Menu
Dell to bundle Cumulus Linux network OS

Dell to bundle Cumulus Linux network OS

Dell this week said it would resell start-up Cumulus Networks' Linux operating system in an effort to broaden the appeal of its fixed-configuration switches.

Dell said it would incorporate Cumulus' Linux network operating system for bare metal hardware with its S6000 and S4810 top-of-rack switches. The company said it was doing so to offer more choice for cloud providers and Web 2.0 companies beyond Dell's FTOS-based switches and routers.

"It's an opportunity for incremental accounts moving away from traditional networking," says Tom Burns, vice president and general manager of Dell Networking. "We are looking at various options and models to offer choice."

+MORE ON NETWORK WORLD: Dell dives deeper into SDN with new hardware and software +

Burns says the Cumulus Linux-based switches from Dell would cost 20% to 25% lower than the list price of FTOS-based switches.

Dell and Cumulus have an exclusivity period with their arrangement before they can recruit other operating system and hardware partners, respectively, the companies say.

Dell says the arrangement is intended to address the changing dynamics of data center networking, in which software-defined networking, virtual machine mobility, shifting traffic patterns to east/west from north/south, resource pooling and the need for server-like automation are driving cloud and Web 2.0 providers to implement Ethernet fabric-based switching based on a variety of hardware, and application and operating system software. Much of this demand is being met with bare metal or whitebox switches running open source applications and operating systems.

Traditionally, networking purchases required hardware, software and operating system procurements from the same vendor.

"You can run whatever software on any IT component except networking," says JR Rivers, CEO and co-founder of Cumulus Networks.

Opening up Dell's switches with a Linux operating system will also allow customers to avail themselves of the community of Linux-based open source applications, Dell says.

Whatever sales revenue is lost on Dell's own vanity switches and FTOS operating system can be made up in providing pre- and post-sales service and support, and follow on server and software sales, says Lee Doyle, principal analyst at Doyle Research.

"Whitebox is in the early stage of development," Doyle says. "It takes some bleeding edge expertise to implement it. Dell is offering a nice, warm security blanket."

Dell expects to begin offering switches with Cumulus Linux in the second quarter.

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 27 years, 22 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.

Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags operating systemsDellsoftwareEthernet SwitchLAN & WAN

Featured

Slideshows

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments