5 Things Partners Should Know About Dell EMC's Latest Virtual Networking Power Play

Dell EMC kicks off the Virtual Edge Platform line with the VEP 4600, which comes in at a $1,500 price point and is powered by the new Intel Xeon D2100 processor.

Living On The Edge

Dell EMC underlined its commitment to open networking and sought to strengthen its already prominent position in the red-hot market for software-defined WAN technology this week with the release of its Virtual Edge Platform.

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VEP is an x86-based universal virtual networking CPE designed to work with market-leading SD-WAN solutions and provide an alternative to proprietary hardware sold by competitors like Cisco Systems, executives said.

Dell EMC kicked off the VEP line with the VEP 4600, which comes in at a $1,500 price point and is powered by the new Intel Xeon D2100 processor. Dell EMC said the VEP 4600 is the first SD-WAN offering to connect the edge to the cloud via CPE using the D2100.

VEP is being launched as Dell Technologies' VMware VeloCloud business prepares for an all-out battle for SD-WAN supremacy with Cisco's' Viptela in a market projected to reach as much as $8 billion in the next couple of years.

Click through for five things solution providers should know about Dell EMC's new VEP.

Validated, Turnkey Offerings

As a way to help service providers get solutions to market faster and help enterprises simplify deployments, Dell EMC is rolling out three validated, turnkey SD-WAN offerings for the VEP 4600: VeloCloud, Silver Peak Systems and Versa Networks. All three can be pre-integrated with the VEP 4600 and come with infrastructure and support services.

Market Demands

The new platform comes as customers including service providers and large businesses try to come to terms with the changing economic realities ushered in by increasingly distributed and cloud-based applications. Dell EMC envisions VEP as infusing open networking into access networks and helping customers modernize infrastructure while automating processes that were time-consuming and labor-intensive.

Vital Stats

The VEP 4600 is built with network virtualization and software-defined architecture in mind. The x86-based architecture supports multiple, simultaneous virtual network functions. Dell EMC said "numerous" proprietary physical devices can be consolidated into a single CPE without sacrificing performance. The design of VEP allows for easy upgrades and service in the field. Intel's QuickAssist and Data Plane Development Kit help optimize compute resources and maximize efficiency.

Open Season

The VEP 4600 is an expansion of Dell EMC's open networking strategy, which is in clear competition with proprietary offerings from rival Cisco. The VEP platform offers performance, programmability and rapid delivery time, allowing customers to bring in new service requirements like routing, firewall and deep packet inspection. VEP allows customers to add new virtual network functions if needed.

Software Play

At the core of Dell EMC's commitment to open networking is the customer's ability to choose how it wants to build its systems. "One approach says you can do it if you buy all of my stuff, all of my hardware and all of my software," said Jeff Baher, Dell EMC senior director of technical and product marketing. "Ours if different. You can stay within the Dell Technologies family for a long way, or you can decide at different points to disaggregate and introduce capabilities from the ecosystem. The battle for the enterprise is ultimately through a software lens, both in the way you see it and the way you program it. It's a software play, and the question is do you want that inextricably tied to the hardware, or do you want to have some ability to mix and match?"