For industries to play a part in the next industrial revolution, they must transform digitally. This Digital Transformation will have disruptive effects across numerous economic sectors. The networking industry – and how customers consume networking - is no exception. This transformation has energized the concept of Open Networking to help unlock the industry’s innovation engine.

Just as the compute side evolved from mainframe to client-server and now into the cloud, it has changed the way organizations need to invest in networking technologies, as well as how the networking industry itself operates. The open source community has had a big impact on this, enabling a shift from single vendors selling proprietary solutions to customers having a choice among a variety of technologies that best meet their needs.

This “sharing economy” has infiltrated all parts of technology with vendors now opening their products and solutions to its customers. Open Networking, through both open standards and open source technologies, is transforming the IT industry, redefining the fundamental economics and reshaping organizational landscapes.  

At the Open Networking Summit (ONS) this year, I’ll be speaking about the economics and organizational impact of Open Networking in the IT industry. During this session, I’ll focus on the history of the networking spend, where that money goes and how it’s being spent now. I’ll also provide context for how networking credentials have evolved, helping leaders think through how they should evolve their talent pools and helping individuals think through how they should advance their careers.

Dell EMC was one of the first major IT vendors to open its networking solutions. Three years ago, we announced our Open Networking initiative to offer more innovation and choice to our customers than they were receiving from traditional, proprietary networking vendors. Fast forward to last year, when we introduced the latest version of our network operating system called Operating System 10 (OS10). The base module of OS10 called OS10 Open Edition is offered to customers for free and runs a fully-open, unmodified Linux kernel and Debian distribution.

On top of the base module, OS10 can support traditional networking functions (L2/L3 protocols) from Dell as well as numerous third-party, native Linux, and open source applications such as IP, fabric and security services combined with management and automation tools. This allows customers to tailor IT operations for different use case and operational processes.

We have also collaborated with Microsoft on the design and implementation in the Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC) part of the Open Compute Project (OCP) to help drive industry disruption and adoption. We also contributed OS10 Open Edition software to the OpenSwitch (OPX) project, which represents a fully open, fully disaggregated base subsystem incorporating hardware and platform abstraction layers for networking switching applications.

As part of Dell EMC’s continued commitment to Open Source, we now offer additional support for several Dell EMC Networking Switches in OpenSwitch (OPX), with the ability to have 1G, 10G, 40G and 100G architectures. The newly supported switches include:

  • S3048-ON
  • S4048-ON
  • S6010-ON
  • Z9100-ON
  • S6100-ON

At the Dell EMC booth at ONS, we will be showcasing the flexibility and capabilities of OPX and will also be running demos that will focus on deploying containers on a switch and using the container framework to automate deployment of network services and micro-services on switches for the network.

If you’re planning to attend ONS, please stop by the Dell EMC booth, number 117. Please come by and check out my presentation on the economics and organizational impact of Open Networking on Monday, April 3 from 3:30-4:30pm PT in Grand Ballroom E in the Santa Clara Convention Center. I’ll also be participating in a keynote panel on Thursday, April 6 at 9:00 -9:30am PT with Ericsson and Intel on the Intersection of Enterprise and Carriers and how 5G will play out in Exhibit Hall A. I look forward to seeing you there!