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Dell is buying Force10 as a trend toward software being offered as services in the Internet "cloud" pushes demand for efficient, capable datacenters where the computing work is done.
"We are excited to be working with Dell," Force10 chief executive Henry Wasik said in a release.
"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," he continued.
Force10 has its headquarters in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose and has grown into a global operation boasting nearly $200 million in annual revenue since it was founded in 1999.
Dell said that it planned to keep Force10's research and development facility in Chennai, India.
Dell, which has its headquarters in Texas, has been beefing up its business products portfolio in recent years and deemed Force10 a natural complement to its strength in the server market.
"Today's datacenter networks are too complex and require too much manual intervention," said Dell enterprise solutions group senior vice president Brad Anderson. "What worked in the past is no longer viable in the virtual era."
Virtual computing optimizes use of machines and enhances flexibility and security using software that gets one computer to act as though it were several.