In a move to make itself more relevant to companies hungry for drag-and-drop online storage, Dell announced new plans that will bring Dropbox to several of Dell’s products and services.
Dell’s expansion into cloud-based storage says a lot about its future strategy. Following its 2011 break with EMC as its storage provider, Dell quickly aligned itself with many cloud-based storage providers and application vendors.
This week, Dell Ventures—the company’s venture capital arm—announced a fresh round of $300 million to invest in strategic startups to help build out Dell’s data centers, storage and mobile products. The round follows $60 million that Dell invested last year for storage-specific companies to help it build out its data center business. Popular personal cloud startup Dropbox is expected to gain a portion of those funds.
The venture capital money follows Dell’s announcements last week that it’s salespeople will be offering Dropbox for Business to new and existing customers. Dell said it will also pre-install Dropbox’s online storage service (complete with Dell’s own brand of data protection software) on its consumer and business tablets.
Dropbox boasts that it is used by more than 4 million businesses and upwards of 1 billion files uploaded every 24 hours. That’s a small drop in the bucket compared to the 1 exabyte of data, analysts suggest are stored in the cloud. That’s a key market Dell is hoping to be a part of.
To get there, Dell will promote the use of Dropbox and provide its customers’ IT departments with software support to make sure Dropbox meets compliance and regulatory requirements. Dell also wants to avoid any data meltdowns like the ones Dropbox had earlier this year.
Dell’s other notable cloud storage partnerships include its 14-year run with Red Hat; OpenStack cloud and open source application infrastructure provider Mirantis and solid-state storage maker Skyera.
As more businesses move simple storage to cloud-based systems, providers like Dropbox are sure to be in high demand.
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