This article is part of our Conference Coverage: Dell Technologies World 2024 news and conference coverage

Dell Technologies World: AI at core of Dell’s next chapter

With a significant anniversary just passed, Dell CEO Michael Dell was in reflective mood as he looked ahead to the impact of artificial intelligence on the tech giant’s product stack

Fresh from celebrating the 40th anniversary of the founding of the company he still leads, Michael Dell indulged himself as he kicked off Dell Technologies World (DTW) 2024 in Las Vegas by reflecting on how far the business has come from its 1984 inception in a University of Texas dorm room.

But with generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) now driving meaningful innovation, and this year’s user conference subtitled AI Edition, the message from Dell was clear – up to now, the technology industry has really been operating in a low gear, we just didn’t know it.

“All that progress that came before was really just a pregame show. We’re moving from computation towards cognition into the age of AI,” said Dell.

“How far and how fast we go is no clearer to me now than it was 40 years ago, but I’m more excited and more confident than ever in the opportunity than I’ve been at any time in my life.

“We are unleashing technology that will accelerate the scientific discovery and development with the power to transform our organisations, our lives and our world,” he said.

Bill McDermott, CEO of ServiceNow, joined Dell on stage to share his thoughts on the path being charted by AI, and how ServiceNow and Dell are collaborating in this regard.

McDermott, who less than a fortnight ago hosted his own user conference, Knowledge24, at the same venue, said: “ServiceNow is not just the fastest growing enterprise software company in the world because of our great software. It’s also because our cloud runs 24/7…on Dell. That platform powering our cloud has enabled us to execute beautifully.

“Dell also makes our AI more intelligent because we use Dell servers to train our large language models, and we’re putting AI to work for people which is really what it’s all about. ServiceNow is live with GenAI solutions on Dell compute…This is enabling people to do things they never dreamed of before,” added McDermott.

Dell marked day one of its conference with the formal launch of Dell AI Factory – first announced alongside Nvidia back in March 2024 – bringing what it boasts is now the “world’s broadest AI solutions portfolio” spanning its traditional bread-and-butter desktop and notebook PCs, to networking and storage hardware for the datacentre, and the cloud.

The core of the AI Factory concept, the fuel that it runs on, as Dell put it, is data, and more specifically, the control, management, optimisation and security of it.

The first major introduction under the AI Factory banner – and one that actual end users will see – is a series of new Snapdragon X Elite and X Plus-powered Dell AI PCs with Microsoft Copilot+ on board to help users focus on creative and strategic tasks.

Behind the scenes, the AI Factory portfolio includes a number of data management and protection enhancements, including the introduction of the new Dell PowerScale F910 all-flash file storage solution to more quickly and efficiently address AI workload demands; Project Lightning, a highly performant parallel file system software architecture that integrates into PowerScale to accelerate training times for complex AI workflows; and Dell Solution for AI Data Protection, which protects critical AI application and data with Dell’s data protection software and appliances.

Then, Dell is introducing an expanded portfolio of networking products to deliver accelerated AI performance. These introductions include the Dell PowerSwitch Z9864F-ON switch, which will supposedly double the network performance of AI applications; the Dell PowerEdge XE9680 server to improve overall performance scalability and efficiency; and innovations around Enterprise SONiC Distribution to enhance AI performance, alongside SmartFabric Manager for SONiC to simplify deployment, orchestration and lifecycle management.

Finally, an expanded portfolio of services, including implementation services for Microsoft Copilot solutions and accelerator services for Dell Enterprise Hub on Hugging Face will, Dell claims, help organisations drive improved business outcomes from their AI initiatives.

Additionally, Dell today becomes the first infrastructure provider to work with Hugging Face to optimise on-prem GenAI model deployment. It will also be deepening its collaboration with Meta on its Meta Llama 3 models, and with Microsoft for Azure AI services, with the intention of optimising the deployment and use of AI among its customers.

“What are you creating in the factory? You’re creating intelligence, you’re making a company more efficient, more productive, you’re advancing scientific discovery, and you’re ultimately driving incredible partners inside the organisation,” said Dell.

Read more about AI innovation

  • DBS Bank’s AI Industrialisation Programme has been instrumental is industrialising the use of data and AI across its business, resulting in over S$370m of incremental economic benefits.
  • Hong Kong-based Citic Telecom CPC has built a data platform that leverages large language models to generate insights and speed up data retrieval and analysis.
  • Generative AI offers a way to transform developer productivity, by expediting a cultural shift in the way enterprises organise themselves.

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