Dell plans to offer Big Switch’s Switch Light network operating systems in its Ethernet Switches such as the S4810 and S6000 models. It will also roll out this service to controller applications such as the Big Tap Monitoring products. This agreement follows on from Dell’s arrangement with Cumulus Networks to bundle Cumulus’ Linux OS on Dell S6000 and S4810 top-of-rack switches.
By adding third-party networking software to its switch hardware, Dell believes the value of the products will increase and provide the end users with a more versatile and adaptable platform. Dell Founder and CEO Michael Dell has said “we’re all about making technology more affordable, more acceptable to hundreds of millions of customers out there in the world.” He added that “we have a big opportunity here to change the way the data centre is installed, and it’s absolutely in our DNA. We were the first to embrace Linux, we were the first to embrace OpenStack, and we’re jumping into the open networking space here very rapidly. Any time something comes along that’s good for customers, standing in the way of it is never a good idea.”
By providing additional data beyond the stripped down, bare metal box hardware associated with SDN’s, Dell hopes it can add extra value to its products and services. The company also believes that a “single point of contact and accountability for global services will be a key differentiator, as will pre- and post-sales network planning, deployment and support services”.