71,000 Containers: Powering Applications with Cloud-Native Technology

Learn how innovation at Dell.com has been accelerated through the adoption of a micro-services architecture.

Microservices, containers, Kubernetes, digital transformation — you’ve all heard the buzz about new ways to develop and deliver applications. But how real is it? How many actual examples can you cite of these technologies being used to drive business results?

Organizations today rely on data and software applications to create and deliver value in almost every aspect of their operations. Dell Technologies as a company is no exception. With rapidly changing user requirements and a dynamic market landscape, we need to respond quickly to the needs of our customers, partners and employees. The old way of developing and delivering software was too slow, so we set out to reinvent the way we deliver value through information technology.

It doesn’t get more real than Dell.com. One of the internet’s busiest commercial web sites, Dell.com needs to keep up with the latest trends. The challenge was that implementing capabilities required by the business – such as providing updated search capabilities – took too long to implement, averaging 3-8 months to deliver new application features! In order to speed innovation, Dell Digital (the team responsible for developing and delivering innovation for our website) has modernized its application development infrastructure with VMware Tanzu cloud-native infrastructure.

The results have been impressive. Dell Digital has deployed 7,500 microservices running in production across six data centers providing 24×7 availability. The infrastructure incorporates VMware vSphere, 71,000 VMware Tanzu application containers and 28,000 Kubernetes pods. The environment enables developers to build microservices by provisioning cloud services, containers and virtual machines on their own.

With a few clicks, developers provision resources, select cloud features on demand or move applications across on-premises and public clouds without porting. These automated, orchestrated capabilities have reduced development time from typically six months to a few weeks or less — an 85 percent improvement. The Dell.com team has improved the customer shopping experience by increasing feature launches from 8–10 per year to 55 per year. The Dell B2B website, Dell Premier, has compressed release cycles for upgrades from four weeks or longer to just days. Innovation and meaningful business outcomes have become hallmarks of the VMware Tanzu platform. The Dell Premier team used the platform to develop a smart recommender feature of the B2B website. That feature alone accounts for more than $1million of annual revenue.

Dell Technologies has a complete portfolio of solutions for accelerating application transformation with VMware Tanzu. Please visit our Tanzu portal for more details on this story and ways that we can help you with innovative modern applications infrastructure and VMware Tanzu.

Matt Baker

About the Author: Matt Baker

Matt Baker is Dell Technologies’ Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy working in close partnership with the company’s Office of the CEO. In this role, Matt oversees the corporate planning process, exploration of new business opportunities, and strategic partner relationships and business development. Matt is known for bucking the technology industry’s conventional wisdom to see new opportunities that ensure our customers are ready for the digital reality of today and the digital future. Matt is a 17-year Dell Technologies veteran with prior roles driving the company’s Infrastructure Solutions Group strategy team for more than 10 years. He’s also led the strategy behind Dell Technologies’ Storage business and has held a variety of product management responsibilities. Prior to joining Dell in 2005, Matt held a variety of roles at Intel Corporation over 10 years. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Political Science from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland.