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

The Six Five In the Booth at AWS re:Invent 2022. Patrick Moorhead and Daniel Newman sit down with Colm Keegan, Sr. Consultant, Data Protection Product Marketing, Dell Technologies. Their discussion covers:

  • Cyber resiliency and modern data protection in AWS
  • What solutions is Dell providing their customers to ensure complete data protection
  • Why data protection is so critical in today’s environment

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Patrick Moorhead: Hi, this is Pat Moorhead and we are live here in Las Vegas at AWS Reinvent 2022, in the Dell Technologies booth. Daniel, so much action. I mean, people are eating around us, drinking around us and we are doing what we love to do, which is talk tech.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, you know what? It put me off a while from eating some snacks I probably didn’t need, but it’s great to see everybody walking around here having a good time. The vibe is, well, it’s very AWS-ish, which is super high energy. Clearly the world is still excited about technology in the cloud despite what the rumors in the media might be saying. This place is buzzing, Pat.

Patrick Moorhead: Oh, it is. And we’ve seen a lot of themes here inside of the Dell Technologies booth. I mean one is hey, bring enterprise software to AWS and bringing AWS capabilities on prem on Dell infrastructure and Colm, nice coming in, we are going to talk about data protection. Thank you for coming on the six five.

Colm Keegan: Hey, well thanks for having me.

Patrick Moorhead: Absolutely. So I think maybe a good place to start, even though I know you’re famous outside here, but not it’s your first time on the six five. Well, ask the experts. I thought that was you, right? It’s certainly not us.

Daniel Newman: He’s humble, Pat. He’s humble.

Colm Keegan: I’ll pay you afterwards.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, no. What do you do for Dell Tech?

Colm Keegan: So my focus is on promoting our cloud data protection solution offerings. But really what’s the focus is on is trying to show our customers and prospective customers that we can really help simplify something that’s really become very complex for them and that’s protecting their data because data’s everywhere. It’s in the cloud, it’s on premise, it’s on the edge, it’s on your mobile device, right? And a lot of times keeping a clear line of sight of that is really hard.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, it-

Colm Keegan: Sorry, go ahead.

Daniel Newman: No, so you know shared a data point, I think it was something like six exabytes of data that Dell already protects in AWS, big number, but your portfolio is pretty comprehensive as it comes to data protection. Start there. Just talk a little bit about the Dell portfolio and the data protection side. What do you offer and how are you driving between the prime and the cloud in terms of those opinions?

Colm Keegan: Yeah, I’m happy to do that. So I mean I think it’s important to back up, and we’ve been doing this a long time, right? Our data protection solutions have been used by our customers literally in over 20 years. And we have repeat customers, so they keep coming back to us because we solve for problems like scale and protecting multiple workloads and driving that simplicity into their environment. So that’s a big focus for us. Now you mentioned the six exabytes, that basically represents how much data we’re protecting today in AWS, doesn’t include the other public clouds, right? And so really it just shows that a lot of our customers rely on us to protect the most critical data, not only in AWS but frankly wherever it’s located.

So we’ve evolved from data protection, we’ve evolved from talking about it in a hybrid cloud context to a hybrid multi-cloud context. And now it’s not just data protection but it’s also cyber resiliency. As we were talking before we started the video, if you’re a C level person and you ask the person in charge of data protection whether or not your data’s being protected, he’s not going to want you to split hairs and say, “Well, we’re protecting data, but our resiliency posture is a little…”

Daniel Newman: Take a step back though. Cyber resiliency, I think a lot of the audience probably knows, but how do you just define that? ‘Cause it kind of sounds like it’s the intersection of data protection and cybersecurity.

Colm Keegan: Well, it’s a good question. So when we think about cybersecurity, people often think about things like what you do on the perimeter to make sure the bad guys don’t get in, right? Resiliency is well what happens if they get in? How do I get my data back? How do I do it in a way that it’s meets the service level objectives of the business, right? And what’s interesting is that we even hearing members of the analyst community say organizations are still a little overweight on that perimeter. They really need to take a resiliency posture and basically make the assumption that at some point the bad actors are going to get inside. And what’s your plan for getting your data back? [inaudible 00:04:23]

Patrick Moorhead: That is absolutely a trend that us analysts have written about, researched about. And every time we talk to Fortune 1000, or quite frankly even SMB, they see the threat. Because for the first time, and we have nation state budgets, we have ransomware as a service. And you don’t have to be an economics wizard to know that anytime you have anything as a service, it’s gone mainstream and there’s a business there, which just shows the threat that’s out there. I think I know the answer to this question, but I want to hear it from your mouth because you’re educating so many of your customers. Why is, first of all, cyber resiliency so critical that Dell provides it on AWS data? Somebody might say, hey, AWS will protect that data and provide that cyber resiliency and Dell, you can be resilient on what’s on prem and on the edge. So why is it so critical?

