What a great event Dell put on with its Enterprise User Forum in Hollywood, Florida!!

When I arrived, my first view of the event was a grand entry into the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa revealing a glistening blue ocean straight through the lobby. On the back deck were umbrellas and chaise loungers around the pool with an awe-inspiring view of the beach. The white sand beach was only a few short steps from there. I thought to myself, “Are you kidding me? How I am going to stay focused on this event?” I was seriously considering the dilemma of having to work inside while paradise was only a few short steps away.

Dell User Forum

Dell User Forum View #DUF14

Well, Dell took care of that! With hundreds of customers and channel partners there to hear about Dell technology solutions, there was always a technology discussion to be had. Despite the sun-drenched pools and white sand beaches, I found the dialogue inside to be far better than downtime outside.

Dell offered several sessions covering networking. Tom Burns, Dell’s General Manager of the Networking Business, talked about Cumulus Networks during his keynote where he highlighted our open approach to networking and how we fit into environments where end users aspire to have common deployment and management capabilities for both servers and networking. He also discussed the networking roadmap in another session and discussed how he sees a large part of the market emerging as an open networking solution, like those provided by Cumulus Networks. And then in his open networking session, he talked about how Cumulus Networks delivers more than just an open networking operating system. He discussed the concept of lowering operating expense as a result of having an agile data center that allows for rapid innovation using a software-defined network. This approach stands in stark contrast to the closed, proprietary systems others are offering the market today where APIs stand guarding vendors’ profit while preventing you from the innovation your organization deserves.

Along with these sessions, we had numerous opportunities to discuss Cumulus Linux with our existing customers and others interested in hearing more about us. It was great to hear all the great ideas people had for using the technology, spanning from high performance clusters for the energy vertical to small businesses who need a lower-cost 10G switch. What customers most valued is the ability to use a native Linux operating system that can be managed using Linux commands and can be tightly integrated with their other applications. The depth of discussion was great and the interest in our solutions was even better.

Oh, and about that beach. Well, I never made it there. I did, however, get a chance to go through some email out on the umbrella-laden deck for a while. Not exactly living la vida loca, but I had something better going on inside!