Sunday, July 3, 2022

Dell Technologies: APEX Cloud Services Review

A leader in the computer hardware industry, Dell Technologies also helps companies bridge the gap between old and new data center models through their APEX Cloud Services.

The suite of solutions offered through APEX Cloud Services provide multicloud management powered by VMware Cloud to smoothly link cloud resources to legacy data centers.

See below to see all about Dell Technologies APEX Cloud Services in the multicloud market:

Dell Technologies APEX cloud services and the multicloud management market

Many companies operate in the multicloud management market, which Verified Market Research estimates to start at $2.25 billion in 2020 and grow at a CAGR of 30.8% between 2021 and 2028. Grand View Research has estimated a higher 2020 market size of $5.09 billion but a lower growth rate with a CAGR of 26.3%, reaching $32 billion dollars by 2028.

In 2022, Dell Technologies earned over $101 billion in revenue but did not disclose the revenue for their APEX Cloud Services. Competitors in the market include:

  • BMC Software
  • CenturyLink
  • Cisco Systems
  • Citrix 
  • CloudBolt
  • Cloudmore
  • CoreStack
  • DoubleHorn
  • Flexera
  • IBM
  • Jamcracker 
  • Microsoft 
  • NetApp
  • Oracle
  • RightScale
  • Turbonomic
  • VMware

Dell Technologies APEX cloud services key features

Key features of the APEX Cloud Services suite come from the specific component APEX offerings:

  • Backup services include no hardware management; infinite scalability; end-to-end security that covers air-gapped immutable backups, zero-trust security architecture, malware scanning and federated search, and fully managed security operations; and options to backup software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps, endpoints, and hybrid workloads.
  • Cloud platform, powered by VMware, offers instance-based cloud compute resources; predictable monthly pricing with one- or three-year subscriptions; and quick provisioning that can scale on demand with pay-as-you-go billing.
  • Cloud console and services deliver cloud experiences as a service with services such as built-in security; consistent experience over cloud, edge, and local data center resources; dedicated support with 24/7 customer success manager support; easy configuration, provisioning, and monitoring of resources; encrypted VeloCloud SD-WAN connections through infrastructure; key management; patching; standardized instances; large-scale memory optimized per 32GB memory per 1 CPU core; unified operations into a self-service web portal; and VMware Cloud services for vSphere, vSAN, NSX-T, HCX, and vRealize Log Insight.
  • Colocation services provided include the ability to locate colocation services offered by Equinix; the ability to manage setup, procurement, management, deployment, decommissioning, and billing; and high-speed connectivity.
  • Cyber recovery services include subscription-based hardware, software, and services for resource and data recovery; simplified recovery options; and the ability to identify data to protect with an air-gapped vault as well as scan vault data for anomalies.
  • Data storage services deliver and manage hardware using an as-a-service model, and since they are designed for in-house controlled data centers, they are independent from Cloud Platform commitments.
  • Flex on demand means users can pay as needed for additional resources or increased capacity. Dell Cloud Computing offers simplified pricing to allow for predictable payments and budgeting, a fixed price for committed capacity, and a variable cost of buffer capacity.
  • Professional services via Dell Consulting include strategic consulting to develop a roadmap of needed resources, kick-start implementation, assistance and training in operations, and data migration assistance.

Dell Technologies APEX Cloud Services key benefits

When selecting Dell Technologies APEX Cloud Services customers hope to enjoy the key benefits of:

  • Control: The Dell Technology APEX Cloud Services enable full control of data and security throughout a multicloud infrastructure to satisfy security and compliance requirements.
  • Efficiency: Customers report 39% lower cost of operations over three years, 38% more efficient IT infrastructure teams, and 12% faster development life cycles through using APEX Cloud Services.
  • Flexibility: Dell’s APEX Cloud Services grant engineering managers the operational and strategic agility to evaluate and select the optimal resources for their workflows. Managers can select from multiple cloud options, edge resources, or internal data center hosting for applications, storage, and backup systems without any compromise in security, speed, or cost.
  • Simplicity: Using the single software display allows IT engineers to enjoy a simplified and consistent multicloud experience in as little as 14 days. The simplicity of a centralized management system reduces errors, accelerates decision making, and drives efficiency in deployment and cost analysis.

Dell Technologies APEX Cloud Services use cases

Founder Federal Credit Union

A regional credit union with $3.5 billion in assets and over 250,000 members, Founders Federal Credit Union worried about ransomware and other attacks corrupting their member data. Their IT team sought a solution that would provide full recovery protection with high reliability that could be deployed quickly.

In selecting the air-gapped security of Dell’s Cyber Recovery solution, server provisioning was reduced from several weeks to two hours, and the average server restoration time could be performed in 35 minutes.

“Today, we look at whatever service, whatever product we want to bring in for our membership at Founders, (and) as soon as we plug it in, it’s protected in our data bunker, our mini data center in the air-gapped Cyber Recovery vault,” said Bob Bender, chief technology officer at Founders Federal Credit Union. “We know that we’re resilient; we have confidence that our data is safe and our reputation is going to be upheld.”

