Dell's Force 10 Buy Fits Open, Integrated Systems Strategy: Dell Server Chief

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 08-04-2011 Print
Force 10's Ethernet products are a welcome addition to Dell's integrated systems strategy, which emphasizes an open solution, Dell server head Forrest Norrod said.

Dell's acquisition of networking vendor Force 10 Networks will be a boon for all parts of the company s efforts to build out its data center solution offerings, according to Dell's top server executive.

In an interview with eWEEK, Forrest Norrod, vice president and general manager of Dell's Server Platforms business, said Force 10 will add 10 Gigabit Ethernet capabilities to Dell's portfolio of products, complement the networking technology Dell already has on hand with its PowerConnect lineup and give it a more robust cloud and hyper-scale computing strategies.

It also will fit in with the tenets of the company's larger converged data center story, particularly the emphasis on offering an open solution that eases the worries of IT managers who want the performance optimization of an integrated infrastructure but don't want to be locked into a single vendor.

"I think they're very worried about that," Norrod said in a recent interview with eWEEK.

With the growth of such technologies as virtualization and computing models like cloud computing, the trend is toward converged solutions with tightly integrated products. Most major vendors are moving in that direction, including Dell. CEO Michael Dell said in June that the company, "instead of selling ingredients like servers and storage, we re selling the whole data center."

Dell executives announced their bid for Force 10 July 20, a move that is aimed at helping the company shore up its weakness in networking as it looks to build out its data center solutions. Dell already was strong in servers, and over the past few years had bulked up its storage capabilities with acquisitions of such firms as Compellent and EqualLogic and in services with Perot Systems.

Dell had its PowerConnect networking portfolio and a host of partners, such as Juniper Networks and Brocade, but analysts had said the company needed to invest further in networking. Despite rumors that Dell would buy Brocade, the vendor instead opted for Force 10.


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