Apstra Blog

Apstra and Cumulus Deliver the Private Cloud

Updated Oct 12, 2016

cloud_hand.jpgMore and more organizations are starting to dip their toes into private cloud. But how do you build the underlying network?  There are a lot of new and exciting network options out there!  Let's find out how Apstra's AOS can help you build the foundation of your network with Cumulus Networks.

Cumulus Networks "Routing on the Host" Solution

There are many network options for private cloud out in the wild, and when it comes to brite-box networking, one company has been leading the charge:  Cumulus Networks.  Cumulus brought their linux-based network operating system, Cumulus Linux, to the world in 2013.  This software, built especially with networking in mind, runs on a wide variety of ethernet switch models from a dozens of vendors.

At the heart of Cumulus Linux is Cumulus Quagga.  Cumulus has contributed greatly to the improvement of both the open-source and enhanced versions of this routing protocol suite.  Now this enhanced version of Quagga is available to run on the compute nodes attached to your network!  Cumulus introduced their "Routing on the Host" solution back in June as the first commercially supported, easily accessible way for network teams to leverage the advantages of an L3 data center.  Here are just some of the high-level benefits:

  1. Unified IP forwarding:  Your network will be less complicated because your whole data center network, right up through and including hosts and hypervisors, will have a unified, consistent forwarding scheme.  
  2. No overlays required:  You now have simple IP mobility, without the need for overlays!  Whether you are moving hosts, VMs, or containers, the associated subnet(s) or host-route(s) will automatically follow.
  3. IP Anycast: Now you have the ability to easily deploy simple IP Anycast services for things like DNS and NTP.