Cumulus Networks saw a gap in being able to monitor the Linux-based ecosystem that it offers its customers, and it introduced NetQ to fill that gap.
Cumulus’ operating system (OS) is a Linux OS that is “supercharged” with networking capabilities that can turn data center networking devices into Linux devices, said Josh Leslie, Cumulus CEO.
“We recognized that a challenge with giving customers Cumulus Linux is that while it lets them build large-scale infrastructure like AWS [Amazon Web Services] or Google does, they have no way to manage it,” Leslie said. “That’s where we came up with NetQ. It streams data from switches to a centralized database and allows operators to have insight and manage large-scale networks with various tools.”
One of the best applications for NetQ is centered around network validation. For example, if a customer wants to change 500 switches at once, the monitoring system will validate that the change acted as it was supposed to, providing visibility and insurance. And if the change didn’t go as planned, it can go back and look into all states of the network when the error occurred and diagnose the problem, Leslie said.
It also provides users with alerts and notifications when it detects errors in routing protocols, faulty switches, or the causes of network downtime.
“NetQ is not so much about helping with the intent aspect but about validating that your intent was correctly implemented because anyone building a large-scale network wants to have as much control and visibility as possible,” Leslie said.
He added that this is Cumulus’ first major announcement centered around performance monitoring. While Leslie admitted that Cumulus is far from the first company to think of network monitoring, it’s unique that it has built something specifically for Linux.
This announcement also is not indicative that the company is moving toward more network performance monitoring products, but rather to provide a model of how to build and manage a large-scale infrastructure, which includes monitoring, Leslie said.