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Network-Software Trailblazer Cumulus Now Part of NVIDIA

NVIDIA has acquired Cumulus Networks to power its Ethernet strategy into hyperscale networking.

NVIDIA has expressed its desire to acquire a network-software company- plan to acquire Cumulus Networks. As the Cloud Data Centers continue to hyper-evolve, IT companies are increasingly dependent on accelerated, disaggregated and software-defined architecture. This can be achieved with AI, high performance computing and open source DevOps. As NVIDIA puts it, “to build these modern data centers, HPC and networking hardware and software must go hand in hand.”

“The ability to innovate across the entire technology stack will help us deliver performance at scale for the accelerated, software-defined data center.” Amit Katz

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At the time of this announcement, Amit Katz, Vice President Ethernet Switch at Mellanox, said, “Today, we announce our plan to acquire Cumulus Networks, bolstering our networking software capabilities. The combination enables the new era of the accelerated, software-defined data center.”

Amit added —

“With Cumulus, NVIDIA can innovate and optimize across the entire networking stack from chips and systems to software including analytics like Cumulus NetQ, delivering great performance and value to customers. This open networking platform is extensible and allows enterprise and cloud-scale data centers full control over their operations.”

What is Cumulus?

Cumulus is a transformational IT company that makes Cloud Computing and Data Center Management look like a cakewalk. It provides world-class data center networking software, built on the principle of open networking model.

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Cumulus, based in Mountain View, Calif., supports more than 100 hardware platforms with Cumulus Linux, its operating system for network switches.

Amit added, “Our ultrafast NVIDIA Mellanox Spectrum switches already ship with Cumulus Linux and SONiC, the open source offering forged in Microsoft’s Azure cloud and managed by the Open Compute Project.”

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The NVIDIA-Cumulus design took place long back, even as Mellanox was forming its Open Ethernet strategy. In 2013, when data center modeling was still in its infancy, Mellanox was making simple open networks. Amit informed that at the OCP Summit in March 2016, Mellanox had announced a partnership with Cumulus and started shipping combined offerings.

Mellanox and Cumulus have built many ethernet platforms together.

For example, the ONIE environment Cumulus created is a software foundation for Mellanox’s bare-metal switches.

Another product they built is the DENT. DENT is a distributed Linux software framework for retail and other enterprises at the edge of the network. And our Onyx operating system continues to expand, especially in Ethernet Storage Fabrics (ESF).

As we head into the new era of hyperscale networking powered by AI and AutoML techniques, NVIDIA’s approach would be key to Cloud Computing marketplace’s growth and diversification. NVIDIA is expected to continue with its efforts in creating both the hardware and software for accelerated computing expands deeper into networking software with Cumulus.

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