Bursting through networking doors into 100G era

Targeting customers building next-generation public and private clouds, Mellanox Technologies' high-speed Ethernet switches are now supported by Cumulus Linux 3.0, the latest release of the leading Linux Network Operating System.

The joint product will be offered immediately to customers in the more than 20 African countries serviced by Networks Unlimited, a value-added distribution partner of Mellanox, a leading supplier of high-performance, end-to-end interconnect solutions for data centre servers and storage systems.

"The joint solution assists our African customers in fast-tracking their adoption of open networking, and achieving value-added, Web-scale IT efficiencies for their businesses – from on-premises to cloud to hybrid," says Anton Jacobsz, managing director at Networks Unlimited.

"Public and private clouds are quickly driving towards Web-scale IT, where open, scale-out systems rule. The advent of 100G Ethernet brings 2.5 times the network bandwidth and unprecedented flexibility in network design that future-proofs the current wave of cloud build-out. Cumulus Linux 3.0 gives customers choice with access to a broad set of 100G platforms with support for both Broadcom Tomahawk and Mellanox Spectrum chip-sets," says JR Rivers, co-founder and CTO at Cumulus Networks.

With open networking experiencing mainstream adoption, Cumulus Linux 3.0 adds the following Mellanox platforms to its hardware compatibility list, which now includes support for over forty platforms based on eight chip-sets from two silicon vendors, giving customers unprecedented choice to build best-of-breed data centre networks:

* 100G: Mellanox SN2700 (Mellanox Spectrum)
* 40G: Mellanox SN2700B (Mellanox Spectrum)

This new generation of cloud deployments is built with an "IP mindset", relying on routed leaf-spine architectures transporting both IPv4 and IPv6. Cumulus Linux 3.0 empowers these Layer 3 CLOS architectures by adding:

* Linux Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRF) for multi-tenant and Internet connect clouds.
* BGP Unnumbered and RFC 5549 enhancements for better v4/v6 dual stack networks.
* BGP/OSPF-based Redistribute Neighbor for simple, dynamic routing to hosts.

With Cumulus Linux 3.0, Cumulus Networks continues to lead the industry's transition to open networking solutions with a variety of system innovations:

* A Debian 8 base with 4.1 Linux kernel and an enhanced Linux networking stack.
* Cumulus Linux Virtual Machine (Cumulus VX) now includes hardware emulation, complete with ONIE, allowing it to be a complete learning and pre-production tool.
* Extended Support Release (ESR) for Cumulus Linux 2.5 provides customers the option to choose between the mature 2.5 release and the new Cumulus Linux 3.0, with latest feature-set for their environments. ESR will be supported and maintained for three years from the time of announcement.

The partnership between Mellanox and Cumulus Networks is a realisation of the Open Ethernet initiative and furthers both companies' long-standing commitment to open networking, as demonstrated by their contributions to the Open Compute Project (OCP), Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI), Linux Switchdev, and Open Network Install Environment (ONIE). In addition, Mellanox has made multiple contributions of 10/25, 40/50, and 100 Gb/s Ethernet switch and OCP adapters designs.

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