The Six Five In the Booth with Dell’s Bob Ganley at AWS re:Invent 2022

The Six Five In the Booth at AWS re:Invent 2022. Patrick Moorhead and Daniel Newman sit down with Bob Ganley, Sr. Consultant, X-ISG Product Marketing, Dell Technologies. Their discussion covers:

  • What is EKS Anywhere from AWS?
  • How Dell is bringing EKS to customers
  • What are some of the benefits of EKS

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Patrick Moorhead: Hi. This is Pat Moorhead. We are live in Las Vegas at AWS re:Invent 2022 inside the Dell Technologies booth. Daniel, it is hopping here. People are eating, drinking, and being merry.

Daniel Newman: We’re watching and waiting.

Patrick Moorhead: Yes.

Daniel Newman: Finishing all these videos, but we’re excited. Ours will come. Because there’s a lot of stuff to talk about here inside the Dell booth on The Six Five pod. And it is good to be back at AWS re:Invent.

Patrick Moorhead: It really is. How this show has changed. A decade ago, it was pretty much AWS and their public cloud partners. Now, you have enterprise going to the cloud. Cloud going to the enterprise. You have hybrid cloud. You have multi-cloud, which we have an incredible guest. How are you?

Bob Ganley: Great.

Patrick Moorhead: Good to see you.

Bob Ganley: Excited to be here too in Las Vegas.

Patrick Moorhead: Who thought we’d be sitting here talking multi-cloud and EKS Anywhere?

Bob Ganley: Well, I’ll tell you. It’s the hotness right now. Everybody’s talking about it.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. It’s a big thing. It’s a big topic. Bob Ganley, we’re excited to have you here. New to the show. Right?

Bob Ganley: Yes, sir.

Daniel Newman: First time on The Six Five.

Bob Ganley: First-timer.

Daniel Newman: Hopefully, not the last.

Bob Ganley: Hopefully, not.

Daniel Newman: Give us the quick introduction. Talk a little bit about your work and your role at Dell.

Bob Ganley: Sure. Absolutely. I’m the senior consultant in our Future of IT organization. What that means is we’re looking at the software technologies that are helping customers innovate and create their innovation. That’s really all about modern applications, and how organizations are modernizing their approach to delivering value through software.

I have a background as a software engineer, actually. So I started on the engineering side of things. Now, my role is more to help tell that story. To help people understand how Dell Technologies is helping deliver that value through software today, which is interesting. I’ve actually been a software guy in a hardware company for a lot of my career.

Patrick Moorhead: Well, I think it’s great. Jeff Clarke talks a lot about increasing the resources into software development. Not that Dell’s getting out of hardware, certainly, but really ramping up those percentages of engineers for software. And it is important. Particularly, when you look at hybrid cloud and multi-cloud.

We’ve seen the mechanism for applications move from monolithic mainframe, mini, to VMs to containers. That’s exactly what you’re bringing to the table with EKS. Basically, on Dell. Can you talk a little bit about the announcement? What did you announce? What is it and what can customers do?

Bob Ganley: Absolutely. You nailed it, Pat, which is that application architectures are changing. From monoliths to microservices.

Daniel Newman: Right.

Bob Ganley: Microservices are delivered in containers. Those containers need to be orchestrated. Kubernetes has won the competition in terms of orchestration tools. Now, what that means is that organizations need to figure out a way to bring Kubernetes and containers into their operation.

What’s interesting is Kubernetes has evolved from a pure open source project curated by the CNCF to a much more mature market where you’re seeing now commercial distributions of Kubernetes. Instead of organizations downloading the open source bits, trying to create and integrate that platform for themselves, they’re saying, “Hey. Let me work with a partner that can provide that stuff in a more turnkey fashion.” And that’s exactly what Amazon has done with EKS.

What’s interesting is EKS is their commercial distribution that runs inside Amazon Web Services. What they’ve done is taken that exact same distribution, the same bits, the same software, and made that available to deploy on-premises. Now, the way they do that …

Daniel Newman: On Dell infrastructure?

Bob Ganley: On Dell infrastructure.

Daniel Newman: Okay.

Bob Ganley: That’s what we’re here for. Right?

Patrick Moorhead: Yes.

Bob Ganley: The way they do that is with this offering called EKS Anywhere. EKS Anywhere actually is the mechanism to install, configure EKS on Dell infrastructure. What we’ve done now is take that and create packages that allow organizations to very quickly stand up a modern applications’ environment on Dell infrastructure in their data center.

Daniel Newman: Right. That’s exciting. You kind of started to allude to it, but talk a little more about this. Because we’ve identified the macro trend is the prem workloads are going to be around for a long time.

Bob Ganley: Sure.

Daniel Newman: In fact, they’re growing. And that’s why ultimately we need flexibility to migrate software data, all the infrastructure between cloud and prem. This is what EKS enables. It enables it from Dell’s infrastructure to AWS, and of course, EKS Anywhere. Designed really for what is multi-cloud. Right?

Bob Ganley: Yes.

Daniel Newman: Talk about how Dell is wrapping this up, making this presentable, and why people come to Dell for it?

Bob Ganley: Well, the fact of the matter is every organization, maybe every project team, needs to have the right approach to how they’re going to implement this underlying infrastructure. What we’ve done is worked with several of the different Dell infrastructure offers to include PowerFlex, VxRail, and PowerStore to configure validated architectures for the running of EKS Anywhere on-prem. With PowerFlex, which you’ve heard a lot about hopefully already …

Daniel Newman: Yes.

