Dell offers dedicated servers to build private clouds

Cloud Dedicated program moves workloads off premises to data center where Dell will deliver IaaS offerings through private cloud

Dell on Thursday said it will offer dedicated servers in its data centers and off-premises application and storage services for companies looking to establish private clouds.

Dell's Cloud Dedicated program intends to reduce the stress of companies hosting servers locally by moving workloads off premises to Dell's data centers. Dell will deliver IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) offerings through the private cloud, which could reduce the costs involved in deploying servers and managing services locally.

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The program helps companies move applications into the cloud, and the service levels can meet security and compliance requirements, Dell said. The service bundles storage and networking, and can handle large or small workloads. A number of managed service options are offered with the program.

Dell, which also sells servers to companies, has been expanding its cloud services offerings by opening data centers to host public, private, and hybrid clouds. The company last year said it would spend $1 billion over three years to expand its cloud, services, and data storage offerings, with part of the investment going toward opening data centers. Starting last year, the company has opened data centers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

Gartner earlier this month said spending for worldwide IT outsourcing services would reach $251.7 billion this year, with cloud computing services being the fastest growing segment. Gartner said spending on cloud services in 2012 is expected to total $5 billion, growing by grow 48.7 percent compared to 2011.

Dell has also acquired many companies over the last few years to expand cloud services. One of Dell's earliest acquisitions was Boomi, which simplifies deployment and management of cloud-based applications alongside existing on-premises applications, and the company in 2011 acquired SecureWorks, which now is central to security services provided in the cloud. Dell is also trying to piece together its cloud strategy through recent acquisitions, such as virtual desktop company Wyse Technology, cloud-based data backup and recovery services AppAssure and security company SonicWall, which were all acquired this year. Dell in July also said it would acquire Quest Software for $2.4 billion.

Outside of the new private cloud offering, Dell in the coming weeks will make pre-configured public and hybrid cloud bundles available for online order. The pre-configured services are available depending on storage or workload capabilities, and users will also be able to pay an hourly rate for less predictable or workloads based on cyclical trends where cloud requirements could shoot up at any given time.

The company is also expanding the availability of the Dell Cloud with VMware vCloud Datacenter Services to U.K., France, Ireland, and Mexico. The cloud offering is currently available in U.S. and Canada.

Dell competes with companies such as Amazon, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard, which is now expanding its cloud services offerings through the HP Cloud website.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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