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Cumulus Networks Enhances Linux Based Network Operating System

Wednesday Nov 27th 2019 by Sean Michael Kerner

New release provides support for more platforms and integrates new Linux kernel features.

Cumulus Networks has been busy building its Cumulus Linux network operating system since at least 2013, when the company emerged from stealth. On Nov. 18 the company announced the latest iteration with the release of Cumulus Linux 4.0.

Cumulus Linux is purpose built for networking and can run on both whitebox gear as well as hardware that is compliant with the Open Compute Project's (OCP) networking specification, including the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE).

With Cumulus Linux 4.0, the company has expanded the breadth of platforms that it supports, up to 134 platform across 14 ASICs.

"We've extended our open source leadership in networking and made cutting-edge enhancements that span the latest in L2/L3 connectivity, NetDevOps, visibility, troubleshooting, and support for the widest range of hardware platforms," commented Josh Leslie, CEO of Cumulus Networks.

Among the new chipsets support is Mellanox’s Spectrum-2 and Broadcom’s Qumran, which both offer the promise of improved networking performance.

SwitchDev

One of the big technical advances in Cumulus Linux 4.0 is the integration of SwitchDev. Cumulus Networks' Scott Ciccone explained in a blog post that SwitchDev is an open source in-kernel abstraction model, providing a standardized way to program switch ASICs and speed development time.

In a videooutlining the new release, Partho Mishra, President and Chief Product Office at Cumulus Networks explained that the new 4.0 release is part of a broader Cumulus platform that enables customers to simulate and test a network architecture before it's actually deployed.

BGP-EVPN also gets a boost in the Cumulus 4.0 update with improved multi-cast support. Mishra explained that Cumulus now has support for EVPM Protocol Independent Multi-cast (PIM). Support for EVPN multi-homing is set to come to the platform within the next few months.

Cumulus architecture

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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