Dell pitches Cloud data centre on UK soil

April 11, 2011

Dell will open a UK data centre for Cloud services, stealing a significant lead on many of its rivals as part of a $1 billion global data centre roll out.

The firm announced plans to build and open 10 “next-generation” data centres across Europe in the “big countries” in the next six months, including the UK. They will offer public and private Cloud services, along with managed IT services.

Dell will also open 12 Global Solution Centres this year and an additional 10 during the next 18 months. The first 12 Global Solution Centres will be located in Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C.; Chicago, Northern California, Brazil, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Limerick, Ireland; Frankfurt, and Paris. The solution centres are used to showcase Dell technologies to customers.

The firm also entered into a three-year partnership with Microsoft to help customers deploy and manage virtualization and private cloud technologies using Dell hardware and software and Microsoft’s technology, including its Windows Server Hyper-V. But is Dell really able to compete with the ‘Big Tin’ companies like IBM or the likes of Hewlett Packard.

Steve Schuckenbrock, the president of Dell Services, noted that Dell is “the primary infrastructure in 22 of the top 24 Clouds in the world”, which includes Facebook and, both of which run their Cloud services from Dell servers. But he conceded that there is work to be done to convince the market that Dell can compete with rival infrastructure vendors in the Cloud market:

“We don’t want Dell to be known for the flyer that falls out of the Sunday paper offering a PC. As services become more paramount, you’ll see us leading the way in private Cloud architecture…There is an opportunity for Dell to lean into new solution spaces…We have hired thousands of new sales and services people, and retrained thousands more on discovering problems rather than selling boxes. “

But he added that he didn’t want to see Dell entering the infrastructure wars:

“We’re really interested in helping customers build private Clouds. We’re really not trying to go after the hosting companies that do infrastructure as a service. There’s a lot of players out there that do that very well. We’re trying to help our commercial partners and customers.”

As for the new data centres, they will host a variety of Cloud services and architectures:

“The data centres will largely be modular and oriented toward Cloud capabilities, whether it’s desktop as a service or private and public Cloud capabilities. We’ve announced plans to host Azure clouds, VMware Clouds, as well as OpenStack Clouds. We’re going to have Cloud platforms that customers demand. “