Dell’s ‘End-to-End’ Stack Syncs with Organizations’ SDDC Journey: Brenton Smith

Globally, nothing will halt IoT wave. There would be some pockets of absolute stupidity (experimentation) along the way, says Brenton Smith, VP & GM, Dell Software Group, APJ.  

Software is the new glue that is powering the hardware and application across enterprise environment as organizations move to software-defined infrastructure. CIOs need to traverse SDDC and IoT route cautiously based on their customers’ demand, competitive edge and business demands says Brenton Smith, Vice President & General Manager, Dell Software Group, Asia Pacific and Japan.

Data lakes are becoming complex, bigger and denser. What is dell’s storage management strategy?

There are two different CIO imperatives - managing stored data (back up, recovery and archival) and managing the flow of data. Dell started its ‘software only’ approach -- with back up, recovery and archival solution set (from acquisition of NetVault) which has remained the flagship product.  Based on customer demands, we now have ‘appliance plus software’ approach. Most of the modern challenges are addressed depending on size of data, flow of data across multiple devices and deduplication. All these capabilities are dependent on the size of the data (big and intense) and we have variants of hardware and software solutions.

On data flow side, one of Dell’s recent acquisitions of Boomi is quite significant. With most workloads moving to cloud these days, Boomi is a middleware for databases on the cloud. It makes the movement of data from any part of cloud to other, from on premise or off premise or between cloud workloads –seamlessly. It is high on integrity on message flow and assurance on message transfer. Boomi is a longer bet as more workloads move to cloud.

How big is the ‘big data’ opportunity for Dell because used cases are far and few in India?

Boomi is part of that strategy. We also acquired StatSoft recently which is into big data /high end analytics. We mange all sorts of data offering tools and products that allow customers to dedup and make a more manageable environment for the organizations.

Boomi allows you integrate the private, public, hybrid applications to get big data together and get something out of it. We have started talking a lot about Boomi which is leading product in that space and we have incubated it now and we have let loose in the market. The pair of dell engine behind us we see big things and obviously there is dell infrastructure underpins all the big data requirements.

Do you seriously expect enterprises to become hundred percent software –defined? 

I don’t expect every company to become full software defined datacenters just like I expect anyone to go full cloud.  Some organizations can traverse that route, but it is case of ‘horses for courses’.

It’s early days for Software Defined Data Centre (SDDC) as Dell continues to play its important role in this transition for companies. There will be very few organizations become full software-defined or they would put their entire mission-critical businesses in that arena.

What is the best software strategy for CIOs – ‘best of breed’ solutions or ‘one throat to choke’ solutions?

For a not highly exquisite organization, the single sort of application does work well. In this DNA of diverse applications and different devices, CIOs need to contemplate ‘best of breed’ strategy. And they need to integrate with tools such as Boomi that allows the flexibility. Technology trends and customer environment is moving too fast to be locked in sole centralized platform that does not permit add –on solutions etcetera.

Are CIOs concerned about ROI /TCO with Software as in the past with hardware solutions?

We all went through a phase in the software industry where TCO exercises were extremely important. And they still are – to a large extent. But the frantic pace in today’s tech industry makes the payback crucial important with big emphasis on rapid ‘time to market’. Adjusting to the competitive situation -- within months and not years -- is the key driver.

Tighter budgets compel companies towards RoI though it is lesser focus because of speed to market. The legacy business like pharma, manufacturing might not be hung up on speed to market and thus TCO become more relevant and vital in these low cost markets.

There is enough and more marketing pitch of IoT by each and every OEM and services providers. What is the ground reality of IoT in APAC and does it differ in India?

India is probably leading the charge in IoT because it’s quite incumbent by the legacy environment. Globally, there is nothing to halt the IoT wave. There would be pockets of absolute stupidity (experimentation) -- like who really needs refrigerator connected to the internet. People can waste money, time, and resources trying to achieve too much in much faster time. There are definite benefits with power companies, farmers, drones etcetera. IoT is not a fad that will go away and RoI will play a key role for IoT to become mainstream.

Every security vendor is growing at different rates because there seems to be no way to stop crawl of IT and crawl of IoT. The more devices you have out there being measured and loaded with data, more bad guys will have a go. Security will play a key role in IoT.

We are enabling organizations on whatever plethora devices they have, connect them for a purpose. Our focus is to enable IoT for analytics to make business sense and of course secure all the data.

Three brownie points on why Dell Software beats its traditional competition HP and IBM.

DSG conveys a good ‘end to end’ value proposition for enterprises to mid-market to SMBs including security i.e. network security (SonicWALL) and IAM. We have bunch of products that allows customers to migrate – migrate from windows, migrate to cloud for large companies to mid-size companies. The multi-faceted data protection products enables that companies don’t have to buy dell software back up products. We have dedup device which goes on EMC, Symantec. It is agnostic. Nearly everyone has oracle database that requires tuning and replication so we have solutions for that too. We have fairly broad portfolio to a wide range of customers.

All the products chosen to be acquired by Dell is based on long term vision of future technology trends. Plethora of devices, its manageability and Lack of database that is the real challenge faced by CIOs – irrespective of enterprise size or particular vertical. Each capability is sweet spot what customers see as real challenges.

DSG is modular which fits well with an integrated end –to –end that can do big bang and also fit into specific area like how can companies migrate to windows 10. They may have native capabilities to move the end point but Dell facilitates the all –important application dependence on windows 10.

Yogesh Gupta is executive editor at IDG Media. You can reach him at or follow him at @yogsyogi1