Dell Hypes Up AI Opportunity

There’s an opportunity for partners to deliver a new computing architecture that enables AI, says Dell.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

May 21, 2024

3 Min Read
Dell COO Jeff Clarke at Dell Technologies World 2024
Dell COO Jeff Clarke on stage at Dell Technologies World 2024, Las Vegas, May 21.

DELL TECHNOLOGIES WORLD — The concept of "AI Everywhere" encapsulates Dell Technologies World 2024. Dell COO Jeff Clarke’s keynote speech to customers and partners on day two of the event in Las Vegas was no different. Channel Futures is there.

Clarke stressed how AI is unlike any other disruptive technology that has come before, in terms of its potential.

“While we’re still in the early stages, it is clear that this technology is very different than anything I’ve experienced in nearly four decades. And it’s happening faster. It’s more disruptive. It’s game changing,” he said.

“The new machines in this era are GPUs capable of massive parallel processing, performing trillions of floating point operations per second. That, when coupled with high speed and fabrics, high-speed AI storage, the right models and the right data tools, transforms that information and data into knowledge. Knowledge that we’ve never had before. And everything changes as a result.”

Clarke said Dell’s strategy for accelerating AI adoption is built on five core beliefs.

  • Data is the differentiator. Clarke said 83% of all data is on premise. One-half of that data is generated at the edge.

  • AI should move to the data because it’s more efficient, effective and secure.

  • There is no one-size-fits-all approach. AI will be implemented a range of ways, from locally on devices and the edge all the way to massive hyperscale data centers.

  • Customers are going to need an open, modular architecture to support the rapid innovation.

  • Finally, AI requires a broad and open ecosystem to take advantage of all of the technical advancements that we’re witnessing.

Dell AI Factory to Deliver New Computing Architecture

Dell is making a big play to provide the infrastructure that enables customers to take advantage of AI. Traditional data center architecture is ill-equipped for AI workloads, it maintains. The compute intensity demanded by AI workloads calls for accelerated computing, high-speed IO optimized storage for file and object data types and high throughput, low-latency networking fabric among other considerations, said Clarke.

That means delivering a new computing architecture, which the vendor will do via the new Dell AI Factory. Under that umbrella, this week Dell announced a host of new products and features that underpin AI deployments. They include Dell PowerScale F910 all-flash file storage for demanding AI workloads, and PowerScale: Project Lightning, a new, parallel file system software architecture that will be integrated into PowerScale to accelerate training times for large-scale and complex AI workflows. On the networking side, the Dell PowerSwitch Z9864F-ON, powered by the Broadcom Tomahawk chipset, doubles network performance of AI applications through a modern network architecture.

“We believe an AI factory from Dell with the broadest portfolio in the marketplace today is the answer,” said Clarke. “We can move from the edge into the department, into data centers, and spanning solution engineering to deploy at scale.”

He added: “A deep system level understanding is required to make this stuff work. This is detailed, systems engineering. The ability to look at the CPU, the GPU, the MPU, the networking topology, the storage subsystems, the underlying drivers and low level software — tune all of that ‘factory’ to get the outcome that you’re looking for. We believe we’re uniquely positioned to do that.”

According to a recent report by Canalys – which is owned by Channel Futures’ parent company Informa Tech – generative AI will be a $158.6 billion opportunity for the channel by 2028.

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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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