Cumulus Networks® Announces Partnership And Distribution Agreement With Dell

Signals networking industry shift towards complete disaggregation of hardware & software, gives customers flexibility to choose network technology that best fits their business needs

Open Compute Summit 2014

Mountain View, Calif., January 28, 2014Cumulus Networks, the company bringing the power of Linux to networking, today announced a distribution agreement with Dell in which the Cumulus® Linux® network OS will be one of the software options offered with Dell’s networking hardware. This partnership brings new data center customization opportunities to market as customers now have the freedom to select the best possible components to suit their specific needs.

Representing a significant shift for the industry, this will be the first time Dell offers bare-metal networking gear with a choice of operating system to its customers. Dell will also resell the Cumulus Linux network OS, running on the Dell Networking S6000, and the Dell Networking S4810 fixed configuration switches.

As the shift away from networking vendors who enforce proprietary lock-in continues, a growing number of technology providers – Cumulus Networks and Dell among them – are moving towards an open approach that disaggregates hardware from software, and completely evolves the enterprise software supply chain in the process. Industry standard bare metal hardware and open software networks are no longer just for the few mega-scale technology companies, and this new model lets players of all sizes scale their data centers faster, and in the simplest, most efficient manner possible, at a fraction of the cost.

“Since launching last June, we have grown our customer base to over 100 – including enterprises, financial institutions, service providers and SMBs – and partnering with a tier-one enterprise technology supplier like Dell will expand our reach into new markets and regions,” said JR Rivers, co-founder and CEO of Cumulus Networks. “The open approach we take means customers get the degrees of freedom, transparency and choice they deserve. In this open environment, technology providers on both the hardware and software side will have to continually innovate in order to earn and retain business.”

“This is an exciting time for Dell Networking, with a host of new technologies helping customers virtualize their environments,” said Tom Burns, vice president and general manager, Dell Networking. “We’re seeing segments of the networking world moving towards a disaggregated hardware/software model. We are excited to work with Cumulus Networks as we focus our combined energies to embrace the Linux networking model and open standards.”

“Open industry partnerships like the one between Cumulus Networks and Dell are good for the entire industry as they drive innovation and offer enterprise customers an unprecedented amount of choice,” said Peter Levine, partner, Andreessen Horowitz. “The industry is reaching a tipping point as more customers shift towards this model, and 2014 may well be the year that we fully realize the true potential behind these modern network architectures that have been some time in the making.”

“The partnership between Cumulus Networks and Dell is a market development that we suspected might come to fruition,” said Brad Casemore, research director, data center networks, IDC. “Cloud-service providers and large enterprise customers are thoroughly evaluating alternatives to their data center network infrastructure. Dell has chosen to position itself as a strong proponent of disaggregation of network hardware and software, while Cumulus Networks has struck a partnership with a major data center infrastructure vendor that can help it gain favorable exposure in a greater number of customer accounts. This partnership is emblematic of an eventful period in data center technologies as network disaggregation reconfigures industry ecosystems.”

At this year’s OCP Summit V, Cumulus Networks CEO JR Rivers will be keynoting a panel titled, “Opening Up Network Hardware” along with Martin Casado, (Chief Architect, Networking, VMware), Najam Ahmad (Director, Infrastructure, Facebook), Dave Maltz (Microsoft Partner Development Manager) and Matthew Liste (Managing Director, Core Infrastructure Platform, Goldman Sachs). The session will be held at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday, January 29, on the main stage. To tune into the live webcast, go to:

Also, Cumulus Networks Curt Brune will be leading a session on the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) at 3 pm. on Tuesday, January 28. Please visit Cumulus Networks at booth C28.

Pricing and Availability

For details on purchasing Cumulus Linux go to:

Additional Media Resources

To watch a video discussion on this announcement, go to:

Downloadable graphics, headshots, logos, and other materials can be found at

About Cumulus Networks

Cumulus Networks is bringing the Linux revolution to networking. Founded by veteran networking engineers from Cisco and VMware, Cumulus Networks makes the first Linux operating system for networking hardware and fills a critical gap in realizing the true promise of the software-defined data center. Just as Linux completely transformed the economics and innovation on the server side of the data center, Cumulus Linux will do the same for the network. It is radically reducing the costs and complexities of operating modern data center networks for service providers and enterprises. 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 or follow @cumulusnetworks.

Media Contact: Eddie McGraw, +1. 415.365.0466,

The registered trademark Linux® is used pursuant to a sublicense from LMI, the exclusive licensee of Linus Torvalds, owner of the mark on a world-wide basis.