Mellanox Partners with Cumulus on Open Networking

Mike Vizard
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2016 Trends: Preparing the Network for Web-Scale Demands

While it’s still early days, IT organizations are slowly adjusting to the fact that they can mix and match network operating systems and switches at will. The latest instance of that open networking capability came this week at the Open Compute Project 2016 Summit in the form of an alliance between Cumulus and Mellanox Technologies.

Kevin Deierling, vice president of marketing for Mellanox, says IT organizations now have the option of deploying a network operating system developed by Mellanox or the Cumulus Linux stack.

In addition, Mellanox unveiled the next iteration of its Open Composable Networks (OCN) platform, which enables IT organizations to now deploy a 10/25, 50, 100 Gb/s network composed of LinkX cables and a new set of adapter cards for the Facebook Open Compute Project (OCP) platform.

The benefit of Cumulus Linux, says Deierling, is that the constructs of a Linux-based operating system are more familiar to developers that increasingly want to take more control of network infrastructure to guarantee the performance of their applications.

In addition, Deierling contends that over an extended period of time, IT organizations benefit from more rapid delivery of updates to core functionality in the operating systems versus what any single vendor delivering a proprietary operating system can deliver.

Deierling says that a shift to 25 and 50G Ethernet switches will create a seminal moment that will lead to more widespread adoption of open source network operating systems on those classes of switches.

Naturally, the degree to which that occurs remains to be seen. But with more options than ever, IT organizations will soon be dealing with more diversity at the network layer than ever before.

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