New Dell Switches Target Campuses, Data Centers -- And Take Aim At The Competition

Dell is releasing new switches aimed at campuses and data centers, touting them as adding greater simplicity, flexibility and value than competing switches.

The new releases include the Dell Networking C9010 Network Director switch and the C1048 P Rapid Access Node for campuses, which will be available in October. Also part of the lineup is the Dell Networking S6100-ON data center switch designed for virtualization, cloud and big data analytics. It will be available in the first quarter of next year.

Dell Networking Product Manager Sean Michaud told CRN that compared with offerings from Cisco Systems, the new Dell switches are more scalable and affordable.

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Dell also will allow customers currently running Dell's widely used N-series switches the option to license and download the new campus switching software right into their N-series gear.

"That's a typical difference [between Dell and Cisco]," Michaud said. "A new Cisco solution would be more toward rip-and-replace, and we're focusing on allowing customers to update. We're trying to address the larger share of the cost compared to competitors."

Cisco, San Jose, Calif., declined to comment.

Still, partners said that while Dell appears to be making strides in networking, taking on the likes of Cisco is no simple task.

"It helps [Dell] round out their enterprise portfolio," Stephen Monteros, vice president of business development and strategy at Ontario, Calif.-based Dell and Cisco partner Sigmanet, told CRN about the new products. "They're making all the right moves around networking and data center, but they are entering a space with a lot of strong competitors, like Cisco and Juniper."

The introduction of the campus networking products coincides with a new unified campus networking architecture designed to be more scalable and easier to manage. Dell said the new architecture provides a single management view for the entire campus, as well as a single point of control for provisioning of policies, software upgrades and quality of service.

Michaud said the new products will help Round Rock, Texas-based Dell prevent its networking gear from being displaced by competitors, and give customers good reason to displace competing products.

"We look at the total solution vs. what's out there," Michaud said. "It's more scalable and more designed for campus. It's more future-ready in that sense, if I’m comparing to Cisco."


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