Dell identifies trend of customers retracing steps to the cloud

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Michael Dell said his company is seeing some customers return to buying equipment after discovering that working with the giant cloud-computing providers is more complicated and costlier than they thought.

Hardware from Dell Technologies is getting a second look from companies finding that outsourcing their computing needs to the public cloud—big providers such as, and Microsoft—can be twice as expensive or more as running it themselves, Dell said Monday.

While he didn't provide specifics, Dell added "it's not small numbers; it's large numbers."

"We're not saying public cloud is not going to happen or it's not going to grow—it is. It's just not perfect for all workloads. And everything is not going to go to the public cloud," said Dell, who had earlier referred to the phenomenon as sort of a "boomerang" effect.

Dell, CEO of the company bearing his name, spoke during the Dell EMC World gathering in Las Vegas with more than 13,000 attendees from more than 100 countries. Dell Technologies, which has partnerships with Microsoft and Amazon, is overhauling the company's equipment and bringing out new products even as customers add projects with the public cloud providers.

Dell merged with EMC Corp. last September to create a company with a wide variety of servers, data storage equipment, software and other products that offer a large portfolio to potential customers. That may minimize the need for further acquisitions by Dell, he said.

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