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Parts of Dell cloud services plans delayed

As Dell Inc. tries to convert itself into a cloud services leader, the server maker is finding it hard to stay on schedule.

Dell recently revealed that a planned Platform as a Service appliance based on Microsoft's Windows Azure has fallen off the server maker's radar.

Additionally, Dell Inc. has pushed back delivery of a hosted data analytics service in the cloud until the first quarter of next year.

They're just throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks.

Carl Brooks,
analyst, 451 Research

The server titan was a launch partner for Microsoft's Windows Azure Platform Appliance in July 2010. In recent press briefings, however, Dell executives have backed away from the commitment to offer the cloud appliance.

"The [Dell Azure] appliance was a research project, and it appears that the way the market is evolving that it is out of the picture, which would render Dell's business plan around Azure moot," said Mark Eisenberg, director at New York-based enterprise application and cloud integration firm Fino Consulting LLC.

That shouldn't be too much of a surprise, some observers say. Like the weather, the cloud market forecast seems to change by the minute.

"They're just throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks, which has been a consistent theme for Dell and cloud," said Carl Brooks, analyst for infrastructure and cloud computing at Tier1 Research, a division of 451 Research LLC.

Microsoft declined to comment on Dell's apparent change of plans regarding Azure. For its part, Dell has said very little as well.

"Microsoft is a valued Dell partner. We evaluate offerings to extend to our customers on an ongoing basis, and at this time have made no decisions with regards to when we will offer Azure," said Kevin Hanes, executive director for infrastructure and cloud computing services at Dell.

More on Dell cloud services

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Dell also has pushed back the expected delivery date of a promised data analytics offering, company officials said.

Last August, Dell debuted Dell Cloud Business Applications -- a set of about 70 Software as a Service, or SaaS, applications. At the time, the company said that the applications were to be accompanied by Dell-hosted "cross-application cloud analytics supported by end-to-end Dell services." Dell Cloud Integrated Analytics were originally slated to ship during the first half of 2012, but now have been rescheduled, with general availability planned for the first quarter of 2013, said Paulette Altmaier, general manager of Dell's Business Applications group.

According to cloud experts, the changes appear to be adjustments to an ambitious agenda that Dell embarked on in 2011. That agenda was meant to help transform the company from a server and PC vendor into a serious player in the cloud services market as a counterweight to the faltering hardware business.

"If Dell wants to offer a compelling service, it has to be one where a significant percentage of the market can actually use it to meet their needs," Fino Consulting's Eisenberg said. "I would say that the facts changed and Dell is adjusting their strategy."

Stuart J. Johnston is Senior News Writer for Contact him at

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Would you buy cloud services from Dell?
It would just be stupid. They are too big to service me well.
Prefer to work with smaller and more customer focused vendors
Dell is not an innovator but a follower. I'm not convinced that Dell has the expertise or resources to execute cloud based services.
Dell doesn't have a sound position on Cloud yet and will miss the market. We run 1,100 PowerEdge servers across our infrastrucutre and can't get a sound story from our rep. Evaluating Cisco UCS for our next deployment as it's dynamic and effecient with a better combination of networking, storage and management features.
i see them as selling pcs
Dell has always been a catch up player and now they try to get ahead of the curve. No way do I trust these guys.
why should I buy cloud services from a startup service company?
It's Dell.
Qould be acquired by proprietary Oracle, EMC, Cisco
they are a hardware company, no service company
In short, no strategy inspires no confidence in long term viability of offering...
Dell tends to not stick with vendors.
too disorganised
focus on cheap not quality
if I want cheap I go to Amazon (and I get both)
DELL will take 5 years to get their act together
The commitment is not clear. There are a number of things thrown against the wall. It isn't clear what will stick or potentially abandoned. Some services are sold at a higher cost that what is offered directly by the vendor - MSFT Office 365. What really is Dell's value?
As always with Dell... their strategy is to wait and see what works for others, then jumps on board in a "me too" stylee. Its not their core, its just a reaction to capture some of a market they don;t belong in
Dell needs to be more specific on what it plans to offer to companies. There are no details on Dell's cloud service and platform.
I will not move to the cloud.
It's only a marketing hype from MS.
I dont see them having any experience
They have good support for CAS, and thus, for Really Big Data.
I would wait to see if it works well with the early adopters
They have done some smart acquisitions in the cloud area and they seem to have a complete package now
None or limited/unclear cloud strategy
Dell s Storage and server solutions are leadres AND their service has been pretty good. I believe not many companies have the capacity to get it right in the long term. Dell is one of them
No credibility
End-to-end solutions, easy connectivity to vCloud for VMware and Microsoft, outstanding server line, commitment to open technologies.
when Dell get's it, they get it right!