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SDN Journal Authors: Stefan Dietrich, Elizabeth White, Peter Silva, Pat Romanski, Don MacVittie

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Dell and VMware Collaborate to Deliver VMware NSX Solutions for the Software-Defined Data Center Enabled by Open Networking

Dell and VMware, Inc. today announced the companies are extending a longstanding relationship to deliver solutions that will accelerate adoption of network virtualization and open networking in the software-defined data center. The expanded relationship includes a range of new networking solutions for midmarket, large enterprise and service provider customers, backed by a joint go-to-market initiative, a validated reference architecture and a global reseller agreement.

Dell and VMware are working with Cumulus Networks® to deliver the VMware NSX network virtualization platform with Cumulus® Linux® on Dell Networking switches. Additionally, Dell is delivering a fully-tested and validated converged infrastructure solution for midmarket customers that includes VMware NSX.

VMware NSX is on the Dell price list today, and is currently available directly from Dell and Dell channel partners for purchase and deployment. Dell and VMware have partnered to train the Dell field, with thousands of representatives already completing initial VMware NSX training. Dell and VMware have also completed a validated reference architecture for the combined Dell and VMware networking solution.

Advancing the Era of Open Networking

Dell, VMware and Cumulus Networks are delivering a pre-configured solution, available from Dell, that combines VMware NSX with Cumulus Linux on Dell Networking switches. This combined solution will help enterprises and service providers achieve holistic management and provisioning of the complete data center networking environment, physical and virtual, and accelerate deployment of new applications while simplifying IT operations. The companies expect customers to achieve the following benefits:

  • Transition rigid, proprietary networking solutions to flexible, open, simple and agile networking with compelling economics;
  • Speed network and service provisioning time to accelerate application deployment time;
  • Leverage network virtualization, isolation and segmentation to Implement application and client multi-tenancy;
  • Connect physical workloads with virtual networks;
  • Improve performance and quality-of-service by automatically detecting and isolating application-specific flows (known in networking as elephant and mice flows);
  • Deliver micro-segmentation to embed security into data center constructs.

Converged Solutions for Midmarket Businesses

Companies with limited IT staff and budget are looking for simple, integrated and validated architectures. Dell and VMware have teamed to provide a converged infrastructure solution to meet these requirements.

The solution features the VMware NSX network virtualization platform running on top of reliable Dell servers, networking, and storage infrastructure. Dell’s converged infrastructure includes the Dell PowerEdge M1000e server blade chassis, the Dell Networking 10/40GbE MXL blade switch, S4810 Top of Rack switch and S6000 fabric switches, as well as Dell Storage iSCSI arrays. The solution is tested, validated and supported by Dell, providing customers a single trusted partner that can streamline procurement and services. To simplify deployment, Dell and VMware deliver a validated reference architecture.

Supporting Quotes

  • “Dell is changing the game in networking with VMware and Cumulus Networks,” said Marius Haas, chief commercial officer and president, Enterprise Solutions. “This announcement extends our commitment to providing customers choice in how they move to a more software-defined data center. Additionally, when two of the largest enterprise IT leaders come together, such as VMware and Dell, to provide the most open, automated and comprehensive solutions - that have been fully-tested and validated - the customer wins. And that is what Dell is all about.”
  • “Global organizations are adopting the software-defined data center as an open, agile, secure and efficient architecture to simplify IT and transition to the hybrid cloud,” said Raghu Raghuram, executive vice president, SDDC Division, VMware. “The software-defined data center enables open innovation at speeds that cannot be matched in the hardware-defined world. As partners, VMware and Dell are committed to advancing networking in the SDDC, and are collaborating to make the next-generation of advanced network virtualization available to our mutual customers.”
  • "It's exciting to help customers realize the data center efficiencies pioneered by the largest operators in the world," said JR Rivers, co-founder and CEO of Cumulus Networks. "Dell, VMware and Cumulus Networks allow organizations of all sizes to deploy qualified solutions as they modernize; driving to faster, easier, and more affordable data centers.”
  • “For network virtualization to reach broadly into all addressable enterprise markets – from the largest enterprises to mid-size companies – it is essential that a strong vendor ecosystem deliver complete solutions that can be easily procured, deployed, managed, and supported,” said Brad Casemore, research director, Datacenter Networks, IDC. “Dell, VMware, and Cumulus Networks clearly see significant opportunity to provide a wide range of architectural options, from network disaggregation to converged infrastructure.”
  • “The Dell collaboration brings a potentially important vendor to VMware’s NSX because of Dell’s Open Networking initiative with the integration of Cumulus Linux software as well as for converged infrastructure,” said Peter Christy, Network Research Director for 451 Research. “Dell uniquely combines the benefits of a global IT technology provider with a leading edge network business strategy that embraces SDN and Open Networking, as well as having a complementary converged infrastructure platform offering.”


Both the VMware NSX running on Cumulus Linux solution and the converged infrastructure solution with VMware NSX are available for order beginning today.

Additional Information:

About Dell

Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit

About VMware

VMware (NYSE: VMW) is the leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions that enable businesses to thrive in the Cloud Era. Customers rely on VMware to help them transform the way they build, deliver and consume Information Technology resources in a manner that is evolutionary and based on their specific needs. With 2013 revenues of $5.21 billion, VMware has more than 500,000 customers and 75,000 partners. The company is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the world and can be found online at

About Cumulus Networks

Cumulus Networks is bringing the Linux revolution to networking. Founded by veteran networking engineers from Cisco and VMware, Cumulus Networks makes the first Linux operating system for networking hardware and fills a critical gap in realizing the true promise of the software-defined data center. Just as Linux completely transformed the economics and innovation on the server side of the data center, Cumulus Linux is doing the same for the network. It is radically reducing the costs and complexities of operating modern data center networks for service providers and enterprises. Cumulus Networks has received venture funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Peter Wagner and four of the original VMware founders. For more information visit or follow @cumulusnetworks.

VMware, VMware NSX are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies. The use of the word “partner” or “partnership” does not imply a legal partnership relationship between VMware and any other company.

CUMULUS, the Cumulus Logo, CUMULUS NETWORKS, and the Rocket Turtle Logo (the “Marks”) are trademarks and service marks of Cumulus Networks, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. You are not permitted to use the Marks without the prior written consent of Cumulus Networks. The registered trademark Linux® is used pursuant to a sublicense from LMI, the exclusive licensee of Linus Torvalds, owner of the mark on a world-wide basis. All other marks are used under fair use or license from their respective owners.

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