Dell has a long-standing and proud heritage of delivering open computing and standards-based technology for consumers and businesses worldwide.  This has been a core part of Dell’s DNA since the company’s founding 30 years ago. There is a lot of industry chatter today about approaches to cloud, open source and different ideas on how to guide businesses toward deploying clouds, much of which feels like a step back to closed architectures. With this context, I wanted to take a few minutes to detail Dell’s point of view and why we believe it puts customers first.

Industry reports indicate today Hewlett-Packard will announce Helion, which is made up of two components: 1) the open source community edition, which we applaud, and 2) a proprietary edition which includes closed software targeted toward enterprises. With this approach, HP chooses how much proprietary software they want to include into a distribution, which runs counter to the principles of open source distributions. This model burdens organizations to have the OpenStack expertise and resources in house to sort through and decide which distribution is right for them, and how to deploy and maintain it. This takes me back to the days of Linux when the industry was faced with hundreds of different distributions creating confusion and difficult decisions for customers. It feels like HP/UX Unix déjà vu all over again.

At Dell, we believe that open source is ultimately about empowering customers with choice to let them focus their investments on their organization’s particular areas of value instead of on a technology vendor’s particular architecture. That’s why with Linux, and as we believe will happen with OpenStack, the true community-sourced distribution will end up winning in the marketplace. I firmly believe a proprietary distribution which takes customers from private cloud to hybrid cloud to public cloud is a misnomer, and the market and customers are not best served with continued fragmentation with proprietary distributions. 

Dell reaffirmed its commitment today to a truly open cloud strategy with our partner Red Hat. Dell and Red Hat are co-engineering solutions using the latest community trunk of Open Source. Our strategy is to make enterprise-ready -- and supportable -- the community edition with open extensions from both Red Hat and Dell. Together with Red Hat we are totally committed to the open source model for Infrastructures as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).  

How do vendors work best with open source? Dell and Red Hat bridge the communities that create open source software (Linux, OpenStack and OpenShift) and the enterprise customers who use it. At Dell we know we are only as strong as the brightest minds in the industry and that we do something better when we do it together. Innovation thrives in open environments and this is not just the best way to build technology, but also the best way to spur innovation across our industry.

So we continue to be amazed at this industry wanting to go into retrograde. I am glad that Dell remains committed to open standards and open source while creating great customer value.

Let us know your thoughts.