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Dell flexes PC production muscle for server biz

No more standing on sidelines as ODMs hoover up service provider punters

Analysis Dell EMC’s Server business unit is receiving help from Dell’s Client Solutions Group as it aims to take on the original design manufacturers (ODMs) in the Far East, company insiders have told The Reg.

Servers are a massive-scale volume business, following PCs and notebooks in that regard, and Dell doesn't want to keep losing business to contract manufacturers that produce kit to order for service providers.

Jeff Clarke, who runs Dell’s Client Solutions Group, has taken it from a seventh-ranked player to being a goliath in the industry. He will help Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, the president of the Server Division, which is part of David Goulden’s Dell EMC Infrastructure Solutions Group.

There is no change organisationally, with Goulden retaining the Server Division and its profit and loss responsibility in his data center group.

Gorakhpurwalla will be hoping to use Clarke’s experience to gear up the server supply chain and manufacturing operations for the increased scale: that scale increase is partly if not mostly due to the rise of hyper-converged and converged infrastructure and associated workloads.

It may be that Dell is looking out to a server future where the competition in three or four years’ time is increasingly dominated by ODMs and players like Huawei. Being profitable with high-volume manufacturing, supply chain and logistics will become a key part of staying at the top of the server business.

And being able to use the PC manufacturing base is something that Dell thinks is becoming an important aspect of the server business. It's something that is also denied to some other mainstream IT infrastructure players – minor league Cisco, as well as Power player IBM and database platform-focused Oracle – they simply don’t have PC-based volume manufacturing production base.

HPE developed a joint venture with Foxconn in 2014 to build machines that compete with the contract manufacturers in China and Taiwan to battle the incursion from contract manufacturers.

Dell did not comment. ®

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