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Juniper, Dell Partner On Networking Gear

Dell on Tuesday said will resell Juniper Networks products under the PowerConnect brand, boosting the computer maker's data center offerings that compete with Cisco.

Dell plans to market, service, and support several Juniper networking products, including the MX Series routers, EX Series Ethernet switches, and SRX Series gateways, all of which run Juniper's JUNOS operating system. Dell, which has a similar deal with Juniper rival Brocade, says the latest deal rounds out its 10 Gigabit Ethernet fabric to feed I/O to both storage and networking.

"Both the new Brocade and Juniper networking products will become part of our existing PowerConnect brand and will extend that brand into areas like WAN (wide-area network), security and data-center Ethernet switching," the company said on its corporate blog.

In March Cisco issued a challenge to server vendors Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM when the networking company introduced its Unified Computing System plan.

Under the plan, Cisco will sell a series of blade servers that include storage capabilities along with virtualization and server management software. Partners include BMC Software, EMC, Intel, Microsoft, and VMware.

The announcement has set off partnerships between the computer makers and Cisco rivals, such as Juniper and Brocade. The latter's storage area network switching technology, for example, has been fully integrated with HP's BladeSystem architecture. Dell resells Brocade's Fibre Channel over Ethernet switches.

In July IBM said it was expanding its partnership with Brocade and Juniper. IBM resells the companies' products, as well as Cisco equipment, but Big Blue has been encouraging Brocade and Juniper to fill router and switch gaps in data centers. Dell also sells Cisco products.

In the midst of all this partnering, Brocade is reportedly in discussions to sell itself. The Wall Street Journal reported this month that companies interested in Brocade include HP and possibly Oracle.

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