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Dell Technologies chairman and CEO Michael Dell (Dell Technologies Photo)

Even as more and more companies decide that cloud computing is right for their needs, there are still many companies who want to own and control their own infrastructure. Michael Dell created the Dell Technologies conglomerate to focus on this customer, and unveiled several new products Tuesday designed for their needs.

The company plans to show off forthcoming Dell PowerMax servers and launch new Dell EMC PowerMax storage units at Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas later today, improving speed and performance of two of the key building blocks inside any data center. The PowerMax units will come with an upgraded operating system that uses machine-learning techniques to automatically manage storage decisions based on historical usage data, said Sam Grocott, senior vice president of marketing for Dell EMC.

The technology can “place the data on the right storage media based on a large amount of information we’ve gathered historically as well as in real time,” Grocott said. The storage units are available immediately, while the new PowerEdge servers will be available later this year with several different options depending on the workloads destined for those machines.

While the PowerMax and PowerEdge products cater to the data center operator that likes to acquire and arrange everything themselves, a newer class of customer has emerged that wants on-premises hardware for legal or control reasons but doesn’t want to deal with the messiness of setting everything up. These people are looking for what’s now called “hyperconverged infrastructure,” which is basically a series of all-in-one boxes designed for the data center with servers, storage, and networking integrated into a single box.

The trend away from a traditional data center infrastructure strategy is pretty clear, according to IDC as of January 2018. (IDC Graph)

Dell EMC is going after this market with new products called Dell EMC VxRail Appliances and VxRack SDDC Systems, scheduled to be revealed later today. The VxRail product is designed for companies that want to give their on-premises infrastructure a tune up, while the VxRack products were designed for customers that are keeping their own boxes but need access to the cloud for certain workloads. Both products are designed to work with virtualization and data center management software from corporate sibling VMware.

Dell EMC appears to be doing fairly well in this market, leading the way in hyperconverged infrastructure and basically tied with longtime rival HPE in the server market, as measured by revenue. However, the long-term trends are very clear; according to IDC, traditional data centers will become less and less popular over the next five years in favor of public cloud or private cloud (dedicated hardware managed by a third party) setups.

And it might be happening faster than anyone thought, judging by the fact that Amazon Web Services growth actually accelerated during its first quarter to improve by 49 percent off an already sizable base.

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