Bob Ganley: Which we can deploy in public cloud or on-premises. We can now support EKS Anywhere in a couple of different configurations. One is a hyper-converged configuration where both the storage and the compute are on an individual node. We can do that with bare-metal. We can also configure a solution with vSphere. We have both the two-tier solution, where you can have the compute and the storage scale separately, as well as that HCI solution from a PowerFlex perspective.

Daniel Newman: Right.

Bob Ganley: Also, we’ve got a VxRail option. VxRail allows you to do similar … With VxRail, of course, you can use vSphere. You can use the underlying vSphere software defined storage with vSAN. Or you can use PowerStore as a dedicated, purpose-built software infrastructure for your persistent volumes for EKS Anywhere.

Patrick Moorhead: No. That’s great. I’m actually impressed with the amount of permutations you have, because each one of those takes a pretty big investment to qualify and make sure it can run, and now for the next X years. Clarifying question here. We’re looking in the corporate data center, colo, edge. Pretty much … By the way, and of course, on AWS infrastructure.

Bob Ganley: Yes.

Patrick Moorhead: If I stand back, I think I know the answer, but I want to hear it from you. Because you’re educating people on this. I don’t think we’re the experts, by the way. Expert right there. To the CIO, and let’s say, to the lead compute or lead infrastructure. What is the benefit? What are they getting? Is it reduced cost? Is it increased revenue? Is it faster cycle time? Somewhere in between? What is it?

Bob Ganley: Sure. Well, let me give you an example. Let’s say you are a telecom service provider.

Patrick Moorhead: Hypothetically, of course.

Bob Ganley: Hypothetically, a telecom service provider. You want to provide local mobile phone apps that your telecom customers can provide to their customers, so they can download those apps, run them on their phone. You’ve got proprietary algorithms that you want to run and you have to run from a compliance perspective in your data center, but you’d love to serve up the mobile interface from a local data center. Let’s say an Amazon data center.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have consistent infrastructure on your premises in your data center, where you can keep that data under control and in compliance? And in a public cloud location, so that you can actually run the same code. You can operate it the same way. Think about the capability of running on-prem containerized workloads in the cloud, and have them provide a very consistent operating environment that gives you the right level of service for that local customer while providing compliance on-prem.

Patrick Moorhead: By the way, interesting you brought in compliance as a benefit. I wouldn’t have necessarily brought that one in myself. Because with consistency, you typically either can do more with the same resources or do the same for less. But I love the compliance piece.

Bob Ganley: It’s big.

Daniel Newman: It kind of always lends itself too to really, “What were they trying to accomplish with containers?” The whole idea was that flexibility.

Bob Ganley: Consistency.

Daniel Newman: Consistency across multi-clouds, telco cloud, public cloud, your own private data centers. To be able to take a workload, build out, and move it. The consistency in the code. The consistency in the experience. That’s what this is all about.

As far as I see, it makes a lot of sense. How do you get the adoption? Is it Dell’s current customers that are going to be the first buyers? Obviously, you’ve been doing this a little while. Or are you seeing more public consumers coming to Dell looking for solutions? Last question, I promise.

Bob Ganley: Cool. Actually, we see both. Dell Technologies, we stand in the corner with our customer as they’re making technology decisions. Whether that be they’re looking for a purpose-built architecture where they want to use PowerEdge with PowerMax in the data center and control the individual components. Or they may be looking for a more turnkey solution like we were talking about with PowerFlex and VxRail and Amazon EKS, for example.

Whether the customer’s looking for that, supporting the open source bits from the CNCF, or a commercial distribution like EKS, we will stand in the corner with them in making that choice. What we see is that there are customers that come to us and say, “EKS is where it’s at for us. We’ve played with EKS. We’ve done our dev and tests in Amazon, and now we’re ready to implement on-prem.”

Patrick Moorhead: Deploy.

Daniel Newman: That’s right.

Bob Ganley: Can we do that? We say, “Absolutely,” and absolutely with choice, in terms of that underlying architecture. I want to bring in one last thing here, which is that it doesn’t end with the Day One standing up of this, but also, the ability to do non-disruptive updates of the software on the infrastructure from a Day Two perspective.

But then, also think about DevOps automation. The ability to now try to automate lots of steps of your configuration, and get to a place where you’re using tools like Ansible and Terraform to configure your infrastructure. Now, we can support that on-premises and those same tools and those same scripts and modules can then work in a public cloud environment as well.

We go all the way from Day Zero, standing that infrastructure up, helping customers get up and running quickly, to Day Two and beyond. To make sure that those operations are efficient.

Patrick Moorhead: Bob, I want to thank you for coming on the show. What I really appreciate is you filled in yet another piece of the multi-cloud journey. One is taking enterprise software that’s on-prem and running it in AWS. Like on PowerFlex. You announced that as well.

Now, we’re going in the opposite direction, which is taking AWS EKS Anywhere, which is in the public cloud and running it on Dell infrastructure in multiple forms, pretty much anywhere, offering consistency. Thank you for coming on.

Bob Ganley: You’re welcome. Thank you for your time.

Patrick Moorhead: Excellent. This is Dan and Pat with The Six Five. We want to thank you for tuning in. If you liked what you heard, hit that subscribe button. If you want to give us feedback, you know where to find us. We spend way too much time on social media, but we are here. Six Five Live On The Road at AWS re:Invent in the Dell Technologies booth. Have a great morning, afternoon, evening, wherever you are on the planet. Take care.


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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