some of the great highlights:
- UnityXT – the next generation Unity platform brings grater scale, performance and higher data reduction and efficiency levels. The Unity storage array is also NVMe ready.
- Dell EMC Cloud Storage Services were launched – the ability to bring storage to the public cloud, for use cases like DRaaS, analytics in the cloud and migrations.
- Latitude series launched 14 new products – but the 7400 2 in 1 was the highlight. The new 14″ form factor is the smallest 14″ in the industry. Express charge was also highlighted….charge your laptop to 80% in an hour!
- DSS 8440 PowerEdge server was launched. Allows up to 10 accelerators (GPUs) for use cases like AI. The system is a dual socket, 4U server.
- Powerprotect X400 was launched which is a unified data protection and management platform. The solution comes as both a software defined platform and as an appliance. The appliance scales both out and up, and uses machine learning for data placement. It is also available as a hybrid array or all flash system.
- Networking portfolio was rebranded as “Powerswitch” and being embedded across other product lines (eg Isilon and MX series servers, VxRail).
- VxRail ACE was launched. Analytical Computation Engine, provides insight for operational tasks like capacity planning. Telemetry data is gathered from customers into the data lake and used to correlate data.
- vCloud Foundation with VxRail was launched (see topic #10)
- Tech preview was provided of container as a service on VxRail with the Dell Technologies Cloud platform using PKS. Likely to be available in the summer time (US).
- PowerMax announcement: Working with Intel to ensure that it will be the first truly scale out primary storage system to use Intel Optane drives (SCM) with dual porting.
Number 8: Kube-everything
3 years ago the race was on in the battle of the containers – Mesos, Swarm, Kubernetes, Rancher and more were emerging models that were gaining mindshare in the container management and orchestration world. Now it looks like Kubernetes has won the hearts and minds of organisations rebuilding their business around Microservices, Agile Development and Lean Methodologies.
At DTW, from the keynotes to the break-outs, the focus on Kubernetes was clear. Even Michael Dell said in his keynote “We’re also fully embracing Kubernetes”.
Chad Sakacc was in form this week, presenting on the value of PKS (Enterprise Pivotal Container Service). It was pretty clear that while Kubernetes has gone mainstream, there are many gaps in the framework that PKS closes to ensure containers can support critical production workloads.
I heard that someone from the conference managed to snap a photo with the founder of Kubernetes, who was there as part of our partner program. Unfortunately I missed seeing him (FOMO!)
Number 7: Financial Justification Of The Move To Multi-Cloud
With the focus and launches around Cloud, a number of break-out sessions focused on the benefits and journey towards a multi-cloud world. The cost modelling process seems to be a massive challenge for organizations, and so guidance was given on how to calculate and factor together the end to end costs, including transition expenditure, risk strategies and operational cost.
The sessions walked through a number of case studies where customers have moved from legacy data centres to both private cloud and multi-cloud design. You can see from the image below the type of analysis customers are doing to calculate their cloud journey. One of the data points from analysts described a potential 47% lower total cost for multi-cloud than a single public cloud strategy.
Number 6: E-Sports& Gaming
As someone who gamed as a kid, and now having two teenagers who love to game, I was excited to step inside the E-Sports arena. The arena was at times a showcase of pro-gamers using the latest Alienware gaming systems (I have two at home!) and between exhibits attendees were able to get their hands on the games in the arena. There’s something really cool about having Alienware at the core of a tech conference.
Number 5: One of our own DPS SEs received an award for outstanding innovation
Every year 4 awards are given out at DTW for outstanding innovation. This year I was proud that one of our APJ Principal SEs, Trichy Premkumar, received one of these awards for a data protection patent he has created to solve a critical backup challenge for our customers. It is awesome seeing this sort of innovation coming from brilliant people like Prem in the APJ Presales team.
Number 4: Two Great Customer Stories From APJ
We were privileged to hear two great customer stories
- Woolworths took out an award we call the trailblazer award. This is an award given to a top few customers every year to recognize innovation and those that are pioneering digital and IT transformation. Congratulation Woolies! If you want to know more about their story, follow this link here and here.
- Macquarie Telecom discusses Cloud: I was privileged to spend some time with James Mystakidis, Group Executive for Macquarie Cloud Services. Macquarie Telecom (Mactel: @MacquarieTelco) is both an awesome customer and partner of ours. They are a leading cloud service provider in Australia and use Dell Technology as part of their Cloud solution to deliver a high set of service levels and availabilities for customers looking to take their most important and critical workloads to the Cloud.
