Campus networks are undergoing a rapid evolution as they draw inspiration from their data center peers from both a technology and cost perspective. At the forefront of this evolution is open networking, led by innovation and cost efficiencies that apply equally across data center and campus networks.

Interestingly, Cumulus Linux was originally intended for data center networking, but without a doubt, we’re seeing the lines between data center and campus blurring with campus standing to benefit significantly, and it’s about time. It’s the data center that has historically benefited from innovation, especially in compute and storage. The data center network, however, seemed to lag for more than a decade until our founders set out in 2010 to develop a fundamentally different approach to the data center with Cumulus Networks.

Cumulus Networks introduced an open, modern and innovative network operating system called Cumulus Linux. Cumulus Linux was originally designed to emulate the network architecture of the web-scale giants including Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook allowing you to automate, customize and scale your data center network like no other, and for the first time, bringing this capability to the masses.

Cumulus Networks is building the modern data center network for applications of the future. We provide networking software including a network operating system and network operations tools to provide actionable insights via real-time streaming telemetry data, to help architect, build, operate, and manage your data center in a more simple, open, agile, and scalable way.

So it’s at the request of our customer install base that we are entering into the campus network space to allow organizations to apply the same innovation and efficiencies that has occurred over the last decade in data center, and apply this to a “Modern Campus.” In particular, we’re already seeing large enterprise campus networks starting to look much like enterprise data centers, primarily fueled by a desire to natively leverage automation, to simplify, and to add much needed flexibility and control to their campus networks. To accomplish this requires a new approach to stale legacy campus architectures that, like their data center brethren, was not originally designed to handle modern workloads such as containers, devops/automation and big data or modern applications.

With this open, modern and disaggregated, standards-based approach to networks, the simplicity and seamless integration with automation tools, and the ability to leverage common tools and best practices across data center, our customers are finding a better, more modern approach to building campus networks. One that is designed with applications of the future in mind.

These benefits are now available to campus networks through the joint solution from Dell EMC and Cumulus Networks.

In addition to the features and benefits that make Cumulus Linux and NetQ/NetQ Cloud, so appealing to our data center customers, we recognize that there are additional campus features that are specialized and non-negotiable with our customers. The most critical, but are not limited to, include:

  • 802.1x for authentication and security (many sub features: MAB/MDA/URL redirect/port security, etc.)
  • PoE mandatory
  • 1G supported hardware with large number of ports (Mulitgig coming soon)
  • Voice VLAN
  • L2/L3
  • Automation
  • MLAG

It’s time to consider that a legacy approach to campus networks may no longer provide efficiency from a technology or cost perspective and often leads to an inflexible network with a bandaid approach to features that continue to add cost and complexity.

If you’d like to learn more, you’ll find a full set of collaterals, videos, web pages and a press release below but don’t take my word for it, I would suggest you try Cumulus Linux and NetQ in your campus environment for yourself by taking a test drive.

Modern Campus Network Press Release
Cumulus Linux for Modern Campus Web Page
How can web-scale networking modernize your campus networks? Whitepaper
Naturalis adopts Cumulus Linux to modernize their campus Network Video
Modern Campus Networking Architecture Guide
Cumulus Linux Datasheet
Cumulus Linux Solution Overview
Cumulus NetQ and NetQ Cloud Web Page
Cumulus NetQ and NetQ Cloud Datasheet

To join our live webinar entitled, “Extending data center innovation to campus networks“ on Tuesday, October 29th at 10 am Pacific, please register here. If you would like to see Cumulus Linux and NetQ in action, don’t hesitate to contact your sales team for a demo.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions, or via Twitter at @CicconeScott.