D-Link rolls out enterprise networking portfolio

LAS VEGAS —  Networking vendor D-Link Systems Inc. used this year’s Interop conference to signal to the market that it’s not just a $99 router company anymore. It’s moving up market, launching a new enterprise-class portfolio, aiming to give Cisco Systems Inc. and Hewlett Packard Co. a run for their market share.


Taipei-based D-Link launched a number of new offerings at Interop this week in Las Vegas. Among them is the vendor’s first chassis line, the xStack Chassis Series (DGS-8000). It’s a series of switches for core-to-edge applications in the mid to enterprise market, and boasts features such as energy-efficiency, scalability, maximum security, modular resiliency and high-availability.


Also new is a storage-area network hardware line, the DSN-5000 Series of xStack SAN Arrays. Features include high-availability configuration, free firmware upgrades, a graphical user interface, energy efficiency and system virtualization. It’s available in three models and is optimized for disk-to-disk backup, archiving and video surveillance.


Finally, the L2+ Unified Wired/Wireless Gigabit Switch (DWS-4026) is a unified switch and access point combination aimed at improving network performance for mid to large enterprises and service providers.


Terry West, field marketing program manager, channel sales & solutions for D-Link, said in the past they really were considered the $99 router company and were really in a consumer play only, but the best-kept secret in the industry is their enterprise play.


“We’re the number-two switch manufacturer worldwide, as reported by Gartner very recently, and number-one in the SMB market for switching globally,” said West. “We’re actually the OEM manufacturer, hence the reason we offer a better value-play to our customers. We don’t have a middle-man, and therefore we offer true value to the customer from a pricing perspective.”


D-Link’s go to market revolves around five core strategies: switching, wireless, IP surveillance, security and storage. They’re also focusing on five key verticals: education, government, health care, hospitality and the enterprise.


As D-Link moves up to market into a competitive enterprise networking market, butting heads with companies with the install base of a Cisco and the portfolio breadth of an HP, as well as aggressive gainers such as Avaya Inc., West said D-Link sees its competitive pricing model as a major advantage, as well as its open architecture that allows its offerings to be plugged anywhere into the network.


“Obviously with the economic times that we’ve all been going through over the last year, even the enterprise customer is now looking to see what the true total cost of ownership of a solution is, and what type of investment they have to make in getting that solution,” said West. “For those customers who are brand-agnostic and are looking for the open-architecture solution, they’re going to come to D-Link. A lot of people out there are saying while (Cisco and HP) figure it out and battle it out, there are people out there looking for an alternative, and that alternative is D-Link.”


Another key part of that go to market will be D-Link’s channel partners. D-Link’s North American go to market is completed through the channel, and the vendor is launching a new partner program, Value in Partnership (VIP), to bring the enterprise play to market. The program launched in the U.S. this week, and will come to Canada July 1st.


“What’s new at D-Link over the last year with the new executive team is that it’s all about velocity to us, and accelerating our business,” said Mark Ciprietti, vice-president and general manager of D-Link Canada. “We’re more outbound and in front of our customers and the channel, bringing them both together on the opportunity. You’ll see more and more of our people out in the field.”