The Future of Networking with Tom Burns, VP and GM Dell Networking

Noted music artist and author Robert Fritz once wrote “If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.”  It was with this common belief of choice that Dell and others entered the PC revolution allowing customers to pick and choose between x86 hardware platforms and various PC operating systems.  This was a major shift from existing mainframe and mini-computer thinking where proprietary systems were common and choices were limited.

Dell is again leading the revolution against monolithic, proprietary systems, but this time it is in the data center network switching arena.  As in the earlier days of computing, many of todays established networking vendors only offer closed and proprietary devices and forklift upgrades when adopting newer technology. 

In a series of short videos, Tom Burns VP and GM of Dell Networking recently discussed the future strategy of Networking with Patrick Moorhead Founder and Principal Analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy.  The first video discusses Where Dell Networking is Headed and how Dell is focused on our customers and the challenges they are facing with new applications and workloads within their data centers.  Tom talks about his mission of helping customers transition from traditional IT toward what Dell is calling a Future-Ready Enterprise.  An enterprise organization that can adapt to changing needs dynamically with a large component being Dell Networking’s market-leading Open Networking offerings.

The dynamics of data centers is changing with trends like rapid adoption of cloud technologies and a shift toward Linux and open source systems and applications.  All of this revolves around the data center network infrastructure which serves as the major highway connecting together all of the servers and storage systems both physically and virtually.  The second video discusses how Customers are Demanding Choice and Dell is Delivering.  With the initial launch of Open Networking over a year ago, Dell now offers the broadest set of choice for 3rd party software offerings and hardware platforms ranging from 1GbE to 100GbE.  As a result Dell Networking was recently called “The most-innovative and most-disruptive mainstream data center networking vendor in the market over the last 12 months” by Gartner and placed furthest to the right on the visionary scale in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Networking report.

The next video discusses recent statements whether White Box is Dead are true or not.   Here Tom discusses with Patrick his belief that white box shipments are increasing and it’s based on customer needs for changing technology and solutions.  He also mentions how bare metal isn’t an adequate term for open networking switches as the hardware technology plays a critical role in scalability, performance, power, cooling and tight integration with 3rd party software and applications.

Continuing on the topic of choice in open networking, in the fourth video Tom talks about Dell’s Comprehensive Approach to SDN and Customer Choice.  He again reaffirms his strategic vision of helping Dell customers manage new applications and workloads through new services like Public/Private clouds.  He outlines his belief that the path toward Software Defined Networks (SDN) should be based on giving customers choice between programmability, OpenFlow and Hypervisors and how Dell offers this choice in all of its network switch offerings today.

In summary, the push for change and the continued introduction of new applications and workloads within data centers is a given.  Customers are looking for open, non-proprietary solutions that will help them be nimble and innovative in meeting the challenges they will face.  Dell Networking is leading the way with our Open Networking strategy and helping customers transition to the Future-Ready Enterprise.

The full length video of these interviews between Tom and Patrick can be found at Future of Networking -Tom Burns, May 26, 2015.

About the Author: Don Root

Don Root was formerly part of Networking Product Marketing group for Dell Technologies.