By Kevin Komiega
-- Dell is moving up the stack. The company today announced an expanded partnership with Brocade to sell Dell-branded versions of Brocade's Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs), converged network adapters (CNAs), Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) switching products as part of a new focus on data center virtualization and unified networking.
Ethernet and converged networking technologies account for most of Dell's new switching portfolio. Dell is prepping Ethernet modular switching products based on Brocade's NetIron MLX Series Routers and BigIron RX Series Switches to provide 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) and 1GbE connectivity. The Brocade ServerIron ADX Series Switches will also join the Dell portfolio for Layer 4 through 7 switching.
On the Fibre Channel side, Dell will rebrand Brocade's Data Center Fabric Manager (DCFM) software, the Brocade 8000 FCoE Switch and DCX Backbone high-end switches, as well as Brocade's HBAs. Dell already resells Brocade's Fibre Channel blade switches for the Dell M1000e and PowerEdge Series blade servers and a line of Brocade fixed-configuration Fibre Channel switches as part of its storage networking portfolio.
Larry Hart, a worldwide senior manager at Dell, says this is a step forward in networking for Dell as the company aims to deliver "complete solutions for the data center."
"This is less about hardware and platforms and more about joint innovation between [Brocade and Dell]. Virtualization has changed the way the data center is managed. This partnership enables us to deliver a complete data center solution for unified fabrics," says Hart.
Dell has also inked an OEM deal with Scalent Systems to sell Scalent's V/OE Infrastructure Manager – a software-based provisioning tool for virtual server environments – as the Dell V/OE Infrastructure Manager by Scalent.
The V/OE Infrastructure Manager allows administrators to provision virtual servers without making physical server, cabling, or SAN changes, according to Hart.
Dell plans to start shipping the Brocade and Scalent products in December.
Dell and Brocade plan to collaborate on the development of management and virtualization solutions going forward.