But today, Cumulus is also offering a turnkey hardware/software system for customers that don’t want to figure out which hardware to run their Cumulus Linux on.
The new Cumulus Express uses 1G through 100G hardware from EdgeCore. And it also includes the compatible cables and optics.
Cumulus Networks CEO Josh Leslie says the company is “being extremely deliberate to maintain a bright line between hardware and software.” But it wants to simplify procurement for some customers.
Cumulus Express could be especially enticing for first-time customers or for those enterprises that source their own data center switches and software but don’t have large procurement departments to shop one vendor against another.
Cumulus also sees the Express product as a hook to get new customers to use its software. “A customer could use Cumulus Express, then six months later a new box comes out from Dell with the next greatest chip,” says Leslie. “They could run that hardware without making any changes to their OS.”
Leslie says this turn-key offering using EdgeCore hardware will not change Cumulus’ relationship with other hardware partners. It ports its software to hardware from Dell, HPE, Celestica, and Supermicro, to name a few vendors.
“We are totally unreligious,” says Leslie. “We also go to market with a lot of those partners: Dell will resell our software with their hardware; same with Mellanox. None of that changes.”
Cumulus has been bending over backwards to make its Linux operating system as easy to use as possible. For instance, in November it announced the availability of its Cumulus Linux Network Command Line Utility (NCLU), helping network engineers access the benefits of Linux, using software similar to Command Line Interface (CLI) that they’re accustomed to.