Cloud start-up Cumulus supports Broadcom Trident II

Cumulus Linux 2.0 features denser 10G/40G and VXLAN capabilities for multitenant data centers

Cumulus Networks, the start-up developing a Linux network operating system, this week rolled out Version 2.0 of its software, which supports Broadcom’s Trident II switching silicon.

Cumulus Linux 2.0 expands the breadth of networking hardware choices and platform densities – up to 32x40G, 96x10G + 8x40G, and 48x10G + 6x40G – to all systems that support Trident II. As a result, enterprise and service provider users can construct larger and faster fabrics that tie together virtual and physical network architectures and address growing traffic requirements, Cumulus says.

[ON DECK: Cisco/Insieme 40G to come in close to 10G]

Cumulus Linux 1.5 launched in June 2013 with a bevy of customers and hardware partners endorsing its software-only approach to networking and subscription-based business model. Cumulus Linux is intended to separate software from hardware purchases, so enterprises and service providers do not have to rely on a single vendor or set of vendors for the bulk of their networking purchases.

A single software distribution of Cumulus Linux supports a range of hardware platforms from a range of vendors, the company says. With these platforms, users can implement leaf-and-spine, and edge and core network topologies in a variety of form factors and port speeds, Cumulus says.

Among the specific features of Cumulus Linux 2.0 are:

• Hardware VXLAN termination for multi-tenant environments. The software decouples the logical network from the underlying physical fabric using network overlays so virtual networks and services can be added, moved and expanded without changing the underlying physical network infrastructure.

• Toolsets for orchestration, routing and network virtualization. Cumulus Linux 2.0 integrates with OpenStack and supports validated Chef, Puppet and CFEngine add-ons.

• Layer 2 gateway services, which extend virtual networks to physical workloads.

• Integration with VMware’s NSX network virtualization platform, which allows businesses to connect multi-tenant virtual networks to physical workloads, such as high performance application databases, legacy systems, storage and appliances.

Support for the Broadcom Trident II chip set is available in standard Cumulus Linux distribution and will be available to all Cumulus Linux customers in the fourth quarter. Cumulus Linux 2.0 is already in deployment by service providers DreamHost, Fastly and OrionVM.

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 27 years, 22 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.

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