Dell Technologies announced it has started offering a co-branded SD-WAN service with its affiliate VMware, based on the latter’s VeloCloud platform. Previewed at Dell Technologies World in May, the new service is now globally available and supported.
This Dell EMC SD-WAN Solution combines VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud with modern appliances in multiple configuration options. The service is backed by Dell EMC support, supply chains, and services.
“Dell EMC and VMware are rebuilding the network for the cloud era – with everything open, automated and software-defined,” said Tom Burns, senior vice president & general manager, Dell EMC Networking & Solutions. “New SD-WAN solutions powered by VMware and network fabric management delivered by SmartFabric Director raise the stakes when it comes to network virtualization and security in today’s highly-distributed software-defined enterprise. We’re just getting started on our combined innovation.”
Collaboration between Dell EMC and VMware to:
- Re-define the network for the cloud era with tighter integration and combined development efforts
- Modernize network operations and reduce WAN costs with new Dell EMC SD-WAN Solution – one-stop solution combining VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, Dell EMC managed infrastructure
- Simplify data center fabric deployment, operations through enhanced visibility across virtual and physical networks with new Dell EMC SmartFabric Director
Customers have a choice of public, private or hybrid cloud network for enterprise-grade connection to cloud and enterprise applications; branch office enterprise appliances and optional data center appliances; software-defined control and automation; and virtual services delivery. Software subscription options can be upgraded to accommodate changing business requirements for features, duration and bandwidth.
The Dell EMC SD-WAN Solution has three key components:
- SD-WAN Edge powered by VMware – networking specific, purpose-built appliances designed for high efficiency and reliability
- SD-WAN Orchestrator – cloud-based management and orchestration software services from VMware, managed by Dell EMC
- SD-WAN Gateways – a global network of more secure, application-focused access gateways from VMware to handle WAN traffic
At VMworld, Dell EMC and VMware also announced SmartFabric Director, for software-defined networking that enables the physical switch underlay infrastructure to keep pace with the changing demands of virtualized and software-defined networks. Dell EMC SmartFabric Director enables data center operators to build, operate and monitor an open network underlay fabric based on Dell EMC PowerSwitch Series switches.
The Dell EMC SmartFabric Director is a network orchestration solution jointly developed with VMware that enables organizations to synchronize the deployment of a physical switch fabric with the virtual network and gain comprehensive visibility at both the physical and virtual network layers. Organizations can then potentially configure the network fabric in significantly less time than traditional methods. When integrating the SmartFabric Director with VMware vCenter or NSX/NSX-T, organizations can achieve end-to-end visibility of the physical network and all supported virtual overlays. To help organizations continuously monitor fabric health, SmartFabric employs telemetry to collect switch operational data and display metrics graphically at both the network fabric and switch levels. SmartFabric Director extends the two related companies’ shared vision of a software-defined data center by simplifying the definition, creation and deployment of data center fabrics with intent-based auto-provisioning and enhanced visibility and management between virtual and physical network environments.
Key features include:
- VMware vSphere and VMware NSX-T Data Center Integration – Tight integration with VMware vCenter and NSX-T enables the physical underlay/fabric to be correctly provisioned for the smooth functioning of application workloads in a VMware software-defined data center
- Leaf/Spine Fabric Automation – SmartFabric Director uses a declarative model that allows the user to express intent with a set of three well-defined fabric types. Fabric discovery is an ongoing process and ensures that the wiring is consistent with the user-defined intent and removes guesswork for rapid auto-provisioning
- Fabric Visibility – SmartFabric Director supports highly scalable and flexible streaming telemetry to gather key operational data and statistics from the fabric switches. Comprehensive, highly-intuitive visualization of the time-series data and other information greatly simplifies day-to-day fabric operations
- Fabric Lifecycle Management – Upgrading switch images is a critical operation in a data center. SmartFabric Director automates the download, install and verification process and ensures that switches are upgraded with the correct images
Dell said that this new service is important for organizations that are using the network virtualization version of SDN [1.] and need to help make sure their physical underlay networks are finely tuned for their overlay network environment. A lack of visibility between the two layers can lead to provisioning and configuration errors, hampering network performance. The new product will be available worldwide in September.
Note 1. The classical version of SDN, with a centralized controller and packet forwarding engines replacing hop by hop IP routers never really gained critical market mass, despite claims by Guru Parulkar, PhD, that everything else was “SDN WASHING.”
“Our customers today expect us to deliver the best and most advanced network solutions to solve their business needs,” said QOS Networks CEO, Frank Cittadino. “As a trusted partner to Dell EMC, we’re excited to do that with an SD-WAN solution that marries cost effective hardware with a dedicated orchestrator and VMware gateway. We combine that with our 5-Tool monitoring and management platform.”
“ESG was impressed with how the Dell EMC SmartFabric Director can help organizations to gain comprehensive visibility into the physical and virtual layers of their core networks and ensure that they are synchronized,” said Bob Laliberte, senior analyst, ESG Research. “We see how the SmartFabric Director can significantly ease the time-consuming process of creating and deploying a network fabric, while simultaneously verifying it will operate as intended.”
“VMware and Dell EMC are driving public cloud simplicity and utility across the entire network,” said Tom Gillis, senior vice president and general manager, networking and security business unit, VMware. “With this new SD-WAN solution, Dell EMC customers will be able to leverage the industry’s only hyperscale architecture for SD-WAN deployed at thousands of customers and more than 150,000 locations globally. Our joint engineering on SmartFabric Director will offer customers a tightly-integrated solution for physical to virtual networking visibility, further simplifying network operations and troubleshooting.”
- Dell EMC Networking
- ESG Research Lab: SmartFabric Director First Look report: Read how it can help build simple, efficient and open fabrics for VMware virtual network deployments
- ESG Research Lab video: Watch Bob Laliberte from ESG discuss the reasons why customers will want to use SmartFabric Director
- Dell Technologies video: A quick conversation about SD-WAN solutions with networking leaders Tom Burns (Dell EMC) & Tom Gillis (VMware)