BT and Dell EMC are working together to research software-defined networks

By Callum Rivett
British Telecommunications and Dell EMC - part of Dell Technologies - have teamed up to create a proof-of-concept that explores the effect of disaggrega...

British Telecommunications and Dell EMC - part of Dell Technologies - have teamed up to create a proof-of-concept that explores the effect of disaggregated switching on creating flexible networks.

The new platform offers a new way to improve reliability and customisation, which will also provide a low-cost way to transmit IP traffic.

Software defined networks can help data centres in particular cope with high levels of unusual traffic, with the high demand often causing the network to slow and potentially capitulate. 

BT is currently evaluating the results and performance when testing Dell EMC aggregated switches in comparison to traditional integrated switching hardware, which could bring about more flexible and agile networks.

Working together, BT and Dell EMC will aim to maximise the benefits of SDN, network functions virtualization and programmable silicon.


"This proof-of-concept trial with Dell EMC will enable us to make informed decisions about the role this kind of solution will play in the dynamic network services of the future," said Neil J. McRae, chief architect for BT.

"Agility and programmability, maximizing the benefits of SDN, are key to our future network evolution and ensure our network continues to be world-class."

Tom Burns, senior vice president & general manager, Dell EMC Networking, Enterprise Infrastructure & Service Provider Solutions commented: "We're focused on helping BT to drive innovation to help provide the high level of service their customers expect."

The project has the potential to deliver such programmable use cases as bandwidth calendaring to help cope with demand and delivering network telemetry data automatically.

Benefits of the new system of disaggregated switches include being inherently programmable and allow configuration changes to be made more rapidly and easily than traditional network switches. 


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