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NVIDIA Buys Cumulus Networks

May 4, 2020

Cloud data centers are evolving to an architecture that is accelerated, disaggregated and software-defined to meet the exponential growth in AI and high performance computing. To build these modern data centers, HPC and networking hardware and software must go hand in hand.

Terms were not disclosed.

NVIDIA provides the leading accelerated computing platform. Mellanox is the high-performance networking leader, now part of NVIDIA in a combination described in our founder and CEO’s welcome letter.

NVIDIA now plans to acquire Cumulus Networks, bolstering our networking software capabilities. The combination enables the new era of the accelerated, software-defined data center.

With Cumulus, NVIDIA can innovate and optimize across the entire networking stack from chips and systems to software including analytics like Cumulus NetQ, delivering great performance and value to customers. This open networking platform is extensible and allows enterprise and cloud-scale data centers full control over their operations.

Cumulus, based in Mountain View, Calif., supports more than 100 hardware platforms with Cumulus Linux, its operating system for network switches. Our ultrafast NVIDIA Mellanox Spectrum switches already ship with Cumulus Linux and SONiC, the open source offering forged in Microsoft’s Azure cloud and managed by the Open Compute Project.

The courtship began in 2013, when Mellanox was forming its Open Ethernet strategy.

Mellanox heard the call for open networks from the world’s largest cloud-service providers seeking greater simplicity. At the OCP Summit in March 2016, Mellanox announced a partnership with Cumulus and started shipping combined offerings.

Today, the ONIE environment Cumulus created is a software foundation for Mellanox’s bare-metal switches. Together, we built DENT, a distributed Linux software framework for retail and other enterprises at the edge of the network. And our Onyx operating system continues to expand, especially in Ethernet Storage Fabrics (ESF).

NVIDIA’s approach to creating both the hardware and software for accelerated computing expands deeper into networking software with Cumulus. The ability to innovate across the entire technology stack will help us deliver performance at scale for the accelerated, software-defined data center.

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