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Dell's new Linux challenge

Dell's new reseller agreement with Cumulus Networks will give other channels a new offering in open networking solutions. Cumulus, which has limited distribution in Europe, offers a first Linux operating system for bare-metal networking devices and Dell will support this in a new disaggregated networking model for its fixed-configuration switches.

Dominique Vanhamme, head of networking, Dell EMEA tells IT Europa: "The customers who could benefit the most from this Open Networking partnership are likely to be IT-advanced companies with Linux experience in the private and public cloud area, or are very large enterprises moving all pieces of their data centre to a private or public cloud environment. This includes cloud providers, financial and Web 2.0 companies."

"This announcement is also about offering choice and options. Open choices like FTOS Dell Operating System or Cumulus OS; Dell products or Dell designs with Cumulus Linux OS; network solutions with or without OS."

The choice is also open for customer to work with Dell partners or Dell direct, he says and at this stage, it has no plans to build a specific or specialised channel program around this offering.

Dell’s vision of the new data centre networking model is an open ecosystem in which customers can choose among various industry-standard networking gear, network applications and network operating systems to meet their business needs.

Dell and Cumulus Networks will offer high-capacity fabrics, aiming at good price-performance and rapid innovation, with simplified network automation. Dell brings its brand and networking expertise in pre- and post-sales scenarios including planning, deployment and support services.