Dell Technologies has embarked on a long-term effort to unify its currently separate technology as a service and cloud computing programs under a single umbrella with a common ordering and management experience.
Named Project APEX, the initiative seeks to make building and running hybrid cloud environments combining on-premises, cloud-based, and edge compute resources simpler for Dell’s customers and partners.
Dell announced Project APEX on the opening day of its virtual Dell Technologies World conference for 2020, alongside its first turnkey storage-as-a-service solution, new instance-based hybrid cloud solutions, and expanded financing options through the Dell Flex On Demand program.
Core to Project APEX is a new management system, also introduced today, called the Dell Technologies Cloud Console that’s designed to enable centralized administration of Dell’s entire portfolio of cloud services and on-demand infrastructure offerings.
“With just a few clicks, customers will be able to browse a marketplace, choose which cloud products and services and solutions that they want, and then actually order and transact an as-a-service solution for their business,” says Sam Grocott, senior vice president of product marketing at Dell Technologies.
The Dell Technologies Cloud Console is in public preview now for select customers. Dell expects it to become generally available in the first half of 2021. At present, the system provides features for purchasing and expanding cloud resources. Over time, it will enable users to deploy, manage and optimize both cloud and on-premises products, and monitor their costs in real time. Eventually, it will provide visibility into third-party public cloud resources as well.
Dell Technologies Storage as-a-Service, which is also scheduled to arrive in the first half of next year, lets end users or their partners configure and procure consumption-based, on-premises file, block, and object storage deployments. Delivered via the Dell Technologies Cloud Console on a self-serve basis, the solution will include flexible pricing based on performance and capacity requirements as well as length of contract.
“We really think this is going to redefine and set the bar for on premises as a service experiences,” Grocott says.
Users will also employ the Cloud Console to order and manage Dell’s new instance-based cloud platform offerings, which are designed to make sizing, ordering, and deploying ready-made, subscription-priced infrastructure for specific workloads like virtual desktop infrastructure easier.
“They can easily self-service and guide themselves through making the right choice for whatever business outcome they’re looking for with a set of very intuitive, easy to choose, pre-configured hybrid cloud solutions that are going align to their enterprise workloads,” Grocott says.
Solutions including hardware, software, services, and deployment are available for $52 per instance a month and up. Buyers ordering new solutions will receive components within 14 days, Dell says, while organizations expanding an existing environment will receive purchased gear in as little as five days.
The new additions to Dell’s Flex On Demand pay-per-use program announced today are designed to simplify purchasing by offering pre-configured pricing on popular combinations of hardware, software, and services. Available through partners as well as directly to end users, the solutions are customizable. Resellers are eligible for front-end rebates worth up to 20% of contract value on storage and data protection sales and up to 10% on server transactions.