Sentara Healthcare

Sentara Healthcare realized they needed to leverage the cloud to reduce resources devoted to IT and to improve patient experiences. Their IT management team determined that a highly virtualized hybrid, multicloud solution from Dell Technologies APEX Cloud Services would optimize performance, security, user experience, and cost.

Sentara Healthcare has since increased access to patient data by 88% and saved millions in IT costs.

“We save so much time and energy by working with Dell Technologies,” said Matt Douglas, chief enterprise architect at Sentara Healthcare. “Its experts tell us which options work well together and the performance we can expect, so we can focus on more important things such as patient care delivery.”

SMC Corporation

A worldwide leader in pneumatic technology, SMC Corporation needed to build 11 data centers to support 30 production facilities and hundreds of sales and support offices in 83 countries. SMC selected Dell Technologies APEX Cloud Services solutions to facilitate quick and simple scaling of storage, networks, and hardware needs throughout a hybrid cloud platform.

“Our ability to monitor, manage, and control resources never changes, regardless of which cloud an application is sitting in,” said Mike Loggins, global vice president of IT at SMC Corporation of America.

Jon St. Arnaud, global infrastructure manager at SMC Corporation of America, added, “We’re also able to quickly spin up private clouds and make them portable across multiple workload domains or even data centers. It’s all so fast and efficient — we simply drop in a new node, and minutes later, our servers are where they belong.”

UMC Utrecht

The University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) realized that to take advantage of modern advances in medical imaging, it needed to increase image storage for digital pathology. However, the use of local data centers quickly became overwhelmed by the exponential growth that stressed storage and storage management.

Selecting APEX Cloud Services options to manage a digital transformation allowed UMC Utrecht to double capacity in four years and accommodate 1TB of new data generated daily.

“Although our digital pathology image capacity grows by leaps and bounds, we no longer worry about running out of space on PowerScale,” said Nikolas Stathonikos, principal investigator for AI development and implementation at UMC Utrecht. “Our storage capacity becomes less expensive on a per-terabyte basis as it grows, encouraging us to retain data.

“With digital, remote access to full patient histories, multiple sets of eyes can analyze data and share viewpoints, which results in higher-quality consultations.”

Dell Technologies APEX Cloud Services differentiators

Customers that select Dell’s APEX Cloud Services often do so because of they differentiators such as:

APEX Backup Services

Dell Technology provides a fully managed backup service of key and difficult-to-backup resources, such as SaaS apps and hybrid workloads. Backup Services enable automated compliance, e-discovery, and federated search across all data types with secured protection for all remote business data.

APEX Colocation Services

While many multicloud management solutions facilitate deployment to hybrid, edge, and local data centers, Dell Technologies goes one step further to provide Colocation Services on demand. Through their partner Equinix, the Cloud Services can provide full-service search, deployment, and billing of colocation resources through the Cloud Console.

APEX Cyber Recovery Services

Dell Technologies Cloud Services provide expert guidance on best practices to identify key data to protect, produce runbooks for recovery, and test recovery processes. More than 1,900 isolated recovery vaults are available through the packaged Cyber Recovery solution to allow data managers to focus on strategy and allow Dell to handle the details and reduce business risk.

APEX Data Storage Services

Dell delivers managed storage hardware directly or through cloud resources to convert capital expenses to operating expenses. Customers can scale flexibly and have recognized up to a 129% return on investment on 99.9999% availability storage that can be deployed in as few as 14 days.

Established partner

Dell Technologies is a strong brand and leader in enterprise data storage with a strong support framework of direct and partner resources. As such, it is easy to sell internally as a recognizable and large-scale supplier.

Dell Technologies APEX Cloud Services user reviews

The newer APEX Cloud Services does not yet have widespread customer ratings, so you’ll need to examine the rating for the specific components. As an example, the ratings for Dell’s EMC Elastic Cloud Storage are:

Review site Rating
Gartner Peer Insights 4.4/5
G2 4.1/5
PeerSpot 4.2/5

However, some specific customers have posted reviews at Dell’s website.

“APEX Cloud Services with VMware Cloud is a compelling offering that will make it easier for organizations to quickly deploy application ready infrastructure,” says Steven Kouvo, technology architect for core technology and service group at Boston Scientific.

Dell Technologies APEX Cloud Services pricing

Dell Technologies provides a pricing calculator for APEX Cloud Services that is based upon the instance type, number of instances, storage capacity, and subscription term. The cost estimates generated by the calculator range between:

  • Lower end: Compute optimized, 128 instances, 12 TB storage, and a three-year commitment for $5,885 per month
  • Higher end: Large-scale memory, 1,600 instances, 1,560TB storage, and a one-year commitment for$285,344 per month

Of course, there may be additional factors that play into the pricing, so interested parties should consult with the Dell Technologies team for additional details and only use the pricing calculator as an initial guide.

Conclusions

Many multicloud management solutions strive to focus on a cloud-first solution to drive digital transformation. Dell Technologies’ APEX Cloud Services can enable a full digital transformation, but it also provides a strong bridge to traditional data centers for those that want to enjoy the benefits of as-a-service infrastructure with the full control of in-house resources.

Any organization that has strong regulatory or philosophical needs to directly control data or to maintain legacy data centers should consider APEX Cloud Services when evaluating how to increase scalability without increasing capital expenditures.

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