Our vision

Our vision is simple: to build better networks. Here at Cumulus, we want to transform the networking industry for the better. 

We’ve been thinking about data center networks differently since day one. After working with some of the biggest names in networking and infrastructure (think Cisco and Google), our CTO and co-founder, JR Rivers, realized something monumental: web-scale companies are building fundamentally different (better) networks while the rest of the industry is remaining traditional, slow and outdated. How can businesses of all sizes reap the same benefits of web-scale giants? 

That’s where ONIE was born. Contributed to the open computer project by Cumulus Networks, the open network install environment enables a bare metal network switch ecosystem where end users have a choice among different network operating systems. 

With the invention of ONIE, everything changed. Suddenly, organizations could open up their network infrastructure and have freedom of choice in both hardware and software. When we launched Cumulus Linux, the most flexible open network operating system available, we gave people the opportunity to redefine what they think of data center networks. Businesses could now build a network on Linux, aligning the vertical stack and opening up the networking industry to innovation, flexibility and scale. 

It’s time to think about networking differently

In the mainframe era, we had simple applications with complex infrastructure. Today, applications are becoming more complex and require a modern, highly scalable and simple infrastructure — built on a set of standardized components. 

Applications are changing 

A surge in digital business and cloud-based IT delivery are changing the way networks are being designed. Bandwidth intensive applications, like video and AI, are growing rapidly and need a network that can grow and adapt as fast as the technology. In addition, these applications used to require L2 connectivity but now only need L3 for clustering, for example. That has allowed the network architecture to change.

Even with the changing demands, one survey of over 1,000 I&O professionals found that 93% of those surveyed stated they have a cloud-network related issue at least once a month due to legacy infrastructure*. Traditional networks don’t adequately support the modern user or the modern application.  Traditional networks primarily focus on bandwidth constraints and don’t look at the complete picture of applications and their interaction with the network. 

New applications that have strict performance requirements or are real-time need a more modern network.

The industry is moving to private cloud

In order to meet new application requirements for performance and cost, workloads are moving to a private cloud infrastructure. Private cloud infrastructure is sometimes deployed initially for non-critical workloads such as test and development. As enterprises become more comfortable, they begin adding critical workloads to private cloud deployments.

When enterprises build a private cloud environment, they emulate web-scale IT organizations with regards to flexibility, scalability, being open and cost effective, having a consistent operating model (i.e. Linux), and a simplified operational model.

Public cloud is becoming hybrid cloud 

In 2019, public cloud is forecasted to grow 17.3% (Gartner). Enterprises are turning to public cloud to enable fast and frictionless services, which enable agility and spur innovation.

But there is a clear breakeven point where it becomes more cost effective to deploy a private cloud environment. When enterprises hit this point (or see it coming), they move to a hybrid model of both public and private cloud depending on the application need. 

Public cloud repatriation is also occurring where organizations that have moved workloads to the public cloud are repatriating (i.e. moving to private cloud) due to cost, performance, and security reasons.

These priorities end up forcing organizations into a hybrid cloud environment where they run some services on the public cloud and others on a private environment — requiring intelligent network design that is flexible and seamless. 

* "IT teams struggle with digital transformation skills". Help Net Security. April 28, 2017.

Web-scale networking for all

Enterprises are adopting new IT delivery models and applications that require a fundamentally new way to think about the network.  Large organizations such as Google and Facebook have been creating a more scalable and repeatable data center with an open, modular approach that is simpler to manage.  Those same principles can be used for organizations of all sizes to grow efficiently.  

Network teams are being asked to be more agile and deliver a network that meets today's business requirements of being more flexible, rapidly scalable, and highly reliable.

  • Characteristics of a Modern Data Center Network:
  • Simplification
  • Cost reduction
  • Agility with automation
  • Scale
  • Control
  • Resiliency and Availability
  • Open Source tools
  • Visibility
  • Easier to manage

The Cumulus way

Cumulus Networks provides networking software to design, run and operate modern data centers that are simple, open, agile, resilient, scalable and operationally efficient. Cumulus Linux is the only open networking software that allows you to affordably build and efficiently operate your network like the world’s largest data center operators, unlocking vertical network stacks. Combined with Cumulus NetQ, an operational management tool, organizations can take advantage of deeper analytics and advanced telemetry to increase visibility across the network and reduce mean time to resolution.

In short, we offer open networking software for the modern data center. Join us in the transformation. 

Next steps

Learn about all the solutions and products that Cumulus has to offer here. And if you’d like to hear more from our thought leaders, check out the Cumulus network engineering blog. It’s full of educational content on both our products and the industry as a whole.