Light Reading

Dell Opens Arms to Cumulus OS

Dan O'Shea
1/29/2014
50%
50%
Repost This

Open network operating system developer Cumulus Networks gained a significant partner this week in Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL)'s networking unit, as the two companies announced a partnership and resale agreement under which Dell datacenter switches will work with Cumulus's Linux-based OS. (See Dell Partners With Cumulus Networks.)

Dell is promoting the partnership as the first of its kind, where a datacenter network equipment vendor is willing to support third-party OS options. Until now, Dell has used only the Dell Networking OS, formerly known as the Force10 Networks OS that Dell picked up through its Force10 Networks acquisition, as the OS for its S6000 and S4810 top-of-rack switches. (See Dell to Acquire Force10.)

Dell and Cumulus call it the model for the "disaggregation" of the datacenter network hardware and software that efforts like the Open Compute Project have been calling for.

Why this matters
Dell's announcement came during an Open Compute Project event in San Jose, Calif., also coinciding with Cisco Systems' Cisco Live! Event in Milan, Italy. The timing says a lot: Dell is looking to embrace open-source network architectures for the datacenter, while Cisco is only inching toward more open architectures, largely protecting its proprietary base.

There is major potential here for Dell to partner and resell other network OS solutions, not just the Cumulus OS, and that might be the company's best bet to successfully compete with Cisco if the latter sticks to its proprietary knitting.

For Cumulus, this is a major win in its efforts to break the old model and get into datacenter architectures. If the company is successful long-term, the pain could be doubly acute for Cisco, as Cumulus was co-founded by former Cisco Unified Computing System VP J.R. Rivers, and also claims ex-Cisco engineers as its chief scientist and vice president of software engineering. (See Cumulus Intros Network OS.)

The aftermath of this announcement also should be interesting to watch to see how it affects the willingness of other datacenter hardware vendors to push more in the same direction and open their gear to open-source OS solutions. As we wait for a progress report from the OpenDaylight Project, it is becoming clear that the Open Compute Project is not standing still. (See Open Compute Project Takes on Networking.)

Related posts:

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
1/30/2014 | 11:38:12 PM
Re: Expanding the dance card
I have not heard anything about that, but it would make sense, right? Pica8 is also linux-based and has been preaching the same message of white-box networking. And if you're Dell and you decide to roll with this evolution, you won't just partner with one company and call it a day.
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/30/2014 | 10:55:10 AM
Expanding the dance card
Dan,

You say: "There is major potential here for Dell to partner and resell other network OS solutions, not just the Cumulus OS..." So just wondering if you know whether anything is going on in this area between Dell and Pica8?
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
1/30/2014 | 9:47:36 AM
More evidence of the breaking down of barriers
This is another example of how all the major players are facing a much tougher risk analysis challenge these days... and that goes for Dell as well as Cisco and all the other major equipment vendors.

No doubt this is a progressive step by Dell. 
Flash Poll
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
LRTV Custom TV
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at Mobile World Congress

4|1|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks to Heavy Reading about the value of virtualization spanning from the data center to service provider networks to mobile devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Analysts' Impressions of Huawei SoftCOM at ONS 2014

4|1|14   |   1:11   |   (0) comments


After visiting the Huawei booth at ONS, Lee Doyle of Doyle Research gives his appraisal of Huawei's SoftCOM solution.
Hot Topics
BlackBerry Invests in Healthcare IT Startup
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/15/2014
Volvo: AT&T HSPA+ Can Drive My Car
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/16/2014
T-Mobile Petitions Operators to Kill Overages
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Cisco & VMware Are Apple & Google of SDN
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/14/2014
Mobile Apps Susceptible to Heartbleed, Too
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed