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Pluribus Networks Partners with Dell to Accelerate Adoption of SDN in the Cloud

June 11, 2015

Palo Alto, Calif.-based  open source software-defined networking (SDN) operating systems (OS) provider Pluribus Networks has announced an agreement to port and support Pluribus Open Netvisor Linux operating system onto Dell’s family of Open Networking (ONIE compatible) 10G/40G switches including the S6000-ON and S4048-ON.

For those not familiar, the Pluribus Open Netvisor Linux solution as the company notes, “combines the benefits of Linux with a plug-and-play, application-aware fabric, advanced network flow programming and embedded analytics and visibility capabilities.”

As with almost all vendors in the data center arena these days, the push is to embrace open source solutions. The reasons are based on the wisdom of two crowds— customers demanding no more vendor lock-ins, and the size and speed of innovation of the open source developer community.  Dell like other major vendors has given openness a strong hug.

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 “Dell wants to fundamentally change the nature of networking by focusing on openness and the disaggregation of hardware and software. With this announcement, we are expanding the Dell open networking ecosystem, showing how multiple operating systems can now offer our customers choices that complement our open hardware solutions and are flexible enough to adapt to our customers’ requirements,” said Tom Burns, vice president and general manager, Dell Networking and Converged Infrastructure.

The combination of Pluribus and Dell capabilities

As the partners are promoting, Pluribus Open Netvisor Linux on Dell’s Open Networking hardware provides cloud providers, “best-in-class hardware switching economics with a scalable, highly available, distributed SDN controller architecture designed for visibility, security and dramatic operational simplification.”   How this is accomplished is via  Open Netvisor Linux’s interoperability with the Layer 2 and IP/BGP infrastructure already in place. In fact, as Pluribus Networks points out, this includes all of the familiar standard management interfaces with the addition of Linux-based Development Operations (DevOps) tools.

“With this combination of Pluribus and Dell, we are demonstrating that the value of SDN goes far beyond disaggregation of hardware and software alone. Cloud providers need security, monitoring and virtualization built in at the architectural level to enable them to compete with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other hyperscale cloud providers, and that is exactly what we are delivering with Pluribus Open Netvisor Linux running on Dell’s line of OCP-compliant open networking hardware. Together, we are changing the game!” said Kumar Srikantan, president and CEO of Pluribus Networks.

"Traditional networking consumption models are in the midst of significant change, so collaborations like the one between Dell and Pluribus Networks bring innovative network integrators like ACP the kind of flexibility needed to meet a wide variety of emerging customer needs. We see this as a powerful play given Dell's wide-reaching customer base in the data center, and the highly disruptive and innovative capabilities that Pluribus' Open Netvisor Linux brings to the open networking marketplace” said Tom Turkot, Vice President of Client Solutions for Arlington Computer Products.

The context for the combination was cited as the recent Gartner Group report (Is Brite-Box Switching Right for Your Network?, Andrew Lerner, Joe Skorupa, 23 February, 2015) which predicted that “by 2018 combined white-box and brite-box switches will constitute more than 10 percent of global data center port shipments, up from under 6 percent in the first half of 2014.”  While this may seem to be a modest market share gain on a percentage basis, reality is this is a substantial gain given the total number of ports shipped in any given year and the fact that the market is growing robustly.

Pricing and packaging details for Pluribus Open Netvisor Linux on Dell’s Open Networking switches will be available in Q3 CY2015.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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