Light Reading

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 Inc. (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."
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
Between the CEOs
Affirmed Networks CEO: Digging Into NFV

5|28|15   |   40:26   |   (2) comments


Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Will Carriers Follow Facebook's Networking Lead?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 5/28/2015
Charter Plans Business Services, Wireless Push
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/27/2015
Facebook Reinvents Data Center Networking
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 5/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 1 PM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
Cats with Phones