What Is Dell APEX?
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Despite the unprecedented levels of enterprise public cloud adoption over the past few years, going all-in on the cloud is seldom a realistic option for most organizations. In fact, the majority have yet to move past the physical network perimeter. Instead, many organizations opt for a hybrid cloud approach or rely on public cloud services for software as a service (SaaS) applications only. Their specific reasons may vary—suffice to say, not all workloads were meant for the public cloud. Some require being on-premises for regulatory reasons or to meet customer requirements, while others may require dedicated physical infrastructure for performance and latency concerns or security reasons.
In response to these scenarios, many technology vendors have developed a service offering fabric that covers the enterprise IT landscape, from on-premises to the cloud. These solutions combine traditional hardware (e.g., servers and storage) with fully managed IT services, offered to organizations via a metered consumption model and cloud-based management interface. Dell APEX is such an infrastructure offering that combines on-premises, pay-per-use infrastructure servers and storage with cloud-based managed resources.
Announced in late 2020 as Project APEX, Dell APEX started with its storage as a service offering, followed by servers, networking and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). APEX was designed to support various data and workload requirements with scalable, metered infrastructure services that can be provisioned quickly across multiple clouds, edge and data center environments.
The initial offering out of the gate from Project APEX, Data Storage Services consist of on-premises storage infrastructure designed to be consumed as a service and purchased on a per-use basis. This scalable, elastic consumption model for storage as a service (STaaS) still uses physical hardware deployed on-premises; however, the actual IT assets remain owned and operated by Dell. Administrators can provision and manage storage resources using a cloud-based management interface.
As its name implies, APEX Cloud provides simplified and consistent multi-cloud services based on market-leading VMware offerings. The HCI-like solution essentially delivers Dell Technologies VxRail as a service in a full-stack enterprise infrastructure package.
Dell APEX Cloud Services is available via the following options:
- APEX Hybrid Cloud - Built on VMware Cloud Foundation, APEX Hybrid Cloud enables full workload automation and automation across the organization's entire cloud environment.
- APEX Private Cloud - Based on VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus and VSAN, APEX Private Cloud is an entry-level infrastructure as a service offering geared towards edge environments, remote/branch offices (ROBO) and remote locations, as examples.
- APEX Flex on Demand - For organizations that require a custom-tailored IT infrastructure solution, APEX Flex on Demand provides storage, server and HCI in a bespoke, flexible procurement model managed by Dell Financial Services.
- APEX Data Center Utility - Data Center Utility combines Dell's product portfolio with professional services and support for fully managed data center operations—all invoiced monthly on a pay-per-use basis.
Dell APEX Cloud Services allows organizations to leverage the convenience, scalability and cost-effectiveness of cloud deployment models, even if they haven't fully migrated their IT infrastructures to the cloud. Backed by its comprehensive portfolio of infrastructure products, APEX supports and accelerates digital transformation in the following use cases, to name a few:
- Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) - for developing AI-optimized solutions that scale and perform across clouds, on-premises and to the edge
- High Performance Computing (HPC) - for aggregating computing power to perform better when handling computationally intensive workloads
- Virtual Data Infrastructure (VDI) - for running applications or full desktops anywhere, securely, on any device, with all the necessary files and applications
- Containers - for deploying and managing modern, cloud-native apps and DevOps workflows
- Databases - for supporting traditional relational database management system (RDBMS) solutions and complex database environments and landscapes
- SAP - for deploying SAP-certified infrastructures and validated designs via APEX custom solutions
- Oracle - for supporting mixed OLTP, OLAP and analytic workloads from the world's leading RDBMS
- Microsoft - for modernizing and managing an organization's entire Microsoft data estate
Organizations large and small have grown accustomed to the convenience, scalability and management ease of the cloud—even if they are managing strictly on-premises or hybrid work workloads. Dell APEX allows firms to fully leverage IT as a service through its battle-tested portfolio of hardware and software, all consumed via a metered consumption model. To learn more about how your enterprise can benefit from Dell APEX as-a-service offerings, please visit WWT's top Dell Technologies labs.