Dell Buys into the Open-Source Network,Decouples Hardware and Software

CIOReview Team | Saturday, 06 June 2015, 07:25 IST

Dell demonstrated a game-changing support for open networking by becoming the first global end-to-end technology company to provide customers, tailored networks for their specific application needs. Dell’s vision of the new data center networking model is an open ecosystem in which customers can choose among various industry-standard networking gear, network applications and operating systems to meet their business needs. Dell announced a reseller agreement with Cumulus Networks as its first partner in this ecosystem to fill a critical gap in realizing the true promise of the software-defined data center. Dell open networking vision disrupts traditional model, enables rapid innovation by providing cloud providers, financial and Web 2.0 customers a choice of network operating system. There is a compelling side to this partnership that can’t be ignored as it’s going to shake up how enterprises buy their network switches, the devices that tie all of the computers and servers together. Traditionally, network switch vendors would sell integrated platform, the hardware and the operating system, giving the customer little or no choice for other operating systems, or even no operating system. From a business perspective, this locked out competitors, locked in customers and limited choice, which is creates an economic burden for IT organizations. “Dell is fundamentally changing the nature of the networking business, and this partnership with Cumulus Networks represents a definitive step towards disaggregating hardware and software,” said JR Rivers, co-founder and CEO of Cumulus Networks. “In this new open, multi-vendor ecosystem that’s becoming all the more prevalent, the customer finally gets to choose exactly the components they need to build the software-defined datacenter of the future without having to worry about vendor lock-in.” While the networking market has moved slowly in the past, Dell opening up the integrated stack and allowing either its own network OS, Cumulus, or even no OS to be installed immediately changes the game. Let’s expect that others will make a similar move; probably not today, but the glove has clearly been thrown down.

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