Light Reading

Big Man on Enterprise Campus? Dell's Trying

Dan O'Shea
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The networking unit of server giant Dell this week announced new Gigabit Ethernet switches and 802.11ac WiFi access points for enterprise campus networks, an effort to extend next-generation datacenter architectures into the enterprise. (See Dell Upgrades Campus Networking.)

"The campus network is becoming an extension of the datacenter core network," says Arpit Joshipura, vice president of marketing and product management at Dell Networking. "We also see SDN use cases for the campus network starting to materialize around applications like security and traffic isolation, thing that need to be turned up and turned down very quickly."

These trends drove Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) to have its new N-Series 1G and 10G Gigabit Ethernet switches managed by the Linux operating system that it recently enhanced with datacenter SDN capabilities like OpenFlow support and APIs for programming the forwarding plane.

Dell isn't the only company looking to re-cast campus networking architectures. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) also announced this week that it has integrated OpenFlow and OpenStack capabilities into its OmniSwitch product for the enterprise.

The companies are responding to the trend of cloud computing moving into the mobile BYOD movement, which has shaken up corporate enterprises and caused them to set up requirements for more dynamic ways to support and enable applications. (See: Huawei Intros SDN-Enabled Campus Switch, ESDN: Netsocket Goes Remote With SDN, Extreme Supports OpenFlow, and Juniper Targets SDN With Another Core Switch.)

For Dell, the new campus products also play into its efforts to upgrade its entire networking portfolio after acquiring Force10 Networks more than two year ago. "From desktop to datacenter and campus to core, we've done a complete refresh of our products," says Joshipura, who joined Dell through the Force10 deal. (See: Dell to Acquire Force10 and Dell Declares an Enterprise Architecture.)

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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sam masud
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/12/2013 | 1:31:13 PM
Re: Spoiler Alert
Dan: I hear quite a lot about SDN in the data center and here is Joshipura (as well others) talking about campus SDN. Are the service providers on the sidelines when it comes to SDN because not really hearing much about service provider SDN deployments in their Metro/WAN networks?
User Rank: Blogger
12/11/2013 | 10:33:36 PM
Re: Spoiler Alert
On the vendor side things certainly seem to be stacking up that way--not just with what Dell's doing, but Extreme, Pica8,, ALU, Juniper and many other companies have all been saying it's time to revamp the enteprise network in the same vein as datacenter networking is being revamped.
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
12/11/2013 | 3:08:50 PM
Spoiler Alert
I spoke with John Considine of Verizon Enterprise Solutions today and while he said a lot of things I'll share later in a story, he told me he expects 2014 to be a big year for enterprise SDN. That seems to fit with what Dell is saying as well. 
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