Cumulus Networks Unveils a Linux Platform for Data Centers and Cloud Deployments

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 19, 2013

Cumulus Networks, which has been operating in stealth mode, emerged today to unveil Cumulus Linux, billed as "the first true, full-featured Linux operating system for datacenter networking." The platform is being billed as competitive with Cisco's switch-centric platform offerings (Cumulus' OS is pitched as ideal for the datacenter switch market decoupled from the underlying hardware infrastructure), and is also likely to compete with Red Hat as it moves more in the direction of cloud computing. Cumulus may also compete with cloud hosting providers.

Meanwhile, Piston Cloud Computing, Inc., focused on enterprise OpenStack, today announced a technology partnership with Cumulus Networks.

Cumulus Networks was founded by networking engineers from Cisco and VMware in 2010. Led by CEO JR Rivers and CTO Nolan Leake, the company has gathered more than  $15 million in venture funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Peter Wagner and four of VMware's founders. That's some impressive financial backing.

The company also has a number of heavy-hitting clients and partners. There is an emerging network architecture being adopted by enterprises and service providers consisting of intelligent edge software, decoupled from the underlying physical network, running over general purpose network hardware. There are many benefits to this architecture, such as a software operational model and software innovation speeds, but the biggest benefit is customer choice,” said Hatem Naguib, vice president of networking and security, VMware, in a statement. “Cumulus Linux provides customers more flexibility in choosing the underlying infrastructure used to deploy network virtualization from VMware.”

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According to Piston Cloud's partnership announcement:

"Cumulus Linux was introduced today as the first true, full-featured Linux operating system for datacenter networking, and validated to run Piston Enterprise OpenStack, a turnkey, bare-metal cloud operating system for deploying and managing a private Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud environment. Piston Cloud and Cumulus Networks deliver innovation in cloud infrastructure and networking to help businesses realize the full potential of the software-defined datacenter."

"We share an open approach to the virtual datacenter," said Joshua McKenty, co-founder and CTO of Piston Cloud, in a statement. "Cumulus Networks and Piston Cloud were founded on the fundamental belief that specialized software can run on a wide range of hardware to avoid vendor lock-in, decrease complexity, increase agility and reduce cost. By transforming the economics of infrastructure and networking, Cumulus Networks and Piston Cloud are removing the barriers to enterprise clouds, and making the software-defined datacenter a reality."

“Pressure is mounting on datacenter networks to provide an agile and dynamic infrastructure that is more closely aligned with the needs of burgeoning application workloads and changing traffic patterns. With the introduction of its Cumulus Linux, Cumulus Networks will respond to those needs in conjunction with its partner ecosystem, placing an early emphasis on hyperscale and cloud datacenters in continuous pursuit of IT agility and CapEx and OpEx efficiencies.” added Brad Casemore, research director for Datacenter Networks, IDC.

Cumulus Linux is available now through an annual subscription-pricing model that includes support and maintenance and the pricing scales based on switch performance capacity.

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