Number 3: Diversity, Inclusion, Social Good….and Will.I.Am!
“The investment that society has put in AI surpasses the investment for HI, which is human intelligence”. I have to say that last time I saw Will.I.Am he was on stage singing “I gotta feeling”, so to hear him make a point about how we have not invested equally in humanity blew me away. He spoke amazingly about regulation that needs to come to AI. He .has also built a school in a Ghetto, where he has over 700 kids, most who end up going on to University and many in STEM. If there’s a revolution in technology, privacy and equality coming, I think we have a leader.
While the impact of technology was heavily discussed, climate impact was also high on the agenda. You might wonder why I have posted a photo of a show bad below…well this bag has an amazing story. In India and many other countries across the world, air pollution from factories is having a hugely damaging impact. We are leveraging an amazing process in India where soot from factories is captured and turned into Ink. This Ink shown on the bag below, is also used on Dell packaging that is printed in India. It’s an amazing example of a circular supply chain model, where material used in manufacturing is recycled and brought into a closed loop.
The focus on diversity and inclusion (D&I) was also core to DTW. I attended one of the partner briefings where the D&I team within Dell spoke about the potential business impact to not having a diverse workforce, how D&I initiatives are helping teams and companies to be successful, and how the impact of social change is helping to grow economies and create value on a global scale. In many countries across APJ we have a massive skills shortage in technology, and it is slowing down the rate of innovation. Programs like the ones at Dell are helping to change that, and we see massive interest from our partners and customers on how they can leverage the ideas that we have been pioneering in their own organisations.
We also heard an amazingly inspiring story about Phoebe Dyer. She was born with Dysmelia (left arm) which is an umbrella term for all types of congenital limb differences. Her Dad is a Sales Engineer with Dell EMC in the UK and her Aunt at Deloitte. Together, Deloitte, Dell Technologies and e-NABLE.org made a dream come true.
The challenge for many children with Dysmelia is not only the cost (depending on health scheme – approx. 20K), but also the time taken with process and numerous medical consultation meetings. Parents and children struggle to take time off work and school over this six month period. It also gets worse with paperwork and process depending on your health cover, because just showing your limb is not enough to justify a new prosthetic! You need to have a medical reason to justify it every six years!
For Pheobe’s parents, the cost to print a plastic arm reduced to 1500 dollars, and was printed in 10hrs and then took 5 hours to assemble. Design’s were sent via ‘WhatsApp’ saving an incredible amount of time.
Pheobe’s story also inspired a few USA Dell Technologies team members to design and print arms for Autumn and Katelin (Father and Uncle work at Dell Technologies). They used the 3D printers that we use to prototype our Unity Storage and Dell Server bezels! It was so inspiring to see that anyone can make a difference to human progress using technology and also giving people purpose.
Number 2: Wait what, Satya Nadella at Dell Technologies World!
Having read his book (Hit Refresh – an awesome read) I was a little bit giddy seeing the CEO of Microsoft on stage with Pat Gelsinger and Michael Dell. Satya’s story, both his personal one and the way he has transformed Microsoft is an amazing one.
On stage, together Satya, Pat and Michael announced the expansion of the partnership with the delivery of a fully native, supported, and certified VMware cloud infrastructure on Microsoft Azure.
They also announced that customers who have both Microsoft 365 and VMware Workspace ONE will be able to manage Office 365 across devices via cloud-based integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory. Finally they announced that VMware will also extend the capabilities of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop leveraging VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.
Number 1: “We are entering a new age of miracles” Michael Dell
Imagine the eradication of deafness, blindness and paralysis. That’s the future Michael is predicting is right around the corner, and it will be powered by and because of innovation in technology. Michael also shared a customer story about Draper labs, who have thousands of engineers and technologists working to solve problems like reducing ocean plastics, diagnosing diseases for people in developing countries and leveraging satellites, robotics and AI to solve challenges facing humanity.
It was clear that the DTW event was about far more than technology and products, but a stage that is being set to drive humanity forward, enable a better future for everyone and create a better world.
Want to get content and watch keynotes. There is plenty to view here. https://www.delltechnologies.com/en-us/events/delltechnologiesworld/live.htm