IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

View from The Airport: Dell Technologies World 2019

At long last, Dell is one big happy family

Never let it be said that I can't admit when I'm wrong: before I flew out to Las Vegas for this year's Dell Technologies World show, I wrote that this year's conference may be a safer and less surprising show than last year's, as it's the first one since the company rejoined the public market and thus became beholden once again to the whims of shareholders.

Now we've come out the other side, I think I can say with some degree of confidence that this most certainly was not the case. Over the last three days, CEO Michael Dell has announced a raft of ambitious additions to his company's portfolio of products and services, swinging for the fences with offerings like data centres-as-a-service, numerous hardware updates and a new collection of cloud-adjacent services.

The most persistent connection between all of the announcements made at the show was that the vast majority of them were powered or enabled in some way by VMware. For the past three years, VMware hasn't had an overwhelmingly large role in Dell's show, saving most of its announcements and updates for its own event in August. This year, however, a huge part of the conference was given over to Dell-branded solutions that relied on VMware technology.

To me, this indicates that the two companies are finally starting to operate in true alignment, which is interesting for a number of reasons. Dell and VMware have an unusual relationship; the virtualisation firm joined Dell as part of the merger with EMC, becoming one of the seven businesses that make up the 'Dell Technologies' umbrella brand. However, it's still a publicly-traded company; Dell (the company, not the man) is the majority shareholder with 80% of the stock, but it's not the sole owner which means it doesn't have absolute authority over the decisions made by CEO Pat Gelsinger.

In the past, this has led to what has felt at times like a battle of wills between the two companies. Dell's messaging has focused on pushing the entire family of companies as a cohesive whole, but Gelsinger has seemingly made a point of distancing VMware from this notion to some degree. This week was an exception to this pattern; although there were still elements of tension between the two stances, it felt for the most part like VMware was singing from Dell's song-sheet.

The result is a series of deep and powerful integrations between Dell EMC hardware and VMware software that make Dell an even bigger force to be reckoned with. Given the crucial role VMware plays in most data centres, ensuring that Dell's infrastructure is optimised for VMware (and vice versa) makes it a very compelling proposition indeed.

On the other hand, arguably one of the most significant announcements of the week had nothing to do with Dell. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined Dell and Gelsinger on stage to reveal that full, native VMware support will be coming to Azure. It's one of a scant handful of times that all three executives have appeared onstage together and while the news itself is important enough - it means that Google Cloud Platform is essentially the only type of infrastructure that doesn't support VMware, for one thing - it also indicates just how far Microsoft has come in its efforts to shed its previous mentality of self-sufficiency and adopt a new partner-friendy ethos.

All in all, this year's Dell Technologies World looks like a rather successful one, showcasing an impressive array of new developments but also a confident and unified company that's boldly pursuing its goals and setting out its stall as one of the biggest names in future-proof infrastructure.

Featured Resources

The Total Economic Impact™ Of Turbonomic Application Resource Management for IBM Cloud® Paks

Business benefits and cost savings enabled by IBM Turbonomic Application Resource Management

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ of IBM Watson Assistant

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by Watson Assistant

Free Download

The field guide to application modernisation

Moving forward with your enterprise application portfolio

Free Download

AI for customer service

Discover the industry-leading AI platform that customers and employees want to use

Free Download

Recommended

Dell XPS Desktop 8950 review: Commendable, but uninspiring
Hardware

Dell XPS Desktop 8950 review: Commendable, but uninspiring

19 Aug 2022
Cyber resiliency and end-user performance
Whitepaper

Cyber resiliency and end-user performance

17 Aug 2022
Dell PowerEdge with AMD
Whitepaper

Dell PowerEdge with AMD

12 Aug 2022
Evaluating modem enterprise storage
Whitepaper

Evaluating modem enterprise storage

12 Aug 2022

Most Popular

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security
Sponsored

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security

8 Aug 2022
UK water supplier confirms hack by Cl0p ransomware gang
ransomware

UK water supplier confirms hack by Cl0p ransomware gang

16 Aug 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022