Prior to this week, the most influential company in the networking market so far in 2014 was arguably Elliott Management. Elliott – an activist investor –has been doing activist investor-type stuff impacting both Riverbed and Juniper. That all changed this week, sparked off by several announcements during Cisco Live in Milan including Cisco expanding its ACI solution beyond the data center to the campus and WAN – which should benefit Cisco customers in modernizing network operations activities.
However, perhaps the most interesting news item came from Dell and Cumulus who announced a partnership in which customers who purchase Dell ToR switches can choose between running Dell’s FTOS or Cumulus’ linux-based OS. So, in essence, you pick the switching hardware and OS independently – not unlike buying a physical server and getting to select between Linux, Windows etc. This disaggregated approach to networking hardware and software has been around for a few years, but only gained adoption in really large “webscale” environments. However, with a trusted mainstream IT vendor like Dell signing on, this announcement can extend this type of networking model to the mainstream, and could significantly disrupt the market…
You can see Gartner’s official take and read more about it here:
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