Servers don’t last forever. When a technology refresh is required, there are several options. New servers can be purchased, or workloads can be migrated to the public cloud to avoid the need to purchase systems. APEX, a new service from Dell, offers an attractive alternative whenever a server refresh is required. It combines many of the advantages of the public cloud with some of the benefits of on-premises solutions.

Benefits Versus the Cloud

The Dell APEX program is a new “Pay Per Use” service that makes it possible to procure new servers without incurring capital expenses. This new service offers the benefits of the public cloud in terms of flexibility and scalability while addressing some of the problems of the cloud. Dell APEX solutions may offer better performance, more security, and reduced latency than cloud-based implementations. They also may make it easier to achieve compliance. Finally, monthly expenses with Dell APEX are known in advance. This is a big advantage versus monthly cloud expenses which are unpredictable, and which can be highly variable.

With APEX, clients order the systems they need and Dell installs them either at the client’s premise or at the site of an approved colocation service provider. A monthly fee is charged but Dell retains ownership and is responsible for maintaining the equipment. The agreement is similar to a lease but clients can add or remove functionality as needed via the Dell APEX console. APEX agreements are typically for 3 years. Monthly fees are adjusted so customers only pay for the resources they use. This provides flexibility and scalability normally only available with cloud services.

Dell’s APEX service is like HPE’s Greenlake pay per use service which was introduced about a year before APEX.  Lenovo also offers a pay per use service. These new services are expected to grow in popularity over the next few years. They offer advantages versus the cloud while making it possible for users to refresh technology without increasing capital expenses.

Dell Certifies CAPS for APEX

Recently a CAPS colocation client decided to order servers and associated equipment from Dell via the APEX program. First, the Dell team qualified the CAPS data center as suitable for the APEX program. This included verifying the dimensions of all doors between the loading dock and the data center to be sure Dell cabinets could be transported from the delivery truck to their ultimate location in the data center. Dell ships completely configured and tested cabinets to the client’s facility or to their colocation service provider’s data center.  Power availability, access to internet carriers, data center security, and technical support services were also evaluated before authorizing the data center for the APEX program.

After a series of Zoom planning meetings, the Dell APEX system was delivered to CAPS’ Shelton, CT data center. Then a team consisting of the client’s IT personnel, CAPS’ system engineers, and Dell engineers installed the new system. Since power and internet services had already been pre-installed, the cutover was completed quickly.

As we enter 2023, we expect to see more Dell APEX installations at our colocation facility. We believe the opportunity to get all new Dell servers and related equipment to replace aging systems for a reasonable monthly fee with ongoing support from Dell and the ability to quickly scale services up or down will be increasingly popular in the year ahead.