Interest in open source network operating systems based on Linux running on a bare-metal switch is high. But not many networking professionals are familiar with platforms based on Linux. To make it simpler to make the switch, Cumulus Networks has created a Network Command Line Utility (NCLU) that provides a central location from which they can manually manage the Cumulus Linux environment using a command-line interface most network administrators would easily recognize.
Cumulus Networks CTO JR Rivers says the goal is to provide network managers with a means of making the switch to an open source networking environment using a tool that resembles the ones most of them currently use to manage proprietary networks.
“We don’t think network administrators are afraid of Linux,” says Rivers. “They just don’t always know where to get started in a daily basis.”
Over time, Rivers says the insights NCLU provides into a Linux-based networking environment will make it simpler for network administrators to gradually make the switch as they become more familiar with Linux.
It’s unclear to what degree Linux-based network operating systems will be able to supplant legacy networking environments. But any such transition is going to involve a lot of on-the-job training. As such, that should be easier for network administrators to absorb when the Linux-based platform looks and feels like everything else in the networking environment.