May 05 2021

Dell Tech World 2021: An Innovative Future Just Over the Edge

The opening keynote of the all-virtual 2021 Dell Technologies World contextualized lessons from the pandemic as just the approach needed to turn edge computing into a technology force in the years ahead.

Like every other company else at the start of the pandemic, Dell Technologies had to get its employees situated in a remote world in just a matter of days.

But with the health crisis evolving to a new normal, Dell’s leadership is thinking big about what the pandemic taught the corporate world about resilience and what that collective energy can do when correctly utilized.

“Together, we prevented a complete societal, economic meltdown. That isn't hyperbole. It's what we as technologists did for the world,” CEO and Chairman Michael Dell said during Wednesday’s opening keynote address at the all-virtual 2021 Dell Technologies World.

The CEO reflected not only on lessons learned from the pandemic but also the great potential for what comes next with the future of work. His employees are largely staying remote, however — the company anticipates 60 percent of its workers will remain in hybrid or remote configurations.

Highlighting innovations across corporate climates and disciplines — from credit card giants and scientific researchers to educators trying to close the technology gap — the session leaned heavily on adapting to solutions needed for the next generation.

The key technology Dell and other presenters had in mind during the keynote was edge computing, and how it carries the potential to do for the enterprise what cloud computing did a decade ago. Dell pointed to how much data is produced outside of data centers today — 10 percent — and predicted a quick shift to the edge, with three-quarters of data being managed outside of the cloud by 2025.

“Data will be generated in the real world, at the edge,” he said.

His point was echoed by Dell Vice Chairman and COO Jeff Clarke, who emphasized the complex layers underpinning the shift to an edge-driven computing approach, with offerings from Dell affiliates such as VMware helping to push these innovations along.

“It requires a symphony of technology orchestration beneath the surface,” Clarke said. “By extending our cloud model and ecosystem to the edge, we can provide a consistent approach to infrastructure, data, applications and security across your entire environment.”

READ MORE: Learn more about the power of resilient workspaces.

Dell Launches APEX Cloud Portfolio for Digital Transformation

Perhaps the highlight of the keynote, however, was an announcement of the launch of APEX, a new Infrastructure as a Service portfolio that aims to make it easier for organizations to manage their digital transformations at scale.

“APEX is agile, aligning the right technology with your business needs, along with the ability to rapidly scale, with more flexibility,” said Allison Dew, Dell’s chief marketing officer.

The platform, made up of four as-a-service offerings, will include solutions for data storage, cloud services, flexible infrastructure management and the Data Center Utility, which will make it possible to implement a pay-per-use approach across corporate infrastructure. The APEX offerings also make available an edge computing component through Equinix, a major data center provider.

“You can simply choose Equinix as a preferred location through the APEX console, and resources can be spun up quickly and where needed,” said Travis Vigil, a senior vice president of product management for Dell’s Infrastructure Solutions Group. These resources would be owned and managed by Dell.

A key element of APEX data storage, Vigil added, is a simplified billing model that carries no risk of overage fees.

“We charge a single price on a dollars-per-gig basis for both base and on-demand capacity, so you can use as much as you need without worrying about any overages fees,” he said.

Dew added that the approach would find a place in Dell’s future infrastructure service offerings. “Together, we can deliver infrastructure for all from the data center to the edge, to organizations of all sizes, in all industries, all around the world,” she said.

Follow along with highlights from Dell Technologies World on our event page.

(Filo/Getty Images)

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