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Dell Technologies Inc. is broadening the range of options for customers of its Apex Data Storage Services with a new option that allows them to maintain operational control of file and block storage services with Dell providing support and upgrades for a subscription fee.

The announcement continues the evolution of Apex as Dell’s form of composable infrastructure, in which device resources are treated as services so customers can buy them without laying out large capital expenses.

The customer-managed option gives organizations greater control of their resources than under the fully managed Apex service at savings of between 19% and 33%. Dell has a pricing calculator that shows costs based on the data service, performance tier, base capacity and subscription term.

Dell has offered a customer-managed option for all elements of its infrastructure stack through the Apex Private Cloud and Apex Hybrid Cloud hyperconverged infrastructure offerings since Apex was introduced. The options are aimed at information technology departments with existing resources in place for tasks like monitoring capacity utilization, infrastructure management and resource optimization but that wish to move toward an elastic consumption-based storage model.

“With Apex Data Storage Services, we still curate the underlying infrastructure for the customer,” said Devon Reed, vice president of product management for Apex. “The customer picks the performance levels and outcome-driven approach but we pick the underlying infrastructure for them, deploy on-site and get them stood up. We then turn the keys over to them.” He said Dell remains available for support and performs some lifecycle services such as applying patches and upgrades.

The target market for this offering is customers that “have skilled teams that are already in place who are used to managing storage but they’re not willing to make the leap” to fully managed infrastructure, Reed said. “They see an opportunity to shift to an opex model but they still have the skills in place.” He estimated that 40% to 60% of customers fit that profile.

Photo: Dell Technologies

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