Dell Acquires Force10 for Networking Growth

Dude, you've got a networking company.

After years of reselling and rebranding gear from other networking vendors, Dell now is acquiring its own networking company.

Dell announced today that it was acquiring privately-held networking vendor Force10 Networks. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed. In a call with analysts, Dell executives were questioned as to why the acquisition price is not being made public. Brad Anderson SVP, Enterprise Product Group at Dell, noted that Force10 is a private company and the deal would be closing within the next few months.

According to Force10, they are a $200 million company based on the last 12 trailing months worth or revenue.

Anderson noted during the analyst call that networking is the next key piece for Dell in growing out its enterprise strategy. Dell currently has its PowerConnect networking portfolio which included wired gear that is OEM'ed from Juniper and Brocade. Dell entered into an OEM partnership with Juniper at the end of 2009 for Juniper MX routers, SRX services gateways and EX switching gear.

Dario Zamarian, VP and General Manager for Networking at Dell, commented during the call that the Force10 product line is complementary to their PowerConnect portfolio. Force10's networking products include high performance cloud scale access switches and routers.

"We see this is a big opportunity to expand," Anderson said. "We think it's a fantastic technology for a mid-market design point and for broad market reach."

Dell's acquisition of Force10 will also increase the overall competitiveness in the networking market against bigger networking rivals. Henry Wasik, CEO of Force10, noted that his company was very competitive in the market.

"We have as a company displaced sales of the Cisco Nexus," Wasik said. "These things really do fit the mid-market design point quite well."

"Force10 gives us a big shot in the arm," Anderson said. "They bring a significant sales capability both channel and direct." Anderson added that Dell will be focusing on accelerating the build-out internationally of Force10's products in the months ahead.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.




Tags: networking, Dell, Brocade, Juniper Networks, Force10


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