Wouldn't it be nice not to duplicate data in a multicloud world? Storage supplier Dell certainly thinks so

UK GM says company wants a 'direct connect to multiple clouds'

As Dell launches its latest self-commissioned study, UK senior veep and GM Dayne Turbitt is highlighting storage as one of the challenges faced by an increasingly multicloud world.

In a briefing with The Reg, Turbitt talked about the state of the local tech landscape, notably cybersecurity and the skills gap, before moving on to the subject of hyperscalers, to whom Dell would dearly love to sell more servers.

In response to a comment that 87 per cent of businesses surveyed reckon the public cloud hyperscalers would be suitable for their next project, Turbitt remarked: "I don't see that as a surprise.

"Most people would say that they wouldn't be choosing one cloud. They would have at least a two-cloud, if a not a three-cloud strategy which would be some sort of flexible infrastructure in their premises or colocation.

"I think that's the reality of the marketplace today."

However, Turbitt went on to address the challenges of a cloud move, pointing out that while a new project, replete with microservices and all the current in-vogue industry buzzwords, was "perfect for the public cloud," existing applications and infrastructure presents a far greater challenge "because that's hard and difficult."

For Turbitt, it is all about optimising how on-premises kit is run and adopting a cloud-like mentality there as well as with the hyperscalers. "That's definitely what we're seeing in the marketplace today."

Perhaps showing his Dell EMC roots, Turbitt also touched on storage in a multicloud world. "You may wish to use a cloud service, or Amazon, or Azure and you don't want to copy your data three times."

"We're doing a lot of work," he went on, "around getting data in the back-end in a single location with a direct connect to multiple clouds." The plan would then be to leverage cloud services on that data without having to duplicate it. A great cost-saver, in theory, so long as the cloud giants play ball. After all, one cannot live on Apex alone, no matter what the great plans Dell has for its own as-a-service product.

On cybersecurity, Turbitt acknowledged that ransomware attacks have increased, and noted the free-for-all the sudden pandemic-induced shift to homeworking had caused. "We had cases where large insurance companies sent their entire call centres home, ordered 5,000 laptops from us, and then all of a sudden they have 5,000 new endpoints in their threat landscape…"

"I don't think there could be enough emphasis placed on the fact that you need to protect your data," he continued, and pointed out that mere backups aren't enough, considering that nasties might be lurking in the background for months or even years.

"Cybersecurity is the next buzzword," said Turbitt, "so everyone who has a backup solution is running around jumping on the bandwagon saying that they have a cyber solution now. Which is kind of a rebranded backup solution."

After all, Dell EMC will cheerfully sell customers its PowerProtect Cyber Recovery Solution, aimed at isolating critical data from ransomware and threats. And you can't beat the odd air-gap or two, be they physical or logical.

Dell also continues to bet big on edge. Eschewing the strategy of collecting data and funnelling it back to the mothership for processing, Turbitt said "we believe that 75 per cent of the data will be processed at the edge," and went on to highlight examples of construction sites and automated factories.

With a mixed market for servers following 2020's bonanza, looking to the edge for the next big thing is understandable. However, as with the as-a-service marketplace, Dell is most definitely not the only game in town.

Then again, those servers won't buy themselves. ®

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