Cumulus Networks is launching an online marketplace that features products created by third parties that are built on the vendor's Linux-based networking operating system.
The Cumulus Networks Solutions Marketplace is a central repository for a broad range of offerings and makes it easier for network and cloud engineers to standardize their system architectures by helping to build out a community-led lineup of products.
"The Solutions Marketplace is a repository of community-submitted projects, user space applications, automation scripts, and extensions to Cumulus Linux," Andrius Benokraitis, strategic alliance manager at Cumulus, wrote in a post on the company blog. "This enables collaboration and fosters innovation through a common platform to develop upon openly and freely using Cumulus VX. The Solutions Marketplace with Cumulus Linux expedites the path to production due to the availability of existing community expertise. Best practices are shared, which means you don't have to start from zero when building out your data center."
Cumulus VX is a community supporting open-source software that enables cloud administrators and network engineers to test the vendor's technology in a virtual environment.
Cumulus' Linux OS can run on industry-standard hardware, which gives organizations greater flexibility, agility and affordability in their network infrastructures. Disaggregating network software—including the OS—from the underlying hardware is a central part of the network virtualization push in a rapidly changing industry that is being remade by such technologies as software-defined networking (SDN) and network-functions virtualization (NFV). Through these technologies, customers can run a consistent lineup of software on industry-standard systems from multiple OEMs and original design manufacturers (ODM) rather than getting locked into a single vendor whose OS is tied to its more expensive systems.
Cumulus officials have said the growing momentum behind the company's products shows the demand for such open networking offerings. They said more than 500 organizations run Cumulus Linux. Benokraitis in his blog wrote that there are more than 1.5 million ports in production and more than 50 certified hardware platforms across eight hardware vendors, including Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Supermicro and Quanta.
Company officials said that partners have been submitting, testing and updating third-party offerings for Cumulus Linux, and there are more than 40 solutions that can be searched for on the marketplace. There are some areas, like automation, that have been a key focus for Cumulus Linux-enabled deployments. However, up until now, automation offerings that rely on such third-party tools as Ansible and Puppet have been created on their own and only shared by word-of-mouth, which limits their reach. Having them in a central marketplace will make them more easily accessible, officials said.
"The Solutions Marketplace with Cumulus Linux expedites the path to production due to the availability of existing community expertise," Benokraitis wrote. "Best practices are shared, which means you don't have to start from zero when building out your data center. A disaggregated hardware/software model enables flexible environments and leverages open standards. The result is a highly interoperable model—one that challenges legacy proprietary and single-vendor models."
Users will be able to search the marketplace in several areas, from deployment lifecycle and networking technology to automation type—Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Salt and others—and software integration, he said.