Open Network Featured Article

Dell EMC Aims to Disrupt Data Centers

October 12, 2017

Dell EMC (News - Alert) has unveiled two data center switches that are based on merchant silicon and aim to do work traditionally handled by routing solutions. The company also has introduced new software and SD-WAN offerings.

The switches are called the S4200-ON and S5048-ON.

The S4200-ON is a 10/100GbE solution designed for use in data center interconnect and top-of-rack applications. Dell (News - Alert) EMC says it’s two to three times less expensive to use this platform for interconnect applications as it is to use proprietary wide area routing platforms.

"Market segments are up for disruption as merchant silicon is now on feature parity with custom ASICs all the way through the core/router layer of the network," said Alan Weckel, founder and principal analyst, 650 Group, as quoted by Dell EMC. "It's very clear that the next big battle in networking will occur in the data center core between traditional switch and routing vendors at both a system level and a silicon level."

The buffers on the S4200-ON (News - Alert) are 500 times larger than those on standard Dell EMC 10/100GbE switching platforms. That allows it to handle a whole lot more East-West traffic. And it increases distributed application performance. So it’s a good match for virtualized environments.

This switching platform also features tables that are 15 times larger than those on the standard Dell EMC 10/100GbE switching platforms. And the fact that this platform offers a 10 time performance increase over standard Dell EMC top-of-rack platforms enables makes it a good match for big data applications.

As for the S5048-ON, that’s a S5048 25/100GbE switch for users that want to extend their current 10GbE environments. That works by replacing 10GbE network interface cards on the switch with 25GbE NICs. Users also can opt to upgrade to higher performing servers with native 25GbE capabilities, and connect to the S5048.

"With ever-increasing performance and capacity demands on their networks, 25GbE is quickly gaining momentum with customers," said Sameh Boujelbene, industry analyst at Dell'Oro Group. "We're expecting that the 25GbE adoption ramp will be faster than that of 10GbE."

Dell EMC this week also took the wraps off its OS10 Open Networking Enterprise Edition software with new SmartFabric Services. It was designed to automate and simplify data center fabric creation, deployment, and management in hyperconverged, private cloud, and storage environments. It can be employed to build and manage leaf-and-spine fabrics, to provide network state-aware automation for fabric scaling, to enable zero-touch provisioning, and to do topology validation and upgrade assistance.

As for the new SD-WAN offerings from Dell EMC, that includes three Ready Nodes. “These provide turnkey SD-WAN capabilities with pre-validated and pre-integrated solutions combining Dell EMC infrastructure with industry-leading SD-WAN software from Silver Peak SystemsVeloCloud Networks and Versa Networks,” Dell EMC explained. “Architected and tested to Dell EMC standards, these Ready Nodes enable customers to quickly deploy cost effective SD-WAN solutions and services.”

The SD-WAN Ready Nodes with Silver Peak (News - Alert) Systems and Versa Networks are available now. The software and switches, and the Dell EMC solution with the VeloCloud Networks SD-WAN Ready Bundle, are slated to become available starting later this quarter.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz