& cplSiteName &

Open Season: Dell Taps Into Big Switch

Dan O'Shea
4/24/2014
50%
50%

Dell Networking is further cementing its reputation as the data center hardware vendor with the most progressive attitude toward open networking, announcing on Thursday a strategic partnership and resale agreement with SDN controller pioneer Big Switch Networks.

Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL) will resell Big Switch Networks 's Switch Light operating system with its S410 and S6000 Ethernet switches for the data center, and also will offer Big Switch's Big Tap Monitoring application, an SDN-based monitoring solution that can be deployed on a gradual basis in existing enterprise network configurations to take over some of the functions now handled by individual network packet brokers (NPB). The agreement should help Big Switch expand its market footprint and appeal. (See Dell, Big Switch Team for Open Networking.)

The relationship builds on previous engagements the two companies have had with OpenFlow deployments. The OS aspect of the agreement is similar to Dell's earlier commitment to offer the Linux-based OS from Cumulus Networks. With that announcement, Dell served notice that its Open Networking Initiative was not just a marketing ploy, and that it was willing to embrace the community of startups focused on various aspects of SDN and bare metal networking. (See Dell Opens Arms to Cumulus OS.)

Big Switch CEO Doug Murray describes Big Tap as something of a starter SDN application: "We see it as an enterprise customer's first SDN application," he says. "Because it can be implemented on the monitoring fabric of an existing network environment, it's like an incremental introduction to SDN and mitigates some of the perceived risks of moving to SDN."

The Big Tap application is likely the first in a line of SDN applications Dell will support. It can handle up to 60% of the monitoring functions handled by individual NPBs, freeing up those units to become service nodes supporting more advanced network functions, Murray says.

Big Switch has broadened from its original market play as an SDN controller startup, jumping headlong into the bare metal battle. Meanwhile, Dell has demurred from using the "bare metal" phrase too much. [Ed. Note: We continue to use the entire phrase "bare metal" in hopes that the acronym "BM" finds no traction whatsoever.] Instead, Big Switch describes its Open Networking Initiative as a middle ground between the extremes of bare metal networking and traditional, proprietary hardware models. (See Murray Leads Big Switch Into Bare Metal Battle.)

Tom Burns, vice president and general manager, Dell Networking, says that despite some market fears that traditional hardware operators could have the rug pulled out from under them by SDN and open networking approaches, Dell is not seeing that happen at all.

"It's not impacting our traditional hardware business," he says. "It's really building in new, incremental opportunities for us. We've seen a significant amount of interest in the Open Networking Initiative since we announced it in January, through proofs of concept, interest in evaluation units and overall discussions with customers."

He adds that the market reception thus far is giving Dell confidence to grow its ecosystem around the Open Network Initiative. "We hope that this helps to accelerate adoption of SDN and open network in the general enterprise and service provider markets."

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
4/27/2014 | 7:22:05 PM
Re: Open Season: Dell Taps Into Big Switch
Dell, from what I can tell. sees the way into a lot of new business by embracing open networking, both with enterprises and service providers. There's risk with that bet to be sure, but in terms of existing market share, they're in a position to make it.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/26/2014 | 6:24:55 AM
Re: Open Season: Dell Taps Into Big Switch
Big Switch Network`s jump into an affiliation with Dell Inc also means their headlong jump into the bare metal battle. This is because of the results which have allowed it to broaden from its original market play as an SDN controller. It is therefore definitely going to be a big month for Big Switch. Dell Networking also faces an equal task to ensure that this partnership is worthy. However, it has faith in the acceleration of the adoption of SDN and the Open network in general enterprise and service provider markets. It also believes that traditional network operators will not interfere with its intended SDN and open networking approaches. 
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/26/2014 | 6:20:33 AM
Re: Open Season: Dell Taps Into Big Switch
The advantages of this partnership for Big Switch are pretty obvious given that as the smaller of the two companies it will be able to leverage Del's extensive footprint in its marketing efforts. What is not so obvious is the answer to this question; what is in it for Dell Networking. In the recent years the latter have entered into a number of strategic partnerships and collaborations with other companies and this really raises questions, at least it does to me, concerning their specific agenda and long term objectives for doing so.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/24/2014 | 5:40:34 PM
Big month
Big month for Big Switch, which also named a new VP global sales: "Big Switch Poaches VP Sales From Juniper."
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
February 26-28, 2018, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Here's Pai in Your Eye
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 12/11/2017
Ericsson & Samsung to Supply Verizon With Fixed 5G Gear
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/11/2017
Verizon's New Fios TV Is No More
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/12/2017
The Anatomy of Automation: Q&A With Cisco's Roland Acra
Steve Saunders, Founder, Light Reading, 12/7/2017
Netflix Evaluating AI for Personalized Trailers
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 12/8/2017
Animals with Phones
Don't Fall Asleep on the Job! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed