How Will Dell Blend Its SDN Story with Nicira/NSX?

The big story of the last few weeks has been Dell’s $67B acquisition of EMC, and with it, VMware. This is big news for the industry—news that will have ramifications all over the software-defined data centre. One of the most interesting implications is how Dell will reconcile its own SDN strategy with VMware’s NSX vision. Do the two work together? VMware paid $1.2B for Nicira. With currently around 400 customers, as reported by VMware, and roughly one in four of those running in production, NSX is a relatively small but highly lucrative gem in the crown jewels of VMware. Dell will want to see something come from that aspect of this acquisition.

Since Dell acquired Force10 in 2011, it has had a stable of network offerings, though perhaps not with quite the clout of the more focused network vendors. Dell runs 3 to 5% of the switching market, depending on whom you ask. Dell gives those enterprises that want it a one-stop shop, with switch and router options at every level, from unmanaged modular switches to line-rate chassis switches right through the 40G and 100G space: options that rightly complement its server and storage offerings.

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