Combination of Ethernet hardware, Linux software will enable modern workloads like AI, IoT
Hewlett Packard Enterprise will now run Cumulus Networks’ Linux-based network operating system and NetIQ management tool on its StoreFabric M-Series Ethernet switches, a move aimed at making it easier for enterprises to adopt such advanced technologies as artificial intelligence (AI), 5G connectivity, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Lowdown: The combination of the switches with the open networking fabric provides automation and performance enhancements to the all-flash storage infrastructure used by performance-intensive applications.
The Details: The M-Series switches, which are available through HPE resellers, deliver from 1 Gigabit Ethernet to 100 GbE capabilities for a range of environments, from primary and secondary storage to hyperconverged, network-attached storage, or object storage systems. The Cumulus’ Linux and NetIQ combo gives the systems an open network mesh that drives efficiency and automation that allows enterprises to more easily embrace modern applications, officials said.
The Impact: The expanded partnership with Cumulus is the latest step by HPE to offer organizations options in networking. The rise of software-defined networking (SDN) over the past decade has driven the demand for networking software that is disaggregated from underlying hardware, enabling customers to run third-party software on switches and other gear. Dell EMC, HPE, Lenovo, and other established networking vendors now offer hardware that runs software from a variety of vendors, including Cumulus, Pluribus Networks, Big Switch Networks, and Microsoft.
Companies also have been expanding the reach of such open networks beyond the data center and into campus and edge environments. The Linux Foundation last month announced DENT, an effort to create a network OS for disaggregated network switches in campus and remote locations. Founding members include Cumulus, Amazon, Marvell, and Mellanox.
Background: Analysts with the 650 Group expect revenues in the global open networking space (not including hyperscalers) to grow 33% a year between 2019 and 2023, when it will reach $1.35 billion.
The Buzz: “Many modern data centers feature all flash storage architectures designed to meet the needs of high-performance applications, but what’s often limited these applications from reaching their true potential was networking,” Cumulus CEO Josh Leslie said. “The combination of Cumulus Linux and NetQ with HPE’s M-Series Ethernet Switches now provides organizations a more open, flexible networking fabric that is predictable, scalable, and reliable to help drive businesses forward.”
“Storage networks built on M-series switches deliver the high levels of performance and ultra-low latency,” said Marty Lans, general manager for storage connectivity at HPE. “Adding Cumulus Linux and NetQ to the M-series now provides enterprises with greater network flexibility, increased scale, and deeper levels of automation making this a compelling solution for Ethernet Storage Fabrics.”