Disrupting the Network Together: Dell and VMware

This post is co-authored by Tom Gillis, SVP and GM, VMware Networking & Security.

Many years ago, Dell upended the PC industry with its direct-to-consumer model, before extending its disruption into enterprise IT. VMware revolutionized the industry with the introduction of the virtual machine, and soon after, hypervisors. Along our parallel timelines of innovation, we took that disruption to the network—VMware with NSX, Dell with Open Networking.

Dell and VMware continue to disrupt, only now, we’re doing it together. Earlier this year at Dell Technologies World we announced close collaboration between Dell and VMware at the edge, the core and in the cloud with closely integrated solutions to help customers embrace transformation across their organizations. Well, we were not finished and continued expanding this partnership with even more exciting solutions to help customers continue to modernize their networks for the cloud era.

At VMworld 2019 we highlighted the now-shipping Dell SD-WAN Edge powered by VMware. This is much more than just an appliance. With this comprehensive offering you get Dell virtual cloud orchestration, a worldwide network of virtual cloud gateways and networking optimized hardware, powered by VMware’s industry-leading SD-WAN software. We’ve been working together for over a year to develop and optimize this edge access platform for the evolving bandwidth and management needs of customers living in a hybrid-cloud world. Sold, deployed and supported by Dell, we offer customers a simple one-stop solution that will take the complexity out of the WAN and modernize the network edge.

Also at VMworld, Dell and VMware announced SmartFabric Director, the industry’s only fabric management platform developed by VMware and Dell for core data centers. This extends our shared vision of a software-defined data center by simplifying the definition, creation and deployment of data center fabrics with intent-based auto-provisioning. SmartFabric Director tightly integrates with VMware vSphere and NSX-T to ensure the physical underlay fabric is correctly provisioned for the smooth functioning of application workloads in a VMware overlay environment. This is important for organizations that have embraced software-defined networking and are looking to ensure their physical underlay networks are finely tuned for that overlay environment.

Powerful stuff, and it’s only the beginning—in future releases, expect to see even more features, like the ability to intelligently auto-discover applications, monitor and remediate hot spots and congestion across virtual and physical networks, and allow SmartFabric Director to be agnostic to the NOS, including support for the open-source SONiC (Software for Open Networking in the Cloud).

For a quick and informative overview take a look at this ESG Labs First Look video:

We talked about the edge and core. What about the cloud? Well, we continue to work together to strengthen our Dell Technologies Cloud platform with the most powerful, simple and flexible networking solutions available. Dell PowerSwitch, SmartFabric Services and VMware Virtual Cloud Network solutions are raising the stakes when it comes to network automation, management, virtualization, security and much more. And we’re just getting started—together, Dell and VMware are not just transforming customers’ IT, we’re also disrupting the entire industry. And there is a lot more innovation ahead.

For more information check out Dell.com/Networking and vmware.com/products/networking-and-security.


About the co-author

Tom Gillis is the SVP/GM of the Network and Security Business Unit at VMware. Tom’s background gives him a keen understanding about the direction of cloud, security and enterprise computing, making him an ideal leader to drive VMware’s networking and security strategy. Prior to joining VMware, Tom Gillis was CEO of Bracket Computing, a company he founded in December 2011. Gillis started Bracket with a vision to re-imagine enterprise computing. Before starting Bracket, Gillis was VP/GM of the Security Technology Group at Cisco Systems. This Technology Group included the business units responsible for Cisco’s entire Network and Content Security product portfolio, including firewalls, IPS, VPN, and email security and web security gateways. Prior to Cisco, Tom was VP of Marketing and part of the founding team of IronPort Systems which was acquired by Cisco in 2007. Before that, he held the position of VP/GM at iBEAM Broadcasting, an Internet startup that went public on NASDAQ. He has also worked at Silicon Graphics, the Boston Consulting Group, and Raytheon Corporation. Gillis received a BSEE from Tufts, an MSEE from Northwestern, and an MBA from Harvard.

About the Author: Tom Burns