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Dell EMC midrange convergence due in 2019

The long-awaited convergence of the Dell EMC midrange storage into one platform will happen in 2019, according to Dell Technologies’ chief storage honcho.

Jeff Clarke, VP chairman of products and operations, said on Dell’s earnings call today that the engineering teams from the current Dell EMC midrange platforms are hard at work on the next-generation midrange array. Midrange storage has been a sore spot for Dell’s storage sales since the EMC merger completed in 2016. Dell EMC storage did have its second straight quarter of strong growth, however, increasing 13% year-over year to $4.2 billion. Dell EMC has now consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year growth following a series of share losses during the merger transition.

“We’re pleased but not satisfied,” Clarke said of Dell EMC’s storage performance.

Clarke pointed to increased demand in high end storage, unstructured data and data protection products as storage highlights. Dell also reported triple-digit growth in hyper-converged infrastructure, but Clarke spent a lot of time talking about his midrange plans.

“I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made, and there’s more to do,” he said. “I’ve been very clear that we still have more midrange product than we’d like long-term. It takes a while to develop a new midrange product, which we are focused on and committed to have next year. In the interim, we’re going to increasingly make the portfolio we have more competitive. Behind the curtains, there’s more developers working together on new technologies and innovating as one single team than we had a year ago.”

He referred to recent upgrades to Dell EMC’s major midrange platforms, the Unity (legacy EMC) and SC (legacy Dell) arrays as steps to make them more competitive. The vendor made the products’ UIs look more alike and now supports CloudIQ predictive analytics on both products, foreshadowing the move to a single platform.

Clarke said Dell EMC VxRail and VxRack hyper-converged systems have accounted for more than $1 billion in revenue since their launch, and are on track for $1 billion for 2018.

Dell executives did not take questions on the privately held company’s plans to sell shares on the public market. However, Dell filed an amended S-4 registration notice this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is expected to set a date for an initial public offering within a few weeks.

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