Cumulus lands another SDN supporter for its Linux offering

Midokura links its network virtualization overlay to Cumulus Linux OS for physical/virtual integration

SDN company Midokura this week said it will support for Cumulus Networks’ Linux network operating system in its network virtualization software.

The combination will enable customers to manage workloads on virtual and non-virtualized infrastructure using Midokura’s MidoNet product. MidoNet is a distributed network virtualization system that is designed to allow service providers and enterprises to build flexible and easier-to-manage virtual networks.

Cumulus Linux is a Linux-based network operating system for programmable data centers. It includes IPv4 and IPv6 routing, plus data center and network orchestration hooks, and is intended to run on commodity network hardware.

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Dell is reselling Cumulus Linux to run on its merchant silicon-based switches.

Midokura isn’t going that far. It’s just supporting interoperability with Cumulus Linux through a gateway in the Cumulus software. The companies plan to preview the integration by May and make it generally available in the third quarter.  

Traditionally, network virtualization allows communication only amongst virtual devices and machines on overlay networks. Cumulus Linux will enable MidoNet to connect to physical switches running the operating system and allow traffic flows from virtual machines to machines running on physical infrastructure through the VxLAN Tunnel Endpoint (VTEP) gateway.

The interoperability will target organizations looking to connect virtual networks to physical workloads such as high performance database, e-mail servers and legacy systems at line rate, Midokura says. It will also allow users to plan migration cycles to virtual networks and workloads based on operational demand, without forcing a hardware upgrade, the company says.

Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) programmability strategy also addresses physical and virtual workload provisioning and orchestration, but requires all new Nexus 9000 hardware to gain the full benefits of the ACI fabric. Big Switch Networks changed its business proposition from network virtualization overlays to physical/virtual integration as well.

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.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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