Colm Keegan: Well, I mean the simplest way to answer that is folks may be familiar with a concept called the shared responsibility model, right? Which is ad AWS is going to provide resilient infrastructure, resilient networking, and they do lots of great things from a security standpoint but the data is your responsibility, right? So basically you’re the custodian of your data wherever it is, and you just take that assumption, don’t assume that somebody else is protecting it. And I’m glad you brought that up because we conduct research too and we still find that quite a lot of organizations still think that once their data’s in the cloud, they can wash their hands in it, right? Not the case. So yes, we make our offering available in AWS. In fact, our whole data protection portfolio is in the AWS marketplace. And it’s important because our customers want to have a consistent experience. However they manage their data, whether it’s in their data center, whether it’s in their remote office locations, whether it’s in the public cloud, AWS, right?

And so they want to be able to consume it from the marketplace because oftentimes organizations have, they’ve made a big investment, right? And they want to draw down on those credits and they can do that. They can draw down on those credits consuming our solutions in AWS marketplace get the… Basically it’s integrated data protection and cyber resiliency. So our solutions basically work hand in glove, right? So that if you had an event, a ransomware attack, right? And you decided that your digital vault was going to reside in AWS… And we’ll work with you too. We provide expertise for folks that may have a short full on skill sets, because that’s another big problem, right? A lot of lacking skill sets out there. We can help you get that data back and we have the tools that will help orchestrate that recovery.

Daniel Newman: So as someone that’s on the consultant side within Dell, right? You’re talking to customers somewhat regularly in that process. What are you hearing about this partnership? What are the kind of main value points? Is it that accessibility? Is it the fact that they’re able to use their AWS credits? What’s the draw to the specific AWS Dell partnership?

Colm Keegan: You want the 30-second commercial? That’s what you’re asking.

Daniel Newman: This is a chance. This is a chance-

Patrick Moorhead: You just put the golf ball right up on that T column.

Colm Keegan: Yeah right.

Daniel Newman: This is a chance, Colm, for you to do that. But it’s also practically speaking, we have a lot of CIOs in the beltway watching this show and when they watch it’s like, all right, I get the AWS value proposition, I get the Dell, but how is it better together?

Colm Keegan: Okay, I mean it’s a good question. I’ll go back to what I said earlier. We’ve been doing this a long time, right? So we know how to protect data. We’ve factored our solutions to work in AWS, right? So basically it works with Amazon infrastructure as a service platform as a service. We’ve protect sales workloads, right? And I would say, what’s the better together story? Well, obviously with AWS you have this enormous public cloud environment with multiple regions, right? So it gives you the ability to leverage their scale, right? Because applications and data are continuously growing. So you need a scalable environment. So as your data grows, you can scale right along with it. Our solutions are designed to leverage that scale, right? And so we have a partnership with Amazon. We worked with them very closely to bring our power protect cyber recovery offering to the AWS marketplace, right?

So there was co-engineering that was taking place there, right? That’s using their specific resources. So in this instance, object storage resources, right? So we can give customers the flexibility to use Amazon any way they want, but at the same time they can use our solutions in any context. Hybrid cloud, public cloud only. So I would say that’s it’s the scale, the performance, the flexibility that both organizations bring to the table. And I would say the collective expertise in engineering.

Patrick Moorhead: I love in this new world order of cloud where you have enterprise capabilities and software that are being run in the public cloud. We also talk to another one of your colleagues talking about EKS anywhere, which essentially control plane for containers that is being run on Dell infrastructure. And I really believe that first of all, it’s what customers want. It’s also a much more mature way to look in the cloud. So Colm, thank you so much for coming on the show here with six five. We really appreciate that.

Colm Keegan: It was my pleasure. Thanks for having me. First time, but not the last, right?

Daniel Newman: Hopefully not the last.

Patrick Moorhead: Very good guest. Thanks, Colm. We really enjoyed it.

Colm Keegan: Thank you.

Patrick Moorhead: Everyone out there hit that subscribe button and check out those other sessions that we did here at AWS Reinvent in the Dell technology booth. We enjoyed all of them. Lots of great solutions coming out here. Great event, reinvent, hit those others but-

Daniel Newman: Hit that subscribe button. Join us for future episodes. We’ll see you here all week at AWS Reinvent. But for Pat, for myself, bye-bye now.


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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