Expanding Open Networking to Handle Digital Transformation

Since launching Open Networking almost four years ago, we have continuously looked for ways to innovate and support our customers to meet the ever evolving demands of Digital Transformation.

We believed then that our vision for the new data center networking model using open source and open standards presented simply better choices for some of our customers. And we still believe that now.

Today, I’m excited to share we are continuing to deliver on those commitments through several Networking and Service Provider solutions announcements ready to deliver open, flexible architectures.

As we’ve started to see in the industry, certain market segments are set for disruption as merchant silicon is now on par with custom ASICS through the core/router layer of the networking. In fact, some market forecasts state it could be a $3.8 billion dollar market by 2018.

To take advantage of this massive opportunity, today we announced the Dell EMC S4200-ON switch based on merchant silicon. This product delivers 500 times larger buffers and 15 times larger table size than a typical 10/100Gb data center switching platform.

For our customers with high performance computing environments, we’ve seen two to three times performance increase compared to standard top-of-rack platforms. Additionally, our customers will be able to recognize cost savings of two to three times with interconnect applications in comparison to traditional wide area routing platforms.

End-to-end across Dell Technologies we strive to offer our customers the ability to adopt and adapt to emerging technologies as quickly as possible. No customer is the same, and to allow our customers’ to be the best in their industries we need to enable choice in the ways we offer them access to the latest technology.

As we’ve seen in the industry, 25GbE data center adoption is quickly on the rise and industry experts predict it could even have an adoption rate faster than 10GbE. To make sure our customers are prepared for these technology changes, in the approach that best fits their needs, we’ve introduced two new adoption paths.  

  • The first upgrade path leverages the new Dell EMC Networking S5048 25/100GbE switch and is intended for customers looking to extend their current 10GbE environments while having the built-in capability to move to 25GbE when performance dictates. Customers simply upgrade service NICs from 10GbE to 25GbE when ready, or upgrade to higher performing servers with native 25GbE capabilities, and connect to the 25GbE-ready S5048.
  • The second is intended for customers seeking maximum compute and network performance. It combines Dell EMC PowerEdge 14G servers, 25GbE NICs and the recently introduced OS10-based S5148 switch. While also backward compatible to 10GbE, the S5148 switch combined with OS10 Enterprise Edition provides leading edge fabric and automation capabilities for private cloud environments.

We hear it from customers all the time – they are constantly asked to do more, but with less resources. This is why automation is one of the most critical features we can offer in our programs and solutions and why I’m so excited about version 10.4 of our OS10 Enterprise Edition to now include SmartFabric Services.

These services will have an autonomous fabric service capability which will allow customers to build and manage fabric deployment at any scale. It also showcases our continued progress with OS10 which we’ve specifically tested with other Dell EMC technology, such as our storage portfolio, to offer our customers’ an end-to-end solution from a single vendor.

  • SmartFabric Turnkey Solutions – the ability to plug and play a fabric deployment by simply connecting swiches in fabric mode
  • SmartFabric Automation – add additional leaf switches, detect misconfigurations or link-level failures and automatically heal them
  • SmartFabric Vision – a single pane of glass management feature and interoperable with 3rd party switches
  • SmartFabric Lifecycle Management – the capability to have fabric level firmware upgrades, with automated or applied roll back to the last well-known state, if needed

Finally, we also announced three new ready nodes to simplify SD-WAN capabilities for our customers. These ready nodes have two applications, an Enterprise SD-WAN, which can be categorized as a “do-it-yourself” overlay solution and a Service Provider SD-WAN, which targets cloud managed SD-WAN services. These pre-validated solutions integrate our Dell EMC infrastructure with industry leading SD-WAN capabilities such as Silver Peak, VeloCloud and Versa Networks.

The industry expects that Digital Transformation will be the most significant driver of SD-WAN growth over the next five years. According to IDC’s latest forecast, the firm estimates that worldwide SD-WAN infrastructure and services revenues will see a compound annual growth rate of 69.6% and reach $8.05 billion in 2021.1 Stay tuned as we are committed to innovating in this space and will have more to share soon.

As Digital Transformation continues well into the future, we will continually strive to out-innovate the competition, deliver disruption, and above all – lead with a customer first mindset in everything we do.


  1. IDC, Worldwide SD-WAN Forecast, 2017–2021, Doc #US42904317, Jul 2017

About the Author: Tom Burns