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Secure Juniper triggers Dell's OEM'ing instinct

But Brocade still has a home in the range

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

We can conceive of an iSCSI storage array, a Dell EqualLogic one, that is accessed from servers in local and remote offices by J-Series switches and security gateways. We can also simultaneously conceive of Fibre Channel SAN-connected storage arrays accessed through B-Series 8000 products, by servers connecting using FCoE and CEE. Local users would access these arrays through B-Series 10gigE Netiron routers. Remote users would connect to one of these routers by a J-Series switch in their office. The servers and users accessing the Fibre Channel storage could also go through the Brocade network infrastructure and into the J-Series infrastructure to use the iSCSI storage.

Collaboration

Dell will collaborate with Juniper on what it describes as innovative, high performance Ethernet technology. They say they will develop open, standards-based products for virtualised data centres and deliver technology solutions using Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE), also known as Data Centre Bridging (DCB), and iSCSI to improve network economics. CEE is a lossless and low-latency version of Ethernet, currently going through the standards process and expected to be delivered by 2011.

Inside Juniper there is a Stratus project, understood to be in part a response to Cisco's UCS (Unified Computing System), involving close integration of virtualised servers, networking and storage. The project is managed by David Yen, who used to run Sun Microsystems' microchip business.

Dell and Juniper say they "intend to deliver a secure network infrastructure - from a customer’s traditional data centre out to its branch offices, remote workers, customers and business partners - that can dynamically adjust... and provide orchestrated management of users, workloads and data."

The idea is to provision end-to-end data centre services dynamically, from servers through networks to storage: a complete stack, as it were, for an application or user. This may involve Dell working with Juniper on the Stratus project.

With this move, Dell becomes a much stronger networking product supplier and will extend its reach so that it can cover the majority of data centre networking needs.

It is following in the footsteps of IBM, which announced an OEM deal with Juniper in August, under which it would supply re-branded Juniper EX and MX switches and routers. IBM also has a distribution relationship with Brocade for the supply of storage networking gear, such as its CNAs for its x servers, and Brocade's routers and switches.

No actual products resulting from the Dell/Juniper OEM agreement are being announced yet, but they can be expected next year, possibly even before. When they are announced they will be available to customers directly or through partners. ®

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