March 22, 2011, 3:48 PM — During the next few months, commodity-hardware specialist Dell will open as many as 10 data centers around the world, according to an interview with Michael Dell in The Australian.
The data centers are a way to give Dell customers the ability to build private clouds hosted by a vendor with which they're already familiar.
Microsoft, meanwhile, announced yesterday a version of its System Center management apps designed to manage virtual servers running on cloud platforms.
The version, which adds Virtual Machine Manager 2012 to its name, is designed to let administrators provision VMs on either their own servers or external services running Microsoft's Azure cloud service.
It will also allow end-users to launch their own VMs on either platform, within parameters set by admins.
Private clouds are typically considered to be either cloud-based resource-sharing software laid on top of an existing internal data-center infrastructure, or a similar setup hosted by an outside company that is used by only one customer.
Dell's storage-strategy boss told The Register Dell will actually launch a series of public clouds as well, similar to if not competing with Amazon's EC2 and Microsoft's Azure.
Public clouds are those built inside a server-hosting or data-center outsourcing company that sells cloud services at lower cost and greater flexibility than private clouds, by running virtual servers from several companies on the same physical servers.
EC2 and Azure both have both private and shared-resource "public" cloud options, but their services are much different otherwise.
Dell's versions will be Platform as a Service, as is Azure, built on an Azure appliance it is building in conjunction with Microsoft.
Dell will also offer Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) clouds based on the open-source OpenStack platform from Rackspace and NASA.