Big Switch Networks inked an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement with Dell EMC for Big Switch’s SDN products. The two companies already partnered on Dell EMC’s open networking product line, and the new OEM agreement aims to deepen that collaboration while taking market share from proprietary vendors like Cisco and Arista.
Open networking revenue (excluding hyperscalers) is expected to reach $1.35 billion by 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of 33% between 2019 and 2023, according to the 650 Group.
“Open networking, when you look at the market, is obviously the fastest growing part of networking,” said Douglas Murray, president and CEO of Big Switch Networks, adding that his company is growing at a rate of 80% to 100% annually. “I believe this continues to be quite eye opening for the incumbents, seeing that this is really starting to take hold in the market.”
Big Switch and Dell EMC first teamed up in 2014, “in the early days of Dell EMC positioning ‘open networking’ as a category they were trying to promote,” Murray said. “We were one of the early adopters of that.”
Big Switch’s SDN-based products support around 100 switch platforms. The software-only company calls these products its “cloud-first” networking portfolio because they aim to bring the best of public cloud (elasticity, speed, and cost savings) to customers’ data centers, and then also extend these same networking and monitoring tools across hybrid cloud environments.
“As people move to hybrid cloud, it’s very clear you want to adopt open networking so you have flexibility and choice relative to the software stack on prem and in the cloud,” Murray said.
With this OEM agreement, Dell EMC will now sell Big Switch’s products under the Dell EMC brand. This includes Big Cloud Fabric (BCF), a VPC-based logical networking fabric; Big Monitoring Fabric (BMF), a network visibility fabric; and Multi-Cloud Director, which provides federated management of multi-site BCF and BMF deployments, across public, private, or multi-cloud environments.
The new agreement will make product delivery and support easier from a customer perspective, and also push more Big Switch software into big companies’ data centers, Murray said. “When we sell to our Fortune 1000 customer base, many do have brand preferences,” he said. “So being able to sell through a very large company like Dell EMC helps mitigate the perceived risk of working with a younger company.”
Also under the OEM agreement, Big Switch and Dell EMC will work together to design Dell Ready Stack solutions — these are the vendor’s validated designs that allow customers to build their own converged and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) for their data centers with their choice of storage, server, networking, and data protection options. These validated designs include Dell EMC open networking switch hardware and Big Switch’s Big Cloud Fabric software.