As part of a larger plan to become a provider of network switches in the data center, D-Link unveiled this week the first in what will become a series of bare-metal switches that IT organizations can then use to deploy a third-party networking software.
Steven Olen, product line manager for D-Link, says that historically, D-Link has sold switches to small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and academic institutions that generally prefer to still acquire network software and hardware together. The decision to introduce the D-Link DXS-5000-54S series heralds a D-Link effort to expand its presence in the enterprise, says Olen. The first network operating system to be certified on the 10G Ethernet D-Link switch is the Pluribus Netvisor Operating System developed by Pluribus Networks.
The D-Link switches, says Olen, are designed to be deployed either on the top of a rack or as part of a 10GbE/40GbE leaf-spine architecture.
Olen says D-Link sees the trend toward disaggregating network hardware and software as an opportunity to expand its market reach at a time when many IT organizations are starting to embrace open networks. Olen attributes the rise of that phenomenon to the proliferation of network software vendors that have been making the case for open networks for several years now.
“The software companies are starting to have some influence,” says Olen.
Olen says IT organizations should expect to see D-Link expand its portfolio of bare-metal switches in the months ahead to compete more aggressively against incumbent networking vendors in the data center.
In the meantime, individual IT organizations will need to decide to what degree they want to embrace open networking. Network hardware and software have come pre-integrated for as long as anyone can remember. Of course, now that Cisco and others are moving to allow customers, if they choose, to disaggregate network and software as well, it may very well turn out that one day soon licensing network software independently from hardware will become the new normal in the data center.