Bringing the Linux Revolution to the Network

"The business models enabled by the Linux platform, namely cheap innovation, quick scale out and mass collaboration, is directly responsible for the success of top Web 2.0 companies including Google, Facebook and Amazon"

Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat in ZDnet

Founded by veteran networking engineers from Cisco and VMware, Cumulus Networks has developed the first true, full-featured Linux operating system for networking hardware. Just as Linux transformed the economics and accelerated the pace of innovation on the server side of the data center, Cumulus Linux is doing the same for the network side. We are radically reducing the cost and complexity of operating modern data center networks and enabling the true promise of the software defined data center.

By providing a common network operating system, Cumulus Networks enables IT organizations to create a more cloud-like IT infrastructure that is less expensive, higher capacity and less complicated. And one that is able to support a wide variety of business applications with great agility and efficiency.

As a result, IT organizations can take advantage of the substantial price-performance benefits of bare metal hardware as well as the agility and automation of the new generation of “software-defined” data center software.

Cumulus Networks is fundamentally different on multiple levels:

Hardware Agnostic

  • Cumulus Networks decouples the Operating System from the networking gear. This is the key missing piece in the broader shift to the software-defined data center and creates tremendous flexibility.
  • The ability to run bare metal hardware from manufacturers like Edge-Core, Penguin Computing and Quanta drives incredible gains in price performance.
  • Cumulus Linux can run alongside proprietary network hardware because Cumulus uses the same switching and routing protocols.

Software Agnostic

  • Linux provides native access to commercial and open source tools written for data center automation and management (like Chef, CFEngine, Ganglia, etc.).
  • Cumulus Linux works with network overlays such as VMware NSX.


  • Cumulus Linux is software only, so it’s the first network OS that provides true hardware independence.
  • We take a holistic system approach supporting customers with any networking orchestration, automation and monitoring challenges

Partner Ecosystem

Domain Expertise

  • Our founding team includes JR Rivers, a Cisco veteran who was involved in the early development of Google’s renowned data center networks, Nolan Leake an early VMware engineer and a number of Cisco fellows, an elite group responsible for some of the biggest advancements ever in networking.
  • We have several early members of the VMware executive team in our leadership group.
  • The extended team includes deep expertise in hardware switch design, networking protocols and real world network developments in some of the most challenging data center environments in the world.
  • Our investors are among the best – Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Peter Wagner and VMware co-founders Diane Greene, Ed Bugnion, Ellen Wang, and Mendel Rosenblum.

Big Time Customers

  • Our largest customer operates one of the largest, most demanding data centers in the world and has been running our software in production since October 2012.
  • Dreamhost built their DreamCompute offering leveraging our software.