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Contributing Writer

Dell and Force 10: What it means

Jul 20, 20112 mins
Cisco SystemsData and Information SecurityData Center

Dell resources and Force 10 technology spices up the data center networking battle

When Dario Zamarian joined Dell last September, the rumor was that he was there to help Dell acquire a networking company. For once in our industry, rumor is reality. Today Dell announced its plans to acquire data center networking expert Force 10 Networks.Interesting choice. Early on Force 10 recognized the need for new types of Ethernet switching in the data center. For a while Force 10 was a Silicon Valley darling with an astronomical valuation. While prices came back to earth over the past few years, Force 10 continued to focus on the data center and innovate. Now that Dell has jumped in, the company will get the financial and field resources to take its game to the next level.Some additional quick thoughts on this deal:1. Look for Dell to trumpet Force 10’s distributed core architecture. Why? It’s somewhat unique and it fits Dell’s mantra of “start small and grow.” 2. Now that it has Force 10, Dell will likely be as aggressive against Cisco as HP has been. Dell can now go end-to-end in the data center.3. While Cisco is pushing FCoE as part of its converged infrastructure, look for Dell to get more aggressive around iSCSI as an alternative. Dell’s converged infrastructure should be especially attractive in the mid-market.4. Look for Dell to do more in L4-7 data center services. Most likely around network security. Fortinet? SonicWall? Hmm.5. As this deal is completed, Dell needs to figure out what it will do with its Brocade and Juniper partnerships. Do these go away? Are they used in special cases? The market needs clarity. Dell should also rally the Perot folks for some strong professional services around data center networking. Large end users need help here.Dario is the visible networking persona but Dell has also built a strong networking team in Round Rock and across the globe. If Dell gets its Force 10 messaging and positioning right, Dario’s team will be ready to hit the ground running when the deal closes.

Contributing Writer

Jon Oltsik is a distinguished analyst, fellow, and the founder of the ESG’s cybersecurity service. With over 35 years of technology industry experience, Jon is widely recognized as an expert in all aspects of cybersecurity and is often called upon to help customers understand a CISO's perspective and strategies. Jon focuses on areas such as cyber-risk management, security operations, and all things related to CISOs.

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