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Dell SDN-ready fabric to fast-track Malaysian companies on virtualisation, cloud path

AvantiKumar | Aug. 19, 2013
Dell Malaysia's commercial business GM KT Ong says the new networking additions offer data centre fabric designs at lower cost.

Dell - KT Ong, GM, Commercial Business, Dell Sales Malaysia modified 

Photo - KT Ong, GM, Commercial Business, Dell Malaysia.


Computer firm Dell Malaysia has announced new SDN-enabled fabric solutions to help Malaysian companies move faster along the path of virtualisaton and cloud adoption by offering data centre fabric architectures at lower costs than before.

New software-defined (SDN) networking capabilities delivered by Dell Networking Active Fabric products are cheaper than traditional architectures, said Dell Malaysia general manager, commercial business, KT Ong.

These new additions to the company's networking portfolio also includes next-generation management software - Dell Active Fabric Manager - and the Dell Networking S5000 modular LAN/SAN switching platform, said Ong.

The new Dell Active Fabric manager uses a graphical user interface, single-pane-of-glass planning, configuration, management and monitoring, which reduce design and deployment times by up to 86 percent compared to manual processes, he said.

The Dell Networking S5000 converged LAN/SAN platform is Dell's first 1U modular, top-of-rack switch providing pay-as-you-grow Ethernet and Fibre Channel connectivity, added Ong.

These products will help local organisations to accelerate their moves to high performance converged, virtualised and private cloud environments, he said.

Transformative aspects

Ong said several factors in today's data centres have operators considering new and different network architectures beyond the traditional three-tier, monolithic systems of the past.

Factors include: Virtualisation and new workloads changing the network traffic patterns and demands; SD and the promise of network programmability; convergence of formerly distinct technology silos; and input/output consolidation with migration to 10GbE server platforms.

These dynamics present CIOs not just architectural challenges but also budgetary and operational considerations, he said. Industry analysts at Gartner cite these transformative aspects in its inaugural Magic Quadrant for Data Centre Network Infrastructure [February 2013], which includes the statement. "The data centre network market has been transformed with new architectures, new technologies and vendors specifically targeting solutions to address the changing size and density of the data centre, shifts in traffic patterns, and the increasing requirement to simplify network operations."

He cited Gartner's Rightsizing the Enterprise Data Centre Network report [March 2013], "Newer small form factor core devices can enable network managers to reduce capital costs by 30 percent to 70 percent, and save 30 percent or more on operations expenses, compared with chassis-based switches."

Based on March 2013 internal Dell lab results using industry standard network design criteria, comparing Dell S4810 and Z9000 switches to traditional chassis-based network designs Cisco Nexus 7000 and 5000 series switches, Dell Active Fabric solutions provide up to 59 percent cost savings and consume up to 77 percent less power.

In addition, Ong said, SDN is a logical extension to the enhanced network flexibility Dell Active Fabric solutions provide. The software abstraction layer that SDN delivers is designed to allow open programmability, which makes infrastructure flexible and adaptable to different customer environments. 

He said Dell is the one of the only vendors to offer a 'complete and unbiased approach to SDN encompassing networking virtualisation overlays (NVO), OpenFlow and legacy interface capabilities.

- Dell Active Fabric supports NVOs using the leading hypervisors from Microsoft, VMware and OpenStack.
- Dell Active Fabric supports Open Flow-based controllers from leading vendors including Big Switch Networks.
- Dell Active Fabric also supports legacy programmatic interfaces including Telnet/CLI, TCL, REST, SNMP, Perl and Python scripting

Challenging conventional wisdom

"We're challenging conventional wisdom with new products and solutions designed to accelerate our customers' migration to virtualised and cloud data centre environments," said Ong. "We're excited about these new offerings and their ability to simplify operations, boost performance and improve economics."

"Networking professionals need solutions that solve real business problems today, and SDN, while very promising, is still very nascent," said research firm Enterprise Strategy Group senior analyst of IT infrastructure and networking, Bob Laliberte.

"Dell Networking is expanding its product line to introduce offerings into the market that tackle today's immediate needs while enabling organisations to take advantage of future developments," said Laliberte.

Dell 10G and 40G Active Fabric solutions, Dell Active Fabric Manager v1.5 and Dell Networking S5000 are available now from Dell and its global PartnerDirect channel partners.


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