Big Switch stands tall with Dell EMC OEM partnership

Big Switch Networks and Dell EMC enter into a OEM agreement that will boost Big Switch's profile. (Pixabay)

Big Switch Networks is standing on the shoulders of a giant thanks to a new original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement with Dell EMC.

Big Switch Networks' history with Dell EMC goes back five years, and while Big Switch has been a third-party open networking partner of Dell EMC, the OEM agreement levels it up.

Big Switch's "Cloud-First Networking" software-defined networking solutions grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 80% from 2015 to 2018, but the company expects even more growth now that it has achieved OEM status with Dell EMC.

As part of the OEM agreement, Big Switch's open networking cloud offerings join the list of available components in the Dell EMC Ready Stack architecture. Dell EMC Ready Stack allows Dell EMC's customers and channel partners to mix and match their own converged infrastructure solutions in data centers by picking their storage, server, networking, and data protection options. These validated solutions include Dell EMC open networking switch hardware and Big Switch’s Big Cloud Fabric (BCF) software.

While Dell EMC has third-party networking software deals in place with Big Switch competitors Pluribus Networks and Cumulus Networks, it's the only one to achieve OEM status, according to Big Switch's Susheel Chitre, vice president of business development and strategic alliances.

"This is a huge acknowledgement of the work that we're doing with them, and now we are much closer to do Dell EMC in the relationship that we have with them," Chitre said. "From a customer perspective, our products will now come across as fully Dell-branded solutions."

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Big Switch’s Cloud-First Networking portfolio has three solutions that are part of the Dell EMC open networking portfolio. Big Cloud Fabric is a VPC-based logical networking fabric while Big Monitoring Fabric is a network visibility fabric. Big Switch’s newest product, Multi-Cloud Director, provides federated management of multi-site BCF and BMF deployments, across public, private or multi-cloud environments.

Big Switch also stands to benefit from Dell EMC's worldwide sales teams as well as its Level 1 and Level 2 global support of all of the components.

"We already have a great working relationship with the Dell EMC sales teams in the field," Chitre said. "We expect in the Dell OEM relationship that will increase significantly."

Chitre said that Dell EMC was targeting June 18 as the date for the availability of Big Switch's SDN open networking products on Dell EMC Ready Stack.

The OEM agreement is a big win for Big Switch, and it may give Dell EMC's open networking product line a slight boost. According to 650 Group, open networking revenue—minus hyperscalers—is projected to reach $1.35 billing by 2023 with a CAGR of 33% between this year and 2023.

"It's maybe a decent amount of money for Big Switch, but it won't have a big impact on Dell EMC's bottom line," said Lee Doyle, principal analyst at Doyle Research. "White box switching in general hasn't materially impacted Dell EMC's position in the networking market. Dell EMC is broadening its ecosystem and for Big Switch it's great to have a big partner."