SDN Technology

Dell Win Marks Open Networking Progress

Dell's open networking strategy is starting to pay dividends. The company today announced software-as-a-service provider Medallia as the first customer of its open networking solution with partner Cumulus Networks, and said it's hoping to announce carrier customers by the first half of 2015.

Tom Burns, vice president of Dell Networking, tells Light Reading that the company has made progress in the service provider sector, counting a cable MSO among its first trial wins for its open networking suite, and is "working toward the first half of next year with carrier announcements. The carriers are taking more time testing, whereas a company like Medallia is ready to go full force with an open networking strategy." (See Medallia Takes Open Path With Dell, Cumulus.)

For now, Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL) remains something of an outlier in the service provider and data center networking markets, but it has been attempting to separate itself from incumbent vendors by assertively taking the open networking path, forging pacts with other open networking specialists like Cumulus Networks and Big Switch Networks . (See Dell Opens Arms to Cumulus OS and Open Season: Dell Taps Into Big Switch.)

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Burns says Medallia has been a Dell computing customer, but not a networking customer. The provider of customer experience management solutions was eyeing Cumulus for its Linux-based network operating system when Dell stepped up to show Medallia how its top-of-rack switches would support the Cumulus OS.

Now, if those service providers would just step up the pace of their trials...

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

DHagar 10/10/2014 | 6:21:24 PM
Re: Dell Win Marks Open Networking Progress DOShea, interesting insights.  This looks like it will be interesting to watch the developments then.
DOShea 10/10/2014 | 4:56:17 PM
Re: Dell Win Marks Open Netowkring Progress Re: the earlier point about leveraging existing sales and relationships with existing computer and storage customers, Dell will definitely need to do that, as it did here, to prove itself while carriers take their time kicking the tires. Having said that, with Cisco and Juniper suffering a little right now, Dell might have the market opening it's been looking for.
DHagar 10/10/2014 | 2:37:09 PM
Re: Dell Win Marks Open Netowkring Progress danielcawrey, those are great points.

I agree and believe SDN and NFV will drive further changes and more open systems.  I think Dell is smart to move into that space; it may even be more important to their success in the long run.  They really have an opportunity to "carve" out a niche for themselves - they are good at that.

danielcawrey 10/10/2014 | 2:04:07 PM
Re: Dell Win Marks Open Networking Progress This is all part of why Dell went private. To be able to explain to shareholders why a foray into open networking is important would be a challenge.

But I think it makes sense: With SDN and NFV on the horizon, we're going to see a lot more open and flexible networks in the future. Dell may as well get involved early, which is right now. 
DHagar 10/8/2014 | 11:14:41 PM
Re: Dell Win Marks Open Networking Progress Dan, interesting news!  It makes sense that Dell could create even a possible secondary market from the fact that it is a major provider of computers.  If they move into the data center networks, they can just create a natural network from their existing sales?  As well as clearly establish themselves in the new open network markets. 

Note:  I am wondering if they might expand into SaaS as well as providing the open networks?

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