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REVIEW: Dell Cloud lets you have it your way

Peter Wayner | Feb. 21, 2013
Dell's VMware-based cloud infrastructure provides all of the flexibility and complexity of the leading enterprise virtualization platform

I'm a bit torn about this approach. Some of the other clouds sweep all of this under the rug and simply connect your box to the outside Internet. You get a root password and an IP address open to all. It's much easier to get rolling, but of course there's no flexibility.

Other clouds have dedicated internal and external networks but still hide the details. Dell's approach will be familar to anyone running the network in an office or an internal server farm because the steps are similar. The technologies are the same and you can use all of the flexibility if you want to do so. It may be a bit more work, but that's the price for the openness.

Dell, like the others, is not charging for data coming into the system, just for data leaving it (24 cents per gigabyte). Dell Cloud doesn't yet boast an elaborate collection of different regions and services, unlike many of the other clouds. Amazon, for instance, has at least 18 different lines on its data price sheet that govern how much it costs to move a gigabyte from point A to B.

Dell Cloud isn't that complicated yet. But it will probably lose a bit of this simplicity as it grows into the space and starts offering different storage and database options. For now, Dell Cloud will be most attractive to IT staffs used to buying and configuring Dell or Windows machines in their own networks. Dell Cloud offers a wonderful amount of openness that will be familar to anyone who's set up a rack of virtual machines with VMware in their own server room.

The big advantage to moving to Dell's cloud, of course, is that Dell handles much of the grungy details like bolting machines into racks and hooking up the air conditioning. But everything else will seem just as familar as calling up your Dell representative, putting in an order, and installing the software you want. You just won't have to wait for FedEx to deliver and the server room staff to bolt it into a rack.


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