Interop-2011: Closing thoughts

In my previous post on Interop 2011,  I was writing after just one day of experience. I was caught up in the excitement of the moment at that time and expected to come down off that initial emotional high, but to my surprise the excitement of the moment lasted to the end. Really cool! I mentioned some interesting items in the previous post, so let me talk about what else I learned while in Las Vegas.


10Gb Ethernet was commonplace at the show. While not adopted at the same rate as 1Gb Ethernet in the marketplace, the future is clearly 10Gb. Just about every Ethernet product vendor at Interop had their booth filled with 10Gb solutions, from switches to routers to security appliances to NICs. 10Gb is here and it is here to stay.

Well, it is here until 40Gb Ethernet takes off. Most of the Ethernet vendors were showing early 40Gb components and devices, all bragging their technology could operate at full wire speed today. That may be, but the early adopters I’ve spoken to are not asking for full bandwidth right now. They are happy with getting a little more than 10Gb with lower latency and the eventual growth path to 40Gb and 100Gb Ethernet in the future.


To my surprise, there were many more storage solution vendors than I expected. From cloud storage providers to storage appliance manufacturers, the demand for storage as a network device was interesting. When did that happen? How on Earth did storage, once a pure server class technology, become a networking solution? I imagine the adoption of iSCSI as the pending king of enterprise storage technologies is one reason disks are now networking devices. Another may be the adoption of converged technologies which put iSCSI, Fibre Channel, and even NAS protocols all on a single, flat QoS controlled network.

Whatever the case, there were many interesting storage vendors and no few number of “me too” storage providers showing their wares at Interop. I guess if a single solution can easily consume all of the Ethernet ports in a switch as iSCSI can do, it really is important to consider storage when building your IT network infrastructure.

OEM Customers

The most exciting aspect of the show, though, had to be the abundance of our Dell OEM customers and partners. I did an informal experiment by walking to a few dozen spots on the show floor and looked around. At no point was I not able to see at least six of our customers showing wares based on Dell hardware. I loved seeing the huge impact the Dell OEM Solutions team has had on the networking market.

OEM XL Program

At the show Dell OEM Solutions also announced the launch of the customer inspired OEM XL Program (see blog post here). I spoke to several reporters about the announcement and shared with anyone who would give me the time the features and capabilities this amazing new program brings our OEM customers. By offering a more stable platform with highly predictable roadmaps & change management capabilities and an extended life for smoother transitions, the OEM XL Program is a real game changer for solution developers sensitive to hardware change.

This was a very special year for Dell OEM at Interop. I cannot wait to see what future shows have in store for us.

About the Author: Franklin Flint