Six Five Insiders with Dell Technologies’ Deepak Patil

Welcome to this edition of “Six Five Insiders” with Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and co-host, Patrick Moorhead, President and Principal Analyst of Moor Insights and Strategy. In this edition of our podcast, we continue with our new “Insiders” series, where we partner with some of the world’s greatest technology companies and leaders to discuss innovation, digital transformation and emerging technology trends!

In this episode of “Six Five Insiders,” we’re proud to host Deepak Patil, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cloud Platforms and Solutions at Dell Technologies. To hear everything from this podcast, please download and listen:

However, for those wanting to scan the topics, we have prepared the following show notes to include what we covered in the show and the insights we were able to gain from our guest, Deepak.

What is Dell Technologies trying to do relating to the cloud?

  • The cloud industry has evolved a lot in 15 years, becoming more of an operating model than a destination.
  • We predict that customers will eventually have between four and five cloud providers, all offering different solutions.

When customers think about the cloud, they think about three things. Let’s talk about what they are:

  • A better way of doing IT.
  • Access to the innovation happening with IoT, AI, blockchain, and more.
  • A very modern way of delivering assets and services in pay-as-you-go, subscription model, self-serve, on demand, models, etc.

What’s the difference between hybrid cloud and multicloud?

  • A hybrid cloud is an operating model that delivers the things people want across datacenters with the private cloud, public cloud, and edge cloud; it’s predictable and consistent.
  • The multicloud is a mechanism to deliver some of those capabilities, where multiple cloud providers come together.

Is the hybrid cloud temporary?

Hybrid cloud is not at all temporary. For starters, migrating to the cloud takes time. Not everything is going to move to public clouds overnight, or in the span of a week, a month, or even a year. In fact, many in the workforce won’t migrate to public clouds at all. Here are some additional things to consider:

  • Lifecycle management of the workforce is key to the next frontier for cloud providers, so acceptance of hybrid clouds will evolve, with them becoming a core part of the strategy for everyone.
  • The number one Information Services provider (Amazon’s AWS) is involved in the hybrid cloud, and its use of Outposts indicate we’re at the point of no return here.
  • In fact, Amazon’s Outposts announcement is a validation of the likely acceptance of the hybrid cloud, and acceptance of the cloud as an operating model and not a destination.
  • What’s next? We’ll likely see more investment and acceptance of private, public, and edge clouds across all the cloud providers moving forward.

It seems like most companies are trying to differentiate themselves from others. How is Dell doing this?

  • Dell has the most advanced hyperconverged infrastructure in the industry, with a massive customer base already, so customers don’t have to go anywhere else or uproot the ecosystem.
  • For a workforce that lives in the hybrid private cloud ecosystem, Dell has more experience than anyone else, and has been around 35 years building private infrastructure systems.
  • Dell can deliver storage, data protection, backup, and DR network services across multiple clouds seamlessly, predictably, and consistently. Services are transcending different clouds.
  • When it comes to really bringing the cloud entitlements, like subscription metering, Dell has billions of dollars of businesses doing that already so, for us, it will just be extending that.

What’s the next big discussion around the Cloud?

That’s a great question. We think that the next big discussion around the cloud is:

  • The private hybrid cloud will become a mainstream conversation.
  • Service life-cycle management will be the next big frontier for cloud providers.

If you haven’t yet subscribed to the Six Five Insiders podcast, please do! We will be back every week for our regular Six Five podcasts, and many more special insider editions are bound to come in the near future.

For Patrick Moorhead and Daniel Newman, we are out of here. Take care until next time!


Daniel Newman: Welcome to The Six Five Insider’s Edition. I’m Daniel Newman and I’ll be your host today. Joined, as always, by my esteemed analyst colleague from Moor Insights and Strategy, Patrick Moorhead. Pat, welcome to this edition of Six Five. The Insider episodes are always so much fun getting to talk to these executives at different tech companies, eh?

Patrick Moorhead: I know, I really do. And the best part is, it’s recorded.

Daniel Newman: It is. So if anybody out there catches an imperfection, do not tell us about it. We do not want to know, but in all serious, we are really excited. This show is being brought to you in part by Dell Technologies and we have Deepak Patil joining us here and in just a moment we’ll bring him onto the show. But beforehand, Pat, I just want to say always love the conversation around cloud, hybrid-cloud, multi-cloud, and just emerging architectures. It doesn’t seem to matter where we go anymore, whether we’re listening to semiconductor companies or we’re listening to software application builders that are at the edge of the network or that are part of our everyday work productivity.

Architecture really is the thing right now, huh?

Patrick Moorhead: It really is. I’m so glad that it’s not the hype curve, right? I mean this thing is reality and the fact that 80% of the workloads are still on-prem is, is a huge deal. Only 20% are in the cloud.

