Cumulus Networks Releases Cumulus VX to Accelerate Open Networking Adoption

Cumulus VX provides cloud and networking experts a zero cost way to test open networking environments with the support of the Cumulus Networks Open Networking Community

Mountain View, Calif., August 4, 2015 – Cumulus Networks®, provider of the Cumulus® Linux® operating system for open networking, today announced the launch of Cumulus VX (Virtual Experience), a free virtual appliance designed to simulate the traditional Cumulus Networks technology environment. Cumulus® VX™ provides a new way for data center cloud administrators and network engineers to learn, prototype and develop open networking concepts at their own pace, in their own environments. Cumulus VX operates without the need for a bare metal switch or specialized hardware and runs on all popular hypervisors.

Cumulus VX lets its users:

  • Learn: Cumulus VX will help IT and network professionals become more familiar with open networking.  
  • Test drive: Prospective customers can shorten the evaluation cycle by testing Cumulus Linux or Cumulus RMP features and functionalities at their own pace in their own environments, without needing to invest in hardware.
  • Prototype: Customers can leverage Cumulus VX to experiment and design rollouts, thus minimizing errors and time to production.  
  • Develop applications: Customers and partners can leverage Cumulus VX to develop custom, portable applications that seamlessly migrate into production Cumulus Linux or Cumulus RMP deployments.

“Open networking is the future. We’re seeing firsthand how organizations of all sizes benefit from embracing it. With Cumulus VX, we’re removing all economic and organizational barriers to make it easier than ever for people who are interested in open networking to try it out,” said Reza Malekzadeh, Vice President of Business, Cumulus Networks. “In addition, our partners are excited to have a way to demonstrate the experience of Cumulus Linux or Cumulus RMP right from their laptops, with no switch hardware required.”  

Cumulus VX can run in a number of virtual environments such as Virtualbox, KVM, VMware Workstation™, VMware Fusion® and VMware ESXi™ as well as with GNS3 and Vagrant. Lacking data-path acceleration, Cumulus VX is not intended for production usage but allows networking experts to test and configure traditional networking protocols like BGP and MLAG as well as Cumulus Networks-specific technologies such as Prescriptive Topology Manager (PTM).

Cumulus VX is available for download now on the Cumulus Networks website. Technical support for Cumulus VX will be available through Cumulus Networks Open Networking Community. The Open Networking Community is an online platform where current and potential customers, partners and anyone who is “Cumulus Curious” can engage in conversations. Community members can ask questions around Cumulus VX usage, share product experiences and learn about events and meetups.

As a complement to the virtual experience with Cumulus VX, Cumulus Workbench is also available as a way to try Cumulus Linux at a scheduled time on physical open networking switches in the Cumulus Networks remote lab.

Additional information

User Testimonials

“Cumulus VX substantially increases our capability to highlight the value of Cumulus Linux. We can quickly create everything from simple single VMs to large multi-node spine and leaf topologies that mimic customer production deployments without having to reserve hardware.” – DJ Spry, Principal Engineer, Open Networking, Dell

“Having the ability to spin up virtual Cumulus-powered switches is a huge boon for automation testing. It's incredibly powerful to be able to use automation frameworks such as Ansible, Salt, Puppet, or Chef with Cumulus, and adding Cumulus VX to the mix now enables safer testing of these automation frameworks before you roll them into production. I use Ansible, and I can easily test changes to my Ansible playbooks using Cumulus VX before I run that playbook against production switches.” -- Scott Lowe, Engineering Architect, Networking and Security Business Unit at VMware

“Open networking simulated in a virtual environment! Cumulus VX brings us great power in building proof of concepts, testing designs, training up on new features and easy expansion of Puppet development.” -- Kris Amundson, Technical Operations Engineer, Puppet Labs, Inc.

"Rapid development of new functionality is key to introducing customer innovations and operational enhancements into production environments. NTT has been developing GoBGP, a BGP implementation that can work with Cumulus Linux. Without the need for switch hardware, Cumulus VX accelerates our pace of building, testing, and implementing GoBGP and other software functionality on top of Cumulus Linux!" -- Ishida Wataru, Research Engineer, NTT Software Innovation Center

"Solutions that allow network professionals to get up to speed quickly and easily see better adoption. With Cumulus VX, all you need is your laptop! There’s no need to invest time and money into switch hardware and full-blown PoCs to get started with open networking." -- Matt Oswalt, Network Engineer, Technology Blogger keepingitclassless.net

“CENGN was extremely happy with the results of the Cumulus VX product trial in our next generation networking platform, used to accelerate commercialization of our customer’s products and services. Using Cumulus VX with Cumulus Networks’ online resources made it easy for our team to learn how to automate switches without full hardware. The simplicity and convenience of building an image + script to demonstrate automation modules to new users would convert even the most devoted CLI fan.” -- Boris Mimeur, Senior Technical Leader, CENGN

“Cumulus VX is a very handy tool that allows us to easily develop Puppet changes prior to production and test our current Puppet modules when a new Cumulus Linux release is available. This helps us in minimizing errors, reducing our time to production with new rollouts!”  -- Omar Wit, Senior System & Network Engineer, Hostnet

“I designed a demonstration package to showcase the ease of deployment when utilizing Puppet for our sales engineers. The Cumulus VX platform provides a mobile sandbox our engineers can launch on demand, modify as needed, and then restore to a predefined state with minimal effort.” -- Richard Kiles, Senior Networking Consultant, GDT

"With Cumulus VX, we were able to test interoperability with other virtual products effortlessly! The software is an excellent tool to learn and model Cumulus Networks technology giving me confidence that my configurations will operate as expected before deployment into production." -- Sabur Mian, Director, Solution Architecture, HPM Networks


About Cumulus Networks

Cumulus Networks helps customers realize cost-effective, high capacity networking for modern data centers.  Linux transformed the economics and innovation for data center compute, and Cumulus Linux is doing the same for the network. It radically reduces the costs and complexities of operating modern data center networks for businesses of all sizes. Cumulus Networks has received venture funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Peter Wagner and four of the original VMware founders.

For more information visit cumulusnetworks.com or follow @cumulusnetworks.

Media Contact:

Thomas McLean, +1-415.365.0383, thomas.mclean@biteglobal.com

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