What Dell’s purchase of Force10 means for next-generation data centers

Dell’s acquisition of Force10, a top networking vendor, has broad implications for users of next-generation data centers. Why? Because the deal paves the way for an open solution for IT managers who want the optimal performance of an integrated infrastructure while not being locked into using single vendor.

As more and more companies and government agencies move data to the cloud, they have to balance the practical considerations of working with the infrastructure they already have and addressing their immediate needs while planning for the future. With technology changing rapidly, agility will be key.

As Charles King, principal analyst for Pund-IT Research, wrote in a July report, “An ongoing fact of IT life is that vendors aren’t the only ones evolving. Individuals and organizations change, too, and are best served by vendors that recognize and address this continuing progression by offering the tools and services required to yield the greatest return from their IT investments.”

When it comes to next-generation data centers, companies and governments want to know they’re getting value as well as products and services that are flexible enough to grow with them. If technologies that haven’t even been invented yet someday need to be integrated, then companies will want – and be willing to pay for – the capability to add them. A decade ago, who would’ve thought that IT workers would be using smartphones and tablets as a matter of course? No one knows what types of services and devices will become necessary to do business in the coming years. So IT decision-makers want to keep their infrastructure options open and be able to shop around.

As Forrest Norrod, vice president and general manager of Dell’s server platforms business, told eWeek in early August, “What they want are solutions. What they don’t want are things that must be together” to work for them.

And to read more specific details about how Force10 fits with Dell’s strategy, a recent Cloud Pro post did a great job of analyzing Dell’s evolution.

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About the Author: Ana Cantu