infoTECH Feature

June 08, 2011

Dell's Mark Bilger Discusses Strategy as the Clouds Roll in

Dell (News - Alert) is one of the largest technology hardware manufacturers in the world and has a ubiquitous presence in both the consumer and business tech markets. Though the company’s core offerings have always focused on hardware, Dell understands the direction of the market and has embraced the cloud as a strategic direction for their growth and development. Over the last several years, Dell has established itself as a cloud builder, hardware supplier for 17 of the top 25 cloud providers and source provider for 22 of them. Not surprisingly, the company was on full display at this year’s Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City.At the show, Mark Bilger, Vice President and CTO of Dell Services, talked about the company’s current strategy and the direction they’re taking in the cloud. “We are moving into more complete cloud solutions, including private clouds and will be launching a set of public clouds later this year. If you think of Dell slowly evolving from hardware provider to solutions, first you provide cloud computing hardware, then you we start providing a complete hardware and software solution to power private clouds and we have a number of solutions we’re offering. The next major step is logically a public cloud,” Bilger said.

The public cloud that Bilger is describing isn’t public in the sense that every consumer with Internet connection can use it. Rather, the cloud architecture he’s referring to allows Dell to give small and medium size businesses access to a cloud option that they share with a number of other companies. The cohabitation of multiple companies on one cloud effectively drives down cost. “It’s still a cloud because it has elasticity and it has efficiency but its multitenant, so you have lower cost but they have more people on it at any one given time,” Bilger said. He also suggested that public cloud space could be used as spillover for larger companies during peak seasons when require additional processing space.

“Many customers are still just kicking the tires and trying to figure out what to use the cloud for. Our focus is to get customer to move one notch to the right as they’re comfortable. Some customers want to go revolutionary and run apps in the public cloud, others want private, some are right down the middle. We’re trying to provide solutions for all of them,” Bilger added.

By focusing on hybrid public/private cloud solutions that accommodate several levels of business size, Dell future-proofs their model and remains relevant as the space begins to change. As evident from the turnout at this year’s Cloud Expo, cloud computing is the next big thing in tech. Even as Dell seeks to maintain their dominance in the hardware space, the company is poised to simultaneously be a part of that wave of change.

Chris DiMarco is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert) Chris worked with e-commerce provider Suresource as a contact center representative and development analyst. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page. Follow him on Twitter @cpdimarco.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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