Dell networking enterprise solutions has inked a global partnership with intelligent network software company, IP Infusion, to increase its play in the software defined networking (SDN) space.
Dell networking enterprise solutions open networking global strategy director, Adnan Bhutta, told ARN the partnership was made to disrupt different layers of the datacentre. IP Infusion will bring Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) functionality on commodity silicon and Dell’s switching network.
“Essentially, we’re looking at the datacentre and we’re seeing there is in-rack switching, across rack switching, and RAM connectivity happening. So what we want to do is attack each of these areas, now that we have the flexibility to run different OSs on platforms.
“We believe that the world is moving quickly in this direction. The enterprise infrastructure, in general, is going through a change. The way people build infrastructure is changing so the channel has to reinvent itself,” he said.
According to Bhutta, the phenomena of public Cloud and the economics of building and managing infrastructure driven by it has forced the channel to rethink how it builds infrastructure.
He said there are three approaches to it – the traditional open floor approach, overlay technologies, and the aggregation of hardware and software, which gives customers the choice and the ability to run third party operating systems on Dell’s switching platforms.
“The main purpose of SDN is to enable the software bit of it and that’s what we’re aligned towards. It’s about bringing operational excellence to the customer. It’s about the application, not the hardware. Traditionally, everyone was happy with a silo-ed approach; now the software defined datacentre is becoming reality,” he stated.
Bhutta said moving forward, all of the company’s platforms from a datacentre standpoint, will support this aggregation.
“We are giving our customers the solution set across our entire datacentre product portfolio. They can then move from one operating system to the other depending on how they go down on this journey because SDN is not something that can happen overnight – customers have legacy applications and that will take time. The challenge is how to get there.”
Bhutta indicated that in order for broad adoption to happen, the industry go-to-market ecosystem has to get there, which presents opportunity for the channel.
“Traditional networking services have been very specific and prescriptive. They now have choices of four or five operating systems that they can build their practice on. So, there’s a lot of flexibility to differentiate and tailor solutions around these offerings,” he said.
As such, he also suggested the channel start building expertise in this space.
“It is time to take a look and this and see how you can move towards it, and at what pace you want to move towards this. If you’re a channel partner that’s dealing with traditional enterprise customers, it’s a different pace you will move at as compared to one that is dealing in the financial or federal government segments.
“From a willingness to adopt perspective, end customers are there; vendors are there; but the channel needs to catch up to it. We need that enablement piece to happen now,” he added.