Dell and Cumulus Linux have announced a distribution agreement
Dell will also resell the Cumulus Linux network OS, running on the Dell Networking S6000, and the Dell Networking S4810 fixed configuration switches.
Hardware Support : These Dell switch products are based on the Broadcom Trident chipset so Cumulus doesn’t have to do much/anything to support the hardware.
FTOS: Dell has FTOS runs on the existing hardware. I would expect this to remain in place since it supports features and functions that Cumulus Linux does not. Long term depends on how Cumulus scales to support new chip sets and features of those chips.
FTOS remains core to what most customers want and Cumulus Linux s only for customers who know what they are buying.
Orthogonal to Existing Moves: The Dell Network BU has a reasonably advanced product strategy that is focussed on Dell’s core customers. Sales tools, product messaging and integrated online tools are in place.
Lesser Known Business Units: Dell has a business unit that sells unlabelled products such as servers to specific market segment such as cloud providers and other OEMs. This BU might want to offer low cost networking as well. Cumulus Linux would be a good fit here.
View: I don’t expect Cumulus Linux to break into Dell’s core markets of SME and Enterprise in the near future. The lack of suitable features like L2 extension support for MLAG etc is needed for ESX products. Most customers aren’t ready for Cumulus Linux on their networking equipment. OTH, there are customers that Dell supplies that will benefit, they now who they are and will find purchasing S6000/S4000 products more attractive.
Overall: Good for both companies in a small way. Cumulus Linux gets validated, Dell gets to look cool and offer new products to customers who have sole supplier agreements for large volumes of equipment.