Dell EMC teams up with VMware on integrated SD-WAN offering

Dell and VMware announce the general availability of their joint SD-WAN offering at VMworld. (Pixabay)

SAN FRANCISCO, California—It's not quite "you got peanut butter on my chocolate," but VMware teaming up with Dell Technologies on SD-WAN seems to be an obvious partnership.

On Monday at VMworld 2019 in San Francisco, Dell Technologies, which owns a controlling stake in VMware, announced that its combined SD-WAN service with VMware is now globally available. The Dell EMC SD- WAN Solution combines VMware's VeloCloud SD-WAN service with Dell EMC's data center fabric orchestration.

Legacy wide area networks (WANs) struggle to keep up with the modern, multi-cloud traffic demands while some SD-WAN adopters have found they need to migrate beyond "do it yourself" integrations of early SD-WAN solutions.

At the network edge, the Dell EMC SD- WAN Solution helps customers move away from complex and expensive branch office networking to an SD-WAN platform that uses cloud capabilities and economics. It can simplify data center fabric deployment operations through enhanced visibility across virtual and physical networks with the new Dell EMC SmartFabric Director.

The Dell EMC SD-WAN Solution has three components:

• SD-WAN edge powered by VMware provides networking specific, purpose-built appliances designed for high efficiency and reliability

• An SD-WAN orchestrator for the cloud-based management and orchestration software services from VMware, fully dedicated to and managed by Dell EMC

• Global  SD-WAN gateways, which is a global network of secure, application-focused access gateways from VMware to handle the WAN traffic.

“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 and general manager, Dell EMC Networking & Solutions, in a statement. “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.”

VMware bought VeloCloud two years ago, and has been working to integrate VelcoCloud's SD-WAN technologies across its broader portfolio. Doing the same with Dell EMC makes sense given the relationship and networking assets of the two companies.

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In IHS Markit's July report, VMware continued its dominance as the top SD-WAN vendor with a 20% market share followed by Cisco.

Dell EMC SmartFabric Director

Dell EMC and VMware also announced the SmartFabric Director, which enables the physical switch underlay infrastructure to keep pace with the changing demands of virtualized and software-defined networks.

Dell EMC SmartFabric Director helps data center operators build, operate and monitor an open network underlay fabric based on Dell EMC PowerSwitch Series switches in order to ensure their physical underlay networks are tuned for the specific overlay environment.

“VMware and Dell EMC are driving public cloud simplicity and utility across the entire network,” said VMWare's Tom Gillis, senior vice president and general manager, networking and security business unit, in a prepared statement. “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.”

The Dell EMC SmartFabric Director will be available to some customers next month, with global availability by end of this year.