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    Dell Extends As-a-Service Ambitions

    Dell Technologies has added a storage service to a portfolio of APEX offerings that enable organizations to consume IT infrastructure installed in on-premises IT environments as though they are a cloud service.

    Announced at an online Dell Technologies World event, the APEX services are part of a broader industry shift toward an as-a-service model for consuming IT infrastructure using a cloud operating model that enables organizations to pay for IT structure resources on demand regardless of where they are physically located. “The infrastructure is owned and managed by Dell,” says Sam Grocott, senior vice president of marketing for Dell Technologies.

    Dell Technologies via that APEX service can now deploy infrastructure in an on-premises IT environment within two weeks, with expansions to that environment occurring in less than five days. Organizations can select three performance tiers of block and file storage starting at 50TB payable as a one- or three-year subscription.

    Also read: Considerations for Hiring a Managed Services Provider

    The Shift to Managed IT Services

    Interest is what amounts to a type of managed service provided by an IT vendor rather than an IT services firm rose sharply with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many internal IT teams could not upgrade on-premises servers on their own because of travel restrictions. Some of the workloads on those servers migrated to the cloud. However, as-a-service offerings such as APEX have emerged as an option for organizations that, for compliance or security reasons, can not migrate workloads to the cloud.

    Dell, however, is also extending its reach into the cloud. There is now an APEX Console through which IT teams can co-manage a hybrid cloud computing environment alongside Dell Technologies engineers. In addition, Dell also announced an alliance with Equinix to extend the reach of the APEX services it provides into co-location facilities.

    It may take some time for IT organizations to get used to the idea that IT infrastructure deployed in an on-premises environment is owned by someone else. However, for all intents and purposes that’s already the case when it comes to cloud infrastructure. There may be some financial benefits to acquiring IT infrastructure as a capital expense, but it’s clear organizations are now comfortable with treating IT as just another operational expense that can scale up and down as needed.

    Dell Technologies is not the only provider of IT infrastructure in on-premises IT environments with similar ambitions. In many ways Dell Technologies is playing catch-up with the Greenlake services that Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) has had in place now for a few years.

    Also read: Accenture Study Shines Light on Path to IT-fueled Economic Growth

    Blurring the IT Lines

    Regardless of how IT infrastructure is consumed, however, there will be plenty of it in on-premises IT environments for years to come. After all, the bulk of enterprise data continues to reside in on-premises environments even after more than a decade of cloud computing. 

    As cloud computing continues to evolve it may even become increasingly difficult to distinguish between a public cloud and an on-premises IT environment as it becomes increasingly simpler to provision servers and storage systems. In fact, the cloud may soon be more of a state of mind than an actual physical location for accessing IT infrastructure. 

    Read next: Best IT Management Tools for 2021

    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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