Let’s look at what Dell is delivering.
New: Dell APEX Block Storage for Azure
The big news is Dell’s release of APEX Block Storage for Microsoft Azure, which follows the release of Dell’s similar solution for Amazon Web Services (AWS) back in May. This is a nice milestone along Dell’s multi-cloud journey, emphasizing the company’s dedication to innovation focused on solving the evolving needs of enterprise IT.
The solution arrives with a range of options that allow for extreme performance, low latency, unmatched scalability, flexible deployment options, and enterprise-grade resiliency with automated deployment.
Users can choose to deploy APEX Block Storage for Microsoft Azure on managed disks, on instances with native attached NVMe SSDs for high-performance workloads. The solution allows for independent scaling of compute up to 2048 instances or storage up to 512 instances within a single cluster, surpassing native Azure storage limits.
There are resiliency features, including spreading data across multiple availability zones to ensure data availability without extra data copies or replication. It also includes a robust set of data services, including thin provisioning, volume migration, asynchronous replication, snapshots, and backup/restore for disaster recovery. That’s nearly everything you expect from an enterprise storage offering.
Dell APEX Block Storage for Microsoft Azure is one of the most scalable cloud block storage services available. It’s ideal for mission-critical workloads like databases, analytics, test/dev, virtualization, and containerized applications.
Dell delivers a nice offering, enabling a degree of simplicity that makes it easy for users to deploy and configure block storage on Microsoft Azure.
PowerFlex is AWS Outpost Ready
This wasn’t the only news. Dell also announced that PowerFlex, the software behind its APEX Cloud Block storage offerings, received the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Outposts Ready designation. The combination of AWS Outposts and Dell PowerFlex delivers significantly improved IOPs compared to a native Outposts deployment, with the added advantage of linear scalability with additional compute resources. It’s a nice update to the offering.
Managing the complexities of multi-cloud infrastructure is now a fact of life for nearly every enterprise IT administrator. The public cloud enables tremendous flexibility in deploying resources. It also provides a CFO-friendly consumption-based business model where capital funds don’t need to be allocated to solve digital transformation problems.
At the same time, OEM consumption-based models, such as Dell APEX and HPE GreenLake, emerged to give a traditional on-prem operational experience while offering similar economic benefits and the same flexibility expected from the public cloud.
These offerings are proving to be popular. While Dell doesn’t break out APEX revenues, it did disclose in its latest earnings call that Dell Financial Services (which includes Dell APEX), has managed assets of more than $14B, up 9% from 2022. Dell’s continued aggressive investment into APEX also speaks to its firm commitment.
Dell brought APEX out of the data center and into the multi-cloud world earlier this year with a broad set of cloud-focused announcements. This included its first cloud storage offering, Dell APEX Block Storage for AWS. This week, it expanded that footprint to include Microsoft Azure.
I remember the skepticism in the analyst community when Dell first announced APEX in 2021. The company is too culturally tied to the transactional on-prem box business, the thinking went, to ever successfully compete in the more ephemeral services-based market. Dell proved us all wrong. APEX is a great solution, one that Dell is continuing to innovate.