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Dell Quits Public Cloud Race, Enlists Partners

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Dell’s plan to float an OpenStack-powered public cloud has been grounded. Instead, the company is launching a new partner ecosystem called Dell Cloud Partner Program to address the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) needs of enterprises.

Dell Cloud Partner Program acts “as a single-source supplier” that gives customers a choice of providers and technologies that best fit their requirements, according to the company. The program will replace Dell’s offering.

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“Sales of Dell’s current in-house multi-tenant public cloud IaaS will be discontinued in the U.S. in favor of best-in-class partner offerings,” announced the company. Dell Cloud vice president Nnamdi Orakwue outlined how the new offering reflects Dell’s response to a volatile cloud computing market.

“Many Dell customers plan to expand their use of public cloud, but in order to truly reap the benefits, they want a choice of providers, flexibility and interoperability across platforms and models, the ability to compare cloud economics and workload performance, and a cohesive way to manage all of it,” stated Orakwue in company remarks.

“The partner approach offers increased value to Dell’s customers, channel partners and shareholders, as part of our comprehensive cloud strategy to deliver market-leading, end-to-end cloud solutions,” added Orakwue.

In December during Dell World 2012, the PC and server maker announced that it planned to leverage OpenStack, the immensely popular open source cloud computing platform, for its public and private cloud offerings. Today, Dell’s public cloud strategy has taken a dramatic new turn, but the company remains an OpenStack supporter.

“Dell will also maintain its commitment to its private cloud solutions. Specifically, Dell remains committed to the OpenStack platform and community, with offerings such as the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution and the Dell-led open source project, Crowbar,” assured the company in a statement.

Taking a cue from its curated small business cloud app solution called Dell Cloud Business Applications, the Cloud Partner Program launched today with three services in North America. They include the IaaS provider Joyent, cloud hosting company ScaleMatrix and VMware-powered cloud infrastructure specialist ZeroLag.

Dell signaled that there are more providers to come. To help its customers manage their multi-cloud environments, Dell is leveraging technology from its recent Enstratius acquisition. The cloud-agnostic infrastructure management and orchestration software supports practically every major cloud platform and provider, including Amazon Web Services, EMC Atmos, OpenStack and Rackspace.

“Dell, together with Enstratius, is uniquely positioned to deliver differentiated, complete cloud-management solutions to enterprise customers, large and small, empowering them with the efficiency and flexibility in the allocation and use of resources,” stated Tom Kendra, vice president and general manager of systems management for Dell Software, while announcing the Enstratius deal.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation and Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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