Container networking — Where Linux host networking meets network infrastructure

As more and more organizations move to cloud environments, modern applications have become central to business development. Over time, these applications have grown to be large and complex, taking time and resources to deploy and manage.

To address business needs and reduce time to deployment, application developers and network operators have adopted web-scale principles and packaged their applications and services into containers. With container networking, application developers are able to deploy, replicate, move and back up a workload more quickly and easily than they previously could do with bare-metal servers or virtual machines. The network is a vital piece to ensuring the successful utilization of containers.


Cumulus Networks offers a host networking software solution, Host Pack, that brings the host to the network giving visibility and connectivity to containers, microservices and more. Host Pack utilizes a common data center operating model, Linux, that is foundational to container systems. This enables the use of a common operational toolset, guarantees interoperability and reduces complexity across the entire data center.

As container networking becomes more broadly deployed, using a Layer 3 architecture with Host Pack, will enable a higher-performing, resilient, scalable and simple-to-operate network that reduces the blast radius of an outage should one ever occur. Layer 3 designs also enable application teams and networking teams to largely avoid troubleshooting spanning tree (STP) and multi-chassis link aggregation (MLAG) issues. Cumulus Networks supports both layer 2 overlay networks as well as several ways to implement a more advanced layer 3 network design for containerized architectures.

In addition to increased connectivity with Host Pack, Cumulus Networks offers granular container visibility for faster debugging. Host Pack gives operational and development teams shared visibility of application availability through popular container orchestration tools such as Mesosphere, Kubernetes and Docker Swarm. Enabled by NetQ running on the host, network operators can easily view the health of container services, keep track of container locations, track IP addresses and open ports, and have deep insights into where an issue resides — allowing for faster troubleshooting.

Learn more about Host Pack

Understanding the solution

A look at the architecture

With Host Pack, Cumulus Networks provides a unique set of host essentials that provide container visibility and connectivity — bringing the host to the network.

Customers leveraging Host Pack

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