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Dell-Red Hat tackle DIY OpenShift deployments with appliance

Expanding its partnership with Red Hat, Dell is now offering OpenShift as a validated appliance for on-premises container deployment and management.

Dell is expanding its partnership with Red Hat, speeding the deployment and simplifying the management of containers with an appliance that also adds more security and customer control.

Dell Apex Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift builds on a partnership launched in 2022, this time focused on an appliance jointly engineered by the two vendors to combine OpenShift's container management capabilities with Dell's software, compute and storage. The new turnkey appliance is the first fully integrated delivery platform for OpenShift focused on consistent user experience, accelerating application delivery and ease of use by providing an alternative to the do-it-yourself approach of on-premises deployment, according to Dell.

The Red Hat-Dell appliance showcases the partnership's potential and the growing intricacy of vendor relationships, according to Anurag Agrawal, CEO of Techaisle, a global SMB and channels IT market research and industry analyst organization.

"It is the age of the ecosystem. Everyone wants to partner with everyone else," Agrawal said.

Previously, Dell and Red Hat worked together to bring containers on premises as a service, Agrawal said. Dell managed the infrastructure and Red Hat provided the OpenShift platform under the Dell Validated Platform for Red Hat OpenShift.

OpenShift in a box

Red Hat already partners with public cloud providers like AWS and Azure, and the expanded partnership with Dell now extends its platform on premises with an off-the-shelf offering -- a win for Red Hat, according to Agrawal.

"[Red Hat] needed an on-prem player, and Dell is a leader in that space," he said.

But it's also a win for Dell by bringing a public cloud experience onto Apex Cloud Platforms, according to Scott Sinclar, an analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group.

"Dell is continuing to deliver on its 'cloud-to-ground' strategy by enabling its [on-premises] customers to have the same [cloud] experience -- in this case, with Red Hat OpenShift," Sinclair said. Dell unveiled its cloud-to-ground in May when it highlighted strategic Apex Cloud Platforms partnerships with Red Hat, Azure and VMware.

Full stack Red Hat with faster deployments

Deployments from Dell Apex Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift can be lowered from 10 days with the do-it-yourself approach on bare metal to as little as 6 hours, according to Dell. This was achieved through Dell's software automation around Red Hat OpenShift deployment.

Dell is continuing to deliver on its 'cloud-to-ground' strategy by enabling its customers to have the same experience, in this case with Red Hat OpenShift.
Scott SinclairAnalyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

"[This helps] accelerate and reduce the operational cost of both container adoption and application modernization initiatives for enterprise organizations" Sinclair said.

Faster deployment might be attractive to customers, but there is another element with this partnership that benefits users, Agrawal said. The stack is validated.

"If there are any components that get updated -- whether it is container management capabilities or the Dell software storage layer -- there is no need for customers to get involved," he said.

Everything has been validated by Dell beforehand, Agrawal said.

Stacking up

Other container management players are already on the market, including one from Dell. VMware Tanzu runs on Dell VxRail out of the box. HPE also has its own container platform, Ezmeral, which it launched in 2020, according to Agrawal.

But, he added, this is a good opportunity for Dell. With the Broadcom acquisition, VMware Tanzu has lost some market momentum, and HPE's Ezmeral -- built off Docker and Kubernetes -- hasn't gained much traction, Agrawal said.

While Dell Apex Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift isn't the first validated design for on-premises deployment of OpenShift, it is the first to offer an integrated appliance. It uses Dell's software-defined storage technology and consumption-based procurement model to let customers spread out the cost of growth over time, Sinclair said.

"This latter capability helps further accelerate app modernization initiatives by reducing the near-term budget impacts," he said.

Adam Armstrong is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering file and block storage hardware, and private clouds. He previously worked at

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