Cumulus Networks Brings a New Standard for Faster Networking Hardware and Software Integration

By CIOReview | Thursday, March 12, 2015

FREMONT, CA: Cumulus builds a new standard for open networking hardware such as bare metal switches to better integrate with network operating system (NOS) in a fast manner. This new standard is an extension of Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) called ACPI Platform Description (APD). The company is all set to contribute APD to the Open Compute Project to boost productivity and innovation in the field of open networking.

The APD is based along the lines of ACPI – the standard interface available in computing hardware such as servers, laptops and other consumer products. Similar to ACPI – which provides an open standard for device configuration and power management by the operating system – APD framework enables a networking hardware vendor to format their platform specification to be stored in the BIOS using the same ACPI tools that server vendors use. The operating system then accesses the BIOS information to generate controls for all necessary networking devices ensuring proper execution of the platform.

“Great networking no longer requires a vendor-locked stack,” said Reza Malekzadeh, VP of Business, Cumulus Networks.

“With APD for bare metal switches, networking is catching up with the server business. Now it’s all about cloud economics, speed of service delivery and a robust solutions ecosystem. This is a pivotal moment for the industry as open networking enters the mainstream. We’re pleased to announce Cumulus Linux support for APD along with our hardware partners,” Malekzadeh adds.

APD enables networking hardware vendors to describe each platform to the NOS in a standard, machine-readable language. Linux kernel will be updated with the APD documentation and generic drivers enabling NOS vendors to fast pace their time to market with hardware platforms.

As the company pushes ahead with its approach to disaggregate networking hardware and software, the increasing number of bare metal switching hardware providers and the development of robust open source Linux tools and applications are creating new opportunities to create smart network environments at significantly low costs.