Moving toward a software-defined data center with Open Networking

Arpit Joshipura

With the proliferation of virtualization throughout the data center with servers, storage and desktops, now is the time to tackle the last part – the network.

The software-defined data center of the future is coming and Dell’s Open Networking solutions will play a big part of the networking abstraction and automation.  We’re seeing three big disruptors happening right now within the market and we’re leading the way:

#1. When it comes to technology – open is better

Earlier this year we had talked about some of the exciting developments Dell is driving around open networking and our partnerships with Cumulus Networks® and Big Switch Networks.

Today we’re announcing Dell is working closely with VMware and Cumulus Networks to deliver VMware’s NSX network virtualization solution with Cumulus Linux on Dell networking switches to help service providers and large enterprises rapidly provision and manage physical and virtual networks and deploy new applications within minutes.

Learn more about the Dell-VMware-Cumulus Networks® announcement and read the solution brief “Unlocking the Open Networking Ecosystem” on the Open Networking wiki at Dell TechCenter.

#2. Software-defined or hardware-defined: where does the future data center reside?

At Dell we believe the future of IT is software defined where a software-defined data center extends across computing, storage and networking environments.  .

To ensure optimum choice for organizations we implemented this functionality in a hybrid approach where customers could choose which specific software-defined networking technology they felt met their needs the best – programmable, OpenFlow or NVO.

We also released our Active Fabric controller to help customers start their migration to SDN.

 #3. It’s nice when things just work well together

Customers today are looking to converged infrastructures to help them move away from siloed architectures and help centralize management, consolidate systems, increase resource-utilization rates and to lower costs.

Today Dell is announcing a broad range of innovative solutions that optimize and simplify management and productivity within mid-sized enterprise customers’ VMware environments.

This offering includes a jointly tested and validated reference architecture that will help customers create a logical framework above the physical infrastructure of the network and make a smoother transition to a software-defined data center.

Learn more about the Dell-VMware relationship and download the reference architecture “Network Virtualization with Dell Infrastructure and VMware NSX” at Also, read “The Dell and VMware converged infrastructure solution” solution brief on the Dell Networking and VMware wiki at Dell TechCenter.


It’s a very exciting time for Dell Networking as we continue helping customer realize their plans for an open and flexible architecture across their entire data center that is software-defined.  Stay tuned for future announcements and continue the conversation by following @DellNetworking on Twitter.

Open Networking and the Software Defined Data Center

About the Author: Arpit Joshipura