Dell Offers New Networking Switch Lineup for SMBs
The vendor's X-Series family includes 1GbE and 10GbE switches that are easy to configure and manage to organizations with few IT resources.Dell is rolling out new network switches aimed at small and midsize businesses that often have the same challenges as their larger enterprise counterparts but with fewer resources and expertise. The tech vendor is offering a new family of 1 Gigabit Ethernet and 10GbE managed switches that are easy to configure and troubleshoot and come in a range of rack-mount models, and also is adding to its N-Series of switches with the N1500, which offers 24 and 48 ports for smaller managed networks. The new offerings give Dell a lineup of networking switches for an SMB space that is significant in size but still underserved, according to Arpit Joshipura, vice president of strategy and product management for Dell Networking. The SMB and midmarket space has been "Dell's sweet spot" in other areas, such as servers, making it a natural market for the company to focus on in networking, Joshipura told eWEEK. Currently, SMBs are forced to use switches that are designed more for larger enterprises or appliances that are fully unmanaged, he said. The problem is that many of these businesses face the same challenges as enterprises, including a much more distributed and mobile workforce and a rapidly growing amount of data that needs to be moved and analyzed in real time. They have to do all this with much fewer resources, and they don't get a lot of attention from larger, established networking vendors, he said.
Dell officials see this as an opportunity. The company views SMBs as those organizations with 50 to 5,000 employees, and he said there are about 2 million companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. At the heart of Dell's announcements April 6 is the new X-Series family of switches, which come with step-by-step wizards and customizable dashboards that make configuring the appliances fast and easy, and with many using Power-over-Ethernet or PoE+, which make them quiet enough for such places as a retail shops and casinos.