Daniel Newman: Which means opportunity is abundant and today when we bring Dell tech on, we’re going to get to hear a little bit about their story. So before we have a Deepak join us, I just want to do the quick disclaimer. This show is for information and entertainment purposes only. And while we are going to be talking about Dell technologies, a publicly traded company, we are not advising anybody to purchase or we’re recommending that they buy the stock. However, we do think there’s a ton of great information here. We hope you find this really valuable and this interview should really be a heck of a conversation. And for those of you interested in learning more about what Dell Tech is doing with the cloud or just learning more about hybrid-cloud in general, this should be a great conversation. Hey Deepak, I see you are now on the air. Deepak Patil, welcome to The Six Five.

Deepak Patil: Thank you so much Daniel and very nice to see you again. Very nice to see you Patrick as well. Looking forward to the conversation.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, it’s going to be a good one and Pat and I, no holds barred. We like to ask the tough questions when it comes to cloud, but we also want to definitely give you a chance, Deepak, to talk a little bit about what you’re doing now. Before we jump in though and hit you with the questions about Dell Tech and the Dell Tech cloud. Just introduce yourself, you’re pretty new, but you’re in a pretty important role at Dell. Really as part of this, new architecture where the company’s going.

Deepak Patil: Sounds great, Daniel. So just to introduce myself, I’m Deepak Patil. I am the head of Dell’s cloud business, which is a massive endeavor we’ve undertaken over the last couple of years, even if I had been in the role for the last few months. Very excited to be here. Very excited about how the company is positioned. Very excited about what we can do. Prior to joining Dell, I worked in one of Dell’s strategically aligned businesses. I am an engineering technology services operations at Dell. Prior to that I spent about three years at Oracle building the Oracle cloud platform and before that I spent about 16 years at Microsoft in various engineering leadership roles. I was one of the early members of the Azure Microsoft Azure team. So being in the cloud space for a while, Daniel, we all know that you have a full head of hair, but I don’t have a lot left and that’s part of my contribution to the cloud business over the last 12-15 years.

Daniel Newman: All right. That’s hilarious. I’m sorry. Anybody out there that’s never actually followed my Twitter or seen a picture of me would know that I have anything but a full head of hair. I am clean shaven and in fact of the three of us, I think I have the least hair. But you know what? Very clever, very, very clever there at Deepak. That was pretty funny.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah. So I’m thinking that the best place to start is with customers here. And what is it that Dell technologies is trying to accomplish with this customers related to the cloud?

Deepak Patil: Yes, that’s a great point to start the conversation at Patrick. I think the cloud industry has evolved significantly over the last 10,12,15 years. Cloud has an, is becoming a default computing paradigm and customers as well as companies have started to look to the very concept of cloud more than just public clouds, more than just private cloud, more than just edge.

It is becoming more of an operating model than a destination. So when customers think about cloud, they think about, we do believe at Dell technologies, they think about three specific things. Number one is a better way of doing IT. Number two, access to phenomenal innovation happening in upper layers of the stack that on ML and IOT and AI and blockchain. Number three, some very modern way of delivering assets and services in a pay-as-you-go subscription model, self-serve on demand provisioning model, access to resources and updates on them or the network model. This perception of infinite scalability, elasticity model, all these things we call the quality entitlements. So in this new operating paradigm, customers are looking at better way of doing IT. They are looking at access to innovation happening in the upper layers of the stack and they’re looking at cloud entitlements, whatever their work loads are. Private cloud data, data centers, public cloud, multi-cloud as well as just edge clouds.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, it’s interesting Deepak, because we’ve talked about, and you heard Pat and I kind of riffing at the beginning of the show or talking about how so much of the workloads and data still reside on-prem. And so there’s this power struggle right now between the OEMs, software companies and even the hyperscalers that all kind of want to be the de facto solution provider for the enterprise cloud. And naturally speaking, the on-prem being such a big part of it, a company like Dell tech and the whole family of companies is really in a natural position to be able to address all of those different offerings. But of course the competition is going to be fierce. Another thing that’s been really hotly discussed lately, right, is this new vernacular, right? Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud. When you ask people that, I think they get used somewhat interchangeably, but they aren’t actually the same thing. So when you get asked that question, what’s the difference between multi-cloud and hybrid cloud? How do you sort of address that? Cause I, I’m going to take notes to make sure I don’t miss next time.

Deepak Patil: That’s a very good question Daniel. And I do get asked that question more often than not. And see what has happened is customers, have realized and have acknowledge the fact that a good portion of their workloads are going to live on-prem. There are more on-prem virtualized VM’s running virtualized workloads today than all of the public cloud virtualized environments combined. And customers do acknowledge and realize the fact that very significant portions of the workforce are going to stay on-prem. Customers do acknowledge that a good portion of their workloads are going to run in the cloud, public cloud, and customers do acknowledge the fact that especially with the advent of 5g, a good portion of their workloads are going to run on the edge, so an operating model that’s a cloudy operating model that delivers those three things that I talked about; better IT, entitlements and access to innovation in upper layers of the stack, across this data centered kind of customer.

