Cumulus Networks Announces Industry-First Transponder Abstraction Interface, Bringing Interoperability and Openness to Data Center Interconnect Technology

In Collaboration with NTT Electronics, the Telecom Infra Project and Facebook, Cumulus Networks Drives Fast, Disaggregated Optical Chip Integration with Voyager

Telecom Infra Project 2018 Summit, London - October 16, 2018 - Cumulus Networks, the leaders in building open, modern, and scalable networks, announced today at the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Summit expansion of their efforts with Voyager, driving openness in the data center interconnect (DCI) with the launch of an industry-first Transponder Abstraction Interface that gives transponder vendors more interoperability.

As one of the leaders in the development of TAI, Cumulus Networks has made important contributions to the Telecom Infra Project. TAI defines an API for providing a vendor-independent way to control transponders from various vendors and implementations in a uniform manner, removing the friction for Network OS vendors to support new hardware and allowing chip vendors to take their solutions to market more easily with existing network software that can support them out of the box. Cumulus Networks wrote the initial reference device driver and open sourced it through the Telecom Infra Project GitHub repository.

Since announcing the intent to make Cumulus Linux available on Voyager at last year’s Telecom Infra Project Summit, Cumulus has seen successful trials of Voyager with Vodafone, NYSERNet, Internet2, GRnet and CESNET. The launch of TAI furthers Cumulus’ goal of bringing open, optical networking solutions to the industry at large.

“Over the last year, we have increased our efforts to bring innovative solutions to TIP and Voyager so that customers can face the challenges of running efficient, packet optical networks at scale,” said JR Rivers, CTO of Cumulus Networks. “We are thrilled to introduce TAI to customers today and we look forward to continuing our efforts with TIP, Facebook, ADVA and others to bring more solutions like this to market.”

“We are excited to see how multiple partners are working together to solve the integration challenge. This is an important step towards making disaggregated solutions evolve faster, and we’re pleased to see how Cumulus has been one of the leaders of the initiative,” said Luis MartinGarcia, Network Technologies Manager, Facebook.

Facebook contributed Voyager to TIP to address operator needs for scalable, cost-effective backhaul infrastructure in support of increasing global internet usage and bandwidth-intensive applications like video, virtual reality, scientific research, and machine learning. Voyager is an Open Packet DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) system that disaggregates hardware from software and that can fulfill multiple use cases in metro and long-haul fiber optic transport networks. 

“One of the reasons that there’s such a buzz around our Voyager packet optical solution is Cumulus. Their software is a clear differentiator and it really injects the whole product offering with tremendous ease of use,” said Niall Robinson, VP of Global Business Development at ADVA. “With their new TAI, they’re continuing to push the boundaries of openness and disaggregation into the Voyager project and remove friction from the entire ecosystem.”

TIP Summit attendees can learn more about TAI and Cumulus Networks by attending these TIP Summit events:

  •  TAI demos will be conducted throughout the event in the expo hall’s center floor 
  • Hans-Juergen Schmidtke, Director of Engineering at Facebook, will be speaking about Voyager and TAI during his keynote at 15:00 on Tuesday, October 16
  • Scott Emery, Principal Engineer at Cumulus Networks, will be giving a talk on TAI with Facebook and NTT on the Spotlight Stage as part of the OOPT session at 14:00 on Wednesday, October 17

About Cumulus Networks
Cumulus Networks is leading the transformation of bringing web-scale networking to enterprise cloud. As the only systems solution that fully unlocks the vertical network stacks of the modern data center, Cumulus Linux allows companies of all sizes to affordably build and efficiently operate their networks just like the world’s largest data centers. By allowing operators to use standard hardware components, Cumulus Networks offers unprecedented operational speed and agility, at the industry’s most competitive cost. 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.


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