The reseller agreement comes with an announcement that the companies finished interoperability tests using OpenFlow to connect ProgrammableFlow with Dell’s S-Series switches. Dell is marketing the combination as an SDN-based Ethernet fabric.
It’s part of the same strategy that had Dell upgrading itself to platinum member status with the OpenDaylight Project earlier this week. “They’re very aggressively going after the open networking model,” said Don Clark, a director of business development for NEC, during an interview at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress.
Potentially, the Dell partnership gives ProgrammableFlow a stronger avenue toward North American sales. As you might expect, NEC’s strongest SDN market remains its native Japan.
It’s one of a few SDN-related moves NEC is making this week.
NEC is also lowering the price of the ProgrammableFlow controller, so that an entry-level license can be had for $3,000. The previous “entry” price was for a cluster configuration and it ran $150,000.
Yeah, that’s a pretty big drop. There are a couple of things going on here. First, NEC did indeed lower the price of the controller. Exactly how much is uncertain, but it seems it’s a lot.
But the $3,000 price also reflects a smaller deployment of SDN than NEC initially anticipated, a “small start” kind of deployment that wasn’t being considered in SDN’s earlier days, Clark says. It’s part of a new pay-as-you-grow pricing model being instantiated with version 6 of ProgrammableFlow software.
Once one of these smaller customers deploys more than about 30 switches, the economics play out similarly to the older pricing scheme, he says. So, the hope is to get them hooked with a small starter kit.
It’s yet another case of a company trying to make a new-network concept appeal to a market beyond the early adopters. We already saw this with announcements on Tuesday including the NFV starter packs from Dell.
Separately, on Monday, NEC launched its SDN Partner Space, a virtual lab hosting products from 16 vendors including NEC. The idea is to let vendors and developers share ideas while also giving customers a place to try out SDN concepts.
SDNCentral is in Dusseldorf, Germany for the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow World Congress. Check out all our headlines from the show here: SDN & OpenFlow World Congress: The SDNCentral Report