In 2014 Dell launched the Open Networking initiative, based on our belief that customers deserved more innovation than the traditional, proprietary networking model provided. That belief wasn’t just a hunch—we listened to customers, we heard their challenges and we set out to find the solution.

We introduced Open Networking to offer our innovative hardware with a choice of operating system and a promise to make the software-defined datacenter a reality. Since we kicked off Open Networking with our first partner, Cumulus Networks, we’ve expanded Open Networking to include partners such as Big Switch Networks, VMware, Midokura, Microsoft, IP Infusion and Pluribus Networks, and we’ve given nearly 400 customers worldwide the flexibility and capabilities they need for a future-ready enterprise. In short, we rocked the industry.

Never content with the status quo, we’re rocking the industry again today with the introduction of Operating System 10 from Dell Networking. OS10 takes Open Networking to the next level with the disaggregation of the networking OS. What had formerly been bundled into tightly-integrated, vendor-specific stacks, has been separated to enhance customer choice, control and programmability.

The OS10 base module runs a fully open, unmodified Linux distribution along with the Open Compute Project Switch Abstraction Interface. This translates to unheard of flexibility, programmability and interoperability with existing software and hardware. On top of the base module, OS10 supports traditional networking functions along with numerous third-party, native-Linux and open-source applications such as IP, fabric and security services, and management and automation tools, giving customers the ability to tailor their IT operations for different use cases and operational processes.

OS10 is 100% Linux-compliant—completely open, completely standard, offering more choice and more consistency with the Linux that’s running on data center customers’ storage and server hardware. That’s what separates us from the competition and gives customers something they can’t get with any other vendor: exactly what they want. With OS10 and Open Networking customers get open choice, solutions that are both best-of-breed and cost-effective, rich ecosystems and the ability to build the networks that work best for their specific needs, whether they run a traditional L2/L3 environment, a DevOps environment or anything in between.

At Dell we are never content to sit still when it comes to innovating on behalf of customers. We have our sights set on bringing OS10 beyond the data center, eventually spanning our entire portfolio—data center, campus and WAN. Be sure to follow @DellNetworking on Twitter for more networking news, and to learn how we’re bringing the Future-Ready Enterprise to life with Open Networking and OS10.