Cumulus Networks Aims to Smooth Linux Networking Transition

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    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.


    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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