Dell Buys Force10 Networks

Dell is buying data center networking company Force10 Networks, which has a lengthy list of venture investors including New Enterprise Associates, Crosslink Capital, U.S. Venture Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures and Worldview Technology Partners. No terms of the deal were released. According to a press release, Force10 is a $200-million company, based on trailing 12 months revenue. Force10 was founded in 1999 and is based in San Jose, Calif.

Dell today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Force10 Networks, Inc., a leader in high-performance datacenter networking. Force10’s networking capabilities complement Dell’s datacenter solutions portfolio, enabling it to offer customers a broader range of enterprise offerings.

Dell has taken significant steps over the past three years to expand its enterprise portfolio to offer customers a complete range of datacenter products and solutions. This includes developing an integrated stack of leading server, storage, networking and services resources to help customers streamline operations, reduce IT costs, manage data growth and simplify management. The acquisition of Force10 and investment in networking is a natural complement to Dell’s server strength. Dell is the leading x86 server provider in the United States and No. 2 worldwide, according to first quarter 2011 IDC data.

Force10 Networks Leadership

Force10 is a global technology leader in datacenter, service provider, and enterprise networking. It is nearly a $200-million company, based on trailing 12 months revenue, with approximately 80 percent of its business in North America and operating in over 60 countries worldwide. Force10’s Open Cloud Networking is based on open standards, automation and virtualization and is very consistent with Dell’s design philosophy. Force10’s technology allows customers to transform their network infrastructures into an open, reliable and scalable datacenter and cloud computing fabric.

Force10 provides global service and support capabilities around the world through a direct sales force and an extensive network of channel partners and systems integrators. Much like past acquisitions of Compellent and EqualLogic, Dell is committed to maintaining and growing Force10’s channel program. Force10’s customers include leading Web 2.0 and Fortune 100 companies, Internet portals, global carriers, leading research laboratories and government organizations with some of the world’s most demanding network environments.

Distinguishing characteristics of Force10 include:

Flexible, open automation and management
Massively scalable core datacenter network at a fraction of the cost
Automated policy configuration and mobility

Dell Leadership in the ‘Virtual Era’

In the ‘Virtual Era,’ Dell delivers an open and integrated approach to datacenter solutions. As part of this approach, Dell’s networking philosophy drives performance that can radically reduce costs by significantly streamlining operations. Force10 solutions provide enterprise performance and resiliency while reducing overall total cost of ownership (TCO), simplifying network deployment, and supporting open, standards-based systems and management solutions. Dell and Force10 have had a successful partnership for more than six years, providing datacenter customers with open, capable and affordable networking solutions.

Dell’s intelligent infrastructure management vision enables orchestration of the underlying server, storage, and network resources in an open fashion, agnostic of whether they are physical or virtual, local or remote, Dell or ecosystem-provided, while ensuring that automated control of those resources is responsive, economical, secure, and resilient.

Force10 was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with research and development operations based in Silicon Valley. Dell also plans to keep Force10’s existing operations in Chennai, India as it continues to invest in additional engineering and sales capability to grow this business.

The transaction was approved by the board of directors of each company. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction remains subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in late summer.


“Today’s datacenter networks are too complex and require too much manual intervention. What worked in the past is no longer viable in the virtual era,” said Brad Anderson, senior vice president, Enterprise Solutions Group, Dell. “Dell’s approach of offering customers open, capable and affordable solutions aligns with Force10’s approach to offering customers new levels of flexibility, performance, scale and automation which is fundamental to changing the economics of datacenter networking.”

“We are excited to work with Dell. Combining Dell’s global scale, reach and enterprise portfolio with our innovation in high-performance networking provides our customers the best end-to-end solution for today’s and tomorrow’s data centers,” said Henry Wasik, chief executive officer, Force10 Networks.

An analyst call with Dave Johnson, SVP, Corporate Strategy, Dell, Brad Anderson, SVP, Enterprise Product Group, Dell, Dario Zamarian, VP General Manager Networking, Dell, and Henry Wasik, CEO Force10 Networks, will be webcast live today at 8:45 a.m. CST and archived at

About Force10 Networks
Force10 Networks develops high-performance datacenter solutions powered by the industry’s most innovative line of open, standards-based, networking hardware and software. The company’s Open Cloud Networking framework grants Web 2.0/portal operators, cloud and hosting providers, enterprise and special-purpose datacenter customers new levels of flexibility, performance, scale and automation—fundamentally changing the economics of datacenter networking. Force10 Networks operates globally, providing 24×7 service and support to its customer base in more than 60 countries worldwide.

About Dell
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers worldwide innovative technology, business solutions and services they trust and value.