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Dell and Red Hat's "turnkey" new integrated offering goes GA

Dell ramps up its "APEX" offering, lets customers configure hardware, patch firmware through OpenShift in jointly engineered new offering.

Dell says its customers can now set up and run Red Hat OpenShift on a “turnkey, integrated bare metal platform” via its pay-per-use “APEX” offering with hardware and software configured for easy deployment.

Dell is taking the product (first teased in May) GA, with a combination of 4th Gen Intel Xeon-powered servers and storage hardware – all of which can be configured and setup smoothly through the OpenShift console. 

The release aims to massively reduce the amount of time spent wrangling on-premises infrastructure and minimise management interfaces. 

“IT teams will enjoy the simplicity of integrated management in the Red Hat OpenShift console while apps get the predictability and linear scalability of bare metal nodes” Dell had said in an earlier press release. 

Dell said the (clunkily titled) Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift offering is “ideal for AI/ML and analytics workloads because it combines the rapid delivery of data via containers and VMs with the compute, GPUs and linearly scalable storage needed to run these advanced workloads…”

The release follows a September 2023 Dell Apex launch that also aims to make it easier to run Azure in on-premise and edge locations with a single source of support for Dell hardware, system software and Azure HCI. 

The new offering automates Red Hat OpenShift deployment, making it a claimed 90% faster than a manual approach. The offering was jointly engineered by Dell and Red Hat and aims to transform “how organisations deploy, manage and run containers, alongside virtual machines.”

(APEX is Dell’s consumption-based portfolio of products and services – and the word “cloud” in its title is, arguably, a confusing misnomer. Dell’s co-COO Chuck Whitten himself introduced this week’s offering at its launch at a keynote during its Vegas event on May 22, 2023 as “our new purpose built fully integrated platform for deploying OpenShift on premises.”)

The idea is, as The Stack noted from the event, that customers get Dell equipment fresh from the factory (including PowerEdge rack servers and PowerFlex software-defined storage) configured perfectly for Red Hat OpenShift on day one. Think Dell firmware, through to configuration and patch management, all running smoothly on OpenShift for an “integrated operational experience” for users, whether on-prem or cloud.)

“Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift offers a streamlined cloud-native experience by leveraging the best of our technologies in a unified application platform. I look forward to seeing how our customers use this platform to bring their own innovation to life” said Stefanie Chiras, SVP, Partner Ecosystem Success, Red Hat, in a canned statement. 

It’s a canny partnership – the two have large numbers of mutual customers – that comes as many companies are pulling containerised applications back from the cloud onto on-premises environments, to save costs and to reserve the cloud for bursting when needed (e.g. push workloads from private cloud or data centres and push them into a public cloud when the demand for computing capacity spikes); many using OpenShift to do so.

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