There is a private cloud environment, a public cloud environment and an edge cloud environment is what I would call a hybrid IT environment. Because customers-Whatever services we provide or how our customers workloads behave across those three environments our customers expect them to be predictable, aimless, and consistent. So anybody who’s a provider of a hybrid cloud services or solution needs to make sure that those capabilities across private, public and edge cloud are predictable, seamless and consistent. Multi-cloud is essentially a mechanism to deliver some of those capabilities. Where multiple cloud providers come together, our multiple cloud providers provide those solutions across those operating models or operating environments. [inaudible] is IT predicts that customers are going to have about, between four and five different cloud providers across the [inaudible] path and fast path that they are going to be working with. So this prowl of multiple cloud providers, providing solutions across different cloud environments and cloud operating models is what we call the multi-cloud world.

Patrick Moorhead: That’s good stuff and what one thing I heard as well is some cloud providers are saying that hybrid is just a temporary thing. Any quick takes on that?

Deepak Patil: Yeah, I think everybody tells the story and we’ll continue to tell the story that fulfill their agenda and their story. Right. Three years ago, if you were a CIO at PTO and you didn’t have your public cloud strategy, you would be fired, but now there’s a realization both amongst the customers as well as cloud providers that not everything is going to move to public clouds by Monday. And very, very large portions of the workloads are not going to move to the public cloud. That’s why you see some of the announcements like Azure Arc, are on-post or out-post.

Where life cycle management of workloads across these hybrid environment is a key next frontier for power providers. So I do believe that the narrative across all of the cloud providers with respect to acceptance of hybrid cloud is changing and will continue to evolve with hybrid clouds becoming a core part of strategy for everybody.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, I tend to agree. And at dinner the other night, I think I mentioned that we used to be in the drunken sailor mode where everything’s going to the public cloud and if it’s not public cloud then there’s no value.

And I think we’re in a much more, even more realistic scenario, I was in the audience probably like you were at AWS Roundup last year, when Outpost came out. I think that was a huge milestone, which said even amongst the biggest IS provider, who is bigger than the number two to number 10 combined, says that they’re in fact doing hybrid. It really, I think we’re at the point of no return at this point. I was wondering what does this mean for your business and the industry at large that the number one IS provider is doing outposts?

Deepak Patil: That’s right. I very well remember Patrick, where the conversation, “I’m the drunken sailor” analogy that you mentioned. It’s appt and it perfectly will, with respect to where we’re at, in the evolution of cloud overall.

The outpost announcement and the release essentially is a validation of what I just mentioned in terms of acceptance of hybrid and hybrid cloud and acceptance of cloud is an operating model not as a destination by Amazon. And you will see more investments and more acceptance of both private, public and edge clouds across all the cloud providers moving forward. And one key thing that everybody will try to conquer is essentially lifecycle management of cloud services to offer these operating models in a seamless, consistent and predictable way.

Daniel Newman: Absolutely. So let’s talk about outpost a bit more. Let’s talk about reinvents. Let’s talk about Dell’s position in the market. The company announced Dell technology cloud data center as a service at VM world. It’s in market, ahead of outposts a few months. What’s been the sort of customer response? Cause Pat and I tell you there’s one thing about how we respond to something, there’s one thing about how the brands present something but the real mustard is always cut in terms of how customers receive it. So how, what are you hearing from the customers as you as this product has come to market?

Deepak Patil: Absolutely. And when we announced data center as a service, which was essentially a pretty powerful offering that combined the VMware VMC part virtualization and service life cycle management and software defined network with Dell VxRail and industry-leading hyper converged infrastructure platform. We knew that we were filling a pretty important gap in the industry with respect to converged infrastructure with service life cycle management and virtualization software combined and delivered as an integrated stack. The response from the customers has more than validated our belief. Recently in a presentation, I essentially had a logo slide which was quite pleasing and satisfactory in terms of just the sheer number of customers we are starting to see our adopt that solution, embrace it from India and Australia to the U.S. and Europe. And the feedback around the fact that we have 35 years of experience inside Dell technologies delivering on-prem solutions.

The VxRail is industry leading hyper converged infrastructure platform. That, combined with the VMWare industry meeting virtualization and service life cycle management software essentially delivers the customers what they need. Our of mechanism to fairly extensive configurability and flexibility our mechanism to provide the customers different choices and not box them in a very sharp small number of configuration options is another area that is pretty well embraced and welcomed by our customers. So our experience, our way of combining both our software and hardware stacks, our flexibility and configuration options that we’ve given to our customers and all of that combined with our security and [inaudible] model. It’s seen phenomenal reception in the marketplace and we are very happy with where that is growing.

