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
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
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
Que Sera Sarah
Growth of the 5G Ecosystem

3|6|15   |   1:15   |   (1) comment


Use cases and industry collaborations dominated 5G discussions during Mobile World Congress 2015. For what the road to 5G means for operators and their partners, head to the Building America's 5G Ecosystem event in New York on April 14.
LRTV Custom TV
Sonus NaaS IQ Real-Time Demo

3|6|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


Compass Networks Chairman and CEO Matt Bross and Ray Dolin, CEO of Sonus Networks, demonstrate their Sonus IQ SDN solution using a live video conference connection.
LRTV Custom TV
LRTV Talks Carrier WiFi & WiFi Calling With Aptilo Networks

3|6|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


We stopped by Aptilo Networks, a market leader in WiFi service management and offloading, to discuss the new possibilities with next-generation WiFi calling and why WiFi should be a natural part of any operator strategy.
LRTV Interviews
NGMN Chairman Outlines His 5G Vision

3|6|15   |   5:10   |   (1) comment


Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, chairman of the NGMN Alliance and Deutsche Telekom CTO, shares his thoughts on the challenges, opportunities and costs of 5G.
LRTV Interviews
In the Cloud With Telecom Italia

3|5|15   |   7:10   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders sits down with Telecom Italia's Simone Battiferri at Mobile World Congress to discuss virtualization, agility and the economic advantages of the cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
New Ways of Working

3|5|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Hong Kong Telecom's Michael Yue explains how the transformation in its business has changed its customer relationships.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bridging the Digital Gap

3|5|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Boingo's Dr. Derek Peterson explains how ICT can help telcos bring the physical and virtual worlds closer together.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Making the Internet of Things Affordable

3|5|15   |   2:42   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Telefonica's Dr. Mike Short explains how the Internet of Things demands a new low-cost approach to connectivity from telcos.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Evolution, Not Revolution

3|5|15   |   2:00   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan explains why telcos can't be too hasty in their efforts to transform themselves.
LRTV Custom TV
Management & Orchestration Enablement Strategies Required for NFV Commercial Success

3|5|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


NFV commercial success rests on successful service orchestration strategies which can span heterogeneous physical, virtual, legacy and next-gen networks. Network data and security integrity are additional key aspects. Nakina provides a suite of orchestratable network integrity applications built on an open, scalable MANO enablement platform.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Power of Five Convergences in OceanStor OS

3|4|15   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


OceanStor OS is Huawei's brand-new storage operating system. While inheriting the consistent high stability, reliability and performance from the company's previous storage products, OceanStor OS abounds in new converged storage features. Specifically, the new storage operating system achieves "five convergences" to lift storage convergence to a higher level.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
4K Brings Extreme Video Experience

3|4|15   |   8:10   |   (0) comments


4K video is a hot topic in the video industry. It will certainly bring an extreme video experience to end users. At the same time, however, it will also pose a big challenge to operators. Check out this Huawei 4K experts' discussion about how operators can achieve success in 4K video service.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Wheeler: We'll Enforce Title II 'Case-By-Case'
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/3/2015
New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/4/2015
Alibaba 'Planting a Flag' in US Cloud Market
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 3/4/2015
Few in Number, Big in Data
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/2/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.