Dell expands its open networking with VMware, Cumulus collaborations

The new Dell-VMware converged infrastructure solution is aimed at the mid-market, while the offering with Cumulus is targeted more at very large, Linux-savvy organizations.


Arpit Joshipura, Vice President of Product Marketing and Management at Dell Networking

Dell has announced two new solutions stemming from partnering arrangements around the software-defined data centre enabled by open networking. The first comes from an extension of its longtime relationship with VMware, which will deliver solutions to accelerate adoption of network virtualization and open networking in the software-defined data centre. It includes a new midmarket solution, backed by a joint go-to-market initiative, a validated reference architecture and a global reseller agreement. The second comes from a relationship with Cumulus Networks to deliver the VMware NSX network virtualization platform with Cumulus Linux on Dell Networking switches, in an offering aimed more at very large enterprises and service providers.

“The two solutions that we are announcing here complement each other,” said Arpit Joshipura, Vice President of Product Marketing and Management at Dell Networking. “We are taking VMware NSX support to the next level – where it’s validated, and available on Dell converged infrastructure. This is the industry’s first converged system with the NSX virtualized layer added to that.”

The Dell-VMware converged infrastructure solution is aimed at the mid-market. It features the VMware NSX network virtualization platform running on top of Dell servers, networking, and storage infrastructure. The servers include the Dell PowerEdge M1000e server blade chassis. The networking infrastructure includes the Dell Networking 10/40GbE MXL blade switch, S4810 Top of Rack switch and S6000 fabric switches, and the storage is Dell Storage iSCSI arrays. The solution is tested, validated and supported by Dell. Furthermore, to simplify deployment, Dell and VMware deliver a validated reference architecture.

“This is the first true end-to-end converged solution with a blue print for Dell servers, storage and networking along with VMware ESX and NSX software, so that the converged infrastructure now supports networked virtualization with NSX,” Joshipura said.

In addition, VMware NSX is now available worldwide through both Dell’s channel and through Dell direct.

The second preconfigured solution, available through Dell, and which combines VMware NSX with Cumulus Linux on Dell Networking switches, is aimed more at the service provider and large enterprise market.

“These are definitely for larger IT customers,” Joshipura said. “In particular, they are for organizations which have trained, Linux-savvy IT people to manage the switches.”

The open network’s holistic management allows security services to be provisioned in minutes without any constraints of physical network, and also enables a best of breed ecosystem with Innovation at each layer.

“This solution is able to get a lot of security features in,” Joshipura said. “It’s also something that they really want at the senior management level. A lot of departmental requests take months to do. This lets them make changes in minutes and hours, not months.”

Joshipura said the momentum to the software-defined network has been unstoppable.

“The only question is how to get there,” he said. “In the last couple years the market on SDN has been split, but we have now made it so much easier for customers to buy and deploy because Dell is a single point of contact.”

Joshipura acknowledged that the other OEMs are also pursuing their own software-defined network strategies, but thinks Dell has a slight advantage.

“Our approach here is more open than the more proprietary approaches from companies coming out of hardware,” he said. “I think we are a little bit ahead here.”

Both the VMware NSX running on Cumulus Linux solution and the converged infrastructure solution with VMware NSX are available for order beginning today.