Daniel Newman: So let’s talk a little about one thing that I think everybody’s going to ask right now, Deepak, as we sort of wind down here. We’ve got a few more minutes of your time, and by the way, thank you so much for all your insights here. Differentiation. So right now we mentioned this early on in the podcast and we’re kind of continue to mention this throughout our discussions here and out in the market. It seems like all the companies are sort of trying to tackle this. Everyone’s doing it their own way, a container service, Arc, you got just different products that have been coming into market. Outpost, we mentioned that already. How is Dell, if you sort of had to simplify the differentiation into something that a CIO or a decision maker could quickly absorb and react to, how are you doing that? Cause I’m sure that’s going to be a question you’re going to in a lot of boardrooms right now.

Deepak Patil: So four things come to mind Daniel, with respect to our differentiation. Number one is when Dell and VMware, we probably have the most advanced hybrid conversion infrastructure and virtualization and service life cycle management, back integration in the industry. With the RailVCF, our rail VMC, there’s massive customer base already that we are bringing the clouds to. Instead of them having to completely uproot their ecosystem, completely uproot through their data centers and go anywhere else for the cloud entitlements or cloud attributes, we are bringing cloud to them. That’s number one. Number two is for workloads that live in the hybrid private cloud ecosystem. We have more experience than anybody else on the planet. Those technologies have been around for 35 years and we are building the private infrastructure systems for all of this while and now we are fast cloudifying those assets and those offerings.

So we have more experience in the private hybrid cloud world around services, around quality, around security, around agility, around time to market, around global support than anybody else on the planet. The imperative advantage we have is our storage data protection backup DR servers, network services, we own the parts to deliver all of those across multiple cloud environment. Private, public, hybrid, edge, seamlessly, consistently and predictably.

So if you get DR as a service from Dell, it will behave the same way in your private cloud, it will behave the same way in a public cloud, it will behave the same way with all the cloudy entitlements on the edge cloud. So our services can essentially meet- we truly are transcending different cloud environments to give that consistency predictably and seamlessness to our customers. And then the fourth kind of advantage we have is when it comes to really bringing the cloud entitlements, like pay-as-you-go consumption, billing, subscription metering, we’ve got billions of dollars of essentially business that is managed through those models already, and are extending that to all of our cloudy operating environments to really make all of these offers, both our cloud platforms as well as our cloud services operate in a very, very cloudy way.

Daniel Newman: No pun intended?

Deepak Patil: No pun intended.

Daniel Newman: So as we sort of wrap this up then, Deepak, I have one last final question for you. This is, I’ll call it the power round, and this is an informality I’ve just decided in the moment that I want to do this with you cause you’ve been so astute to answering everything. In 60 seconds or so, what’s next? What do you think the next big discussion’s going to be around cloud? Is there something that’s going to catch the ear and the eye the way multi did last year or do you think we still have some time with this moving forward?

Deepak Patil: I think three things are going to happen, number one is private-hybrid cloud is going to be a mainstream conversation and the industry narrative is going to shift from talking about cloud as just a public cloud destination to an operating model. That’s one good thing that’s going to happen. The second thing that will happen is life service life cycle management will become the next big frontier for all of us cloud providers to to conquer and tooling instrumentation, automation for lifecycle management of workloads and services will become a big, big area of investment and its impact on how cloud as an operating paradigm evolves.

Daniel Newman: I think the software thing is one of the topics you didn’t talk a lot about, but it’s super astute. I say that across everything right now, whether it’s a, it’s AI, whether it’s network. So many times people think like just because it’s got the most powerful chip, CPU, the most powerful platform, that we definitely can do it just by like slotting the chip in there and ultimately you can have the most powerful servers on the planet with the most throughput, but the software is what always makes the technology work well and creates that user experience. So Deepak, thank you so much. Great insights. Really enjoyed having a chance to spend this time with you. For everybody out there Deepak Patil, Senior VP, runs the cloud business for Dell Technologies. What a great opportunity to listen and just take in all the experience.

For everyone else out there, hopefully you got some great insights. Check out The Six Five podcasts, make sure that you subscribe and listen to more for other Six Five Insiders. We love bringing on senior execs from the world’s greatest tech companies to share what they’re doing, where it’s going, and to provide some insights to ideally compliment what Pat and I say week in and week out on our show, but sometimes to give us something to debate, something controversial because that always makes the show interesting too. But for now, for this edition of the Six Five brought to you in part by Dell Technologies, you want to thank everyone for tuning in. We hope to see you all very soon.

Disclaimer: The Six Five Insiders Podcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this podcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we do not ask that you treat us as such.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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