Dell anchors multi-cloud cyber recovery to APEX

Multi-cloud capabilities expand across cyber recovery, data analytics, managed services and partner ecosystem.
Andy Sim (Dell)

Andy Sim (Dell)

Dell Technologies has introduced managed services for cyber recovery to an expanded APEX portfolio, supported by enhanced partnerships with Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Snowflake targeting public and multi-cloud environments.

Under the banner of Dell APEX Cyber Recovery Services, the move is the first in a series of new full-stack solutions set to be housed within the vendor’s as-a-service suite of products, with the aim of simplifying business recovery from cyber attacks.

Specifically, Dell will manage the “day-to-day” cyber recovery vault operations and assist with data recovery, backed by standardised configurations and expertise from nearly 2,000 isolated vault solutions deployed globally.

“APEX is where we continue to deliver simplicity, agility, and control for the multi-cloud world,” said Chuck Whitten, co-COO of Dell. “These services are fully integrated solutions managed by Dell across the life cycle and are designed to provide rapid time to value and on-demand scaling with the convenience of a subscription.”

Unveiled on the opening day of Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas, the launch provides “new options” for managed and public cloud cyber recovery offerings within multi-cloud environments. The solution is currently available in the US with broader availability planned for ASEAN later this year.

“Businesses can feel confident in the ability to recover from a cyber attack and achieve more agility by offloading the day-to-day management of data protection, customers get resiliency through recovery operations from an isolated immutable and intelligent data vault,” Whitten added.

Dell’s increased focus on cyber security and managed services dovetails with evolving partner priorities across ASEAN, a bullseye shot which is widely expected to yield strong return on investment for the channel ecosystem.

According to EDGE Research -- commissioned by Channel Asia and delivered in partnership with Tech Research Asia (TRA) -- building out managed services capabilities in response to evolving customer buying patterns ranks as a leading priority for channel partners across Southeast Asia, as the ecosystem embraces subscription-based selling.

Specifically, growing annuity revenue currently stands tall as the no.1 strategic objective for value-added resellers, system integrators and solution providers in the region.

Within this context, 61 per cent of partners ASEAN-wide are undergoing a “significant change” in how business operations are run, with 71 per cent developing a new strategic plan as a direct result of COVID-19.

Ran in conjunction with Channel Asia and Tech Research Asia, the in-depth research surveyed more than 100 partners based in ASEAN, spanning the key markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Findings offer the clearest and most objective indication yet that technology providers are finally overhauling business models to maximise OPEX investments, following years of market intention rather than decisive action.

Beyond growing annuity revenue, key focus areas in order of importance include attracting new customers, enhancing end-user experience levels and building new revenue streams and products. Specific to technology, partners continue to prioritise cloud migration (both public and private), digital transformation and security as core solution focus areas, followed by delivering hybrid and multi-cloud services.

“In today’s multi-cloud environment, our customers are looking for reliable cyber recovery solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into their existing IT infrastructure,” said Andy Sim, vice president and managing director of Singapore at Dell. “To address this need, we expanded our APEX portfolio to offer APEX Cyber Recovery Services.

“Along with the availability of APEX Data Storage Services in Singapore, our customers here can scale with greater agility, control and security. These latest innovations are first of many solutions that will launch under APEX, and customers can look forward to more as-a-service offerings in the near future.”

Supporting such local data is a regional market which is expected to invest in excess of US$39 billion on security-related products and services by 2025.

According to IDC, key drivers include accelerated digitalisation, cloud migration, security transformation and increased cyber attacks, resulting in a forecasted compound annual growth rate of 14 per cent year-on-year.

Of note to the channel, services remained the largest technology group with more than 45 per cent of the market share in 2021 -- notably managed security services and consulting services which accounted for over 50 per cent of security services spending.

Next up is security hardware with network security, which is expected to continue to dominate the segment while security software will grow at 13.2 per cent over the forecast period, driven by endpoint security, identity and digital trust software solutions.

“Additional APEX solution services will be delivered this year, including high performance computing, machine learning, operations, VDI, and more,” Whitten outlined.

Chuck Whitten (Dell)Credit: Dell Technologies
Chuck Whitten (Dell)

Partnering in public cloud

Such increased security focus has also been extended to data protection offerings for public cloud through strengthened alliances with Microsoft and AWS.

Notably, the release of Dell PowerProtect Cyber Recovery for Microsoft Azure will aim to allow businesses opportunity to deploy an “isolated cyber vault” in the public cloud to help isolate data away from a ransomware attack.

Essentially built to reduce impact and collateral damage following a breach, the solution also provides “flexible recovery options” within the data centre, in a new Azure private network, or in an unaffected Azure environment.

Meanwhile, CyberSense for Dell PowerProtect Cyber Recovery for AWS will allow organisations to use adaptive analytics, scan metadata and complete files, as well as implementing machine learning and forensic tools to "detect, diagnose and speed up" data recovery.

This also extends to monitoring files and databases to determine if a cyber attack has occurred alongside identifying the last known uncorrupted copy of data.

“Our customers want help reducing complexity and are seeking solutions that use a common approach to managing data wherever it lives -- from public clouds, to the data centre, to the edge,” Whitten added. “We are building a portfolio of software and services that simplifies on-premises and multi-cloud environments and offers.”

Delving deeper -- and building on the recent introduction of Project Alpine in January -- Dell is also ramping up storage capabilities to support hyperscalers through the provision of data mobility across on-premises and public cloud.

In short, businesses will be able to deploy Dell storage software and services to bolster protection levels while moving data to the cloud and leveraging cloud-based analytics services. Also, developers will have the ability to write applications once and deploy them anywhere to create a “consistent, cloud-native experience” across multiple public clouds.

Both Microsoft and AWS offerings will be globally available in the second half of 2022.

Multi-cloud alliances

From a data standpoint, Dell shared plans to connect on-premises data from enterprise storage solutions with the Snowflake Data Cloud, billed as a “first-of-its-kind” collaboration in the market.

At the heart of the alliance is a joint commitment to provide increased flexibility operating in multi-cloud environments, as well as meeting data sovereignty requirements and better converting data into insights “wherever it resides”.

“Dell provides customers with the tools needed to derive insights from their data wherever it resides,” noted Jeff Boudreau, president of Infrastructure Solutions Group at Dell. “With the industry’s first collaboration between on-premises storage systems and the Snowflake Data Cloud, we are able to expand Dell’s SaaS provider ecosystem for data insights on-premises and in public clouds.”

According to Boudreau, Dell and Snowflake customers will be able to use on-premises data stored on Dell object storage with the Snowflake Data Cloud while keeping data local or copying it to public clouds. Both vendors will pursue product integrations and joint go-to-market efforts in the second half of 2022.

“Snowflake’s mission is to mobilise the world’s data by empowering organisations to eliminate silos and bring data together to unlock more value and deeper insights,” added Christian Kleinerman, senior vice president of Product at Snowflake.

“This collaboration with Dell will allow organisations to gain more value from their on-premises data while leveraging the performance and simplicity of Snowflake’s platform and the powerful collaboration capabilities of the Snowflake Data Cloud.”

James Henderson attended Dell Technologies World as a guest of Dell.