Traditional enterprise networking is under siege — threatened by choice, by open source, and by open standards. The same revolution that made Linux the standard for server operating systems is now happening to network switching. With over 1.5 million ports in production, 50+ certified hardware platforms across 8 hardware vendors, Cumulus Linux® is the de-facto platform for Open Networking, and a perfect example of what the next generation data centers should include.

But the age-old claim that “It’s Just Linux, you can do whatever you want!” can complicate solving specific problems customers have in the enterprise. Based on feedback from community members, we’ve created the Solutions Marketplace on the Cumulus Networks Community Website. The Solutions Marketplace is a repository of community-submitted projects, user space applications, automation scripts, and extensions to Cumulus Linux. This enables collaboration and fosters innovation through a common platform to develop upon openly and freely using Cumulus VX.

The Solutions Marketplace with Cumulus Linux expedites the path to production due to the availability of existing community expertise. Best practices are shared, which means you don’t have to start from zero when building out your data center. A disaggregated hardware/software model enables flexible environments and leverages open standards. The result is a highly interoperable model — one that challenges legacy proprietary and single-vendor models.

As an industry first, Cumulus Linux offers the following:

  • Cumulus VX — A virtual instance of Cumulus Linux that works seamlessly with open source DevOps tools such as vagrant
  • A rich partner ecosystem to help guide and validate solutions for all types of use cases and business verticals
  • A thriving user community (Note: Check out our updated Community Portal for events, docs, user forums and more!)

We’ve designed the Solutions Marketplace to cater to those that are tasked to evaluate, implement, and maintain Cumulus Linux. Part of the evaluation process is understanding the possibilities of Cumulus Linux, as well as what customers are actually using as critical pieces of their networking deployment. Having a good plan during evaluation and proof-of-concept phases helps streamline the deployment and maintenance phases later.

As an intuitive platform, users can search the Solutions Marketplace by:

  • Deployment Life Cycle: Solutions are dependent on where customers are in their deployment “path to production” story. That is, there are solutions that help demonstrate or validate an initial proof-of-concept before a formal deployment. Also, some solutions could just be code “snippets” that accomplish a specific task, configuration, or maintenance activity.
  • Networking Technology: As the number of networking solutions become more specialized, many are highly dependent on the networking topologies and underlying networking standards and protocols for use. For example, search for layer 2 (L2) or layer 3 (L3) solutions, or OSPF or BGP routing protocols based on specific needs.
  • Automation Type: Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Salt and others are foundations for integrating DevOps methodologies across servers as well as switches. The vast majority of solutions listed include automation in order to achieve proper states across the entire network (and not just a single switch).
  • Software Integration: Cumulus Linux has a natural fit with such larger solutions such as Containers, OpenStack, and even Cumulus Routing on a Host that includes the open source Quagga Linux package.

The quality of the Solutions Marketplace is only as good as the original content. The community is highly encouraged to submit their solutions via the submission function, and the Cumulus Community team will work to have it approved and listed as soon as possible. With more community submissions, the Solutions Marketplace will highlight and showcase what can be done with Cumulus Linux used as a platform, and connect people with solutions in order to search, view, apply, and improve shared solutions.

The Solutions Marketplace is just one exciting way we hope to transform the networking industry. Visit the Solutions Marketplace to find, implement and contribute projects with Cumulus switches today.