Data center battle heats up for Cisco

Dell/Juniper alliance latest partnership to form after Cisco blade server invasion

Oh, what a tangled web we weave. The server, storage and networking vendor partnerships and cross-pollination expanded again this week with word that Dell and Juniper will be teaming up for data center requirements.

Dell and Juniper reached an OEM agreement whereby Dell will offer Juniper products to data center customers under its PowerConnect brand. The companies said they will also collaborate on systems for virtualized data centers, specifically around Ethernet virtual switching chassis and application mobility.

Company officials would not comment, though, on whether Dell will become a partner in Juniper's Project Stratus cloud computing initiative.

The OEM partnership activity has been hot and heavy since Cisco entered the blade server market earlier this year, and this particular union heightens the data center rivalry between both companies and Cisco. When Cisco announced its Unified Computing System blade server offering, it catalyzed partnerships between server vendors such as Dell, IBM and HP, and Cisco rivals in networking and storage, like Juniper and Brocade.Dell and Juniper say their combined offerings will allow customers to deploy a common network management platform and network operating system to help reduce operating expenses. Dell and Juniper say they will also support the IEEE Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE)/Data Center Bridging standards and iSCSI for storage connectivity.The products Dell will deliver under its PowerConnect brand include Juniper's MX Series Ethernet services routers, EX Series Ethernet switches and SRX Series services gateways, which all run Juniper's JUNOS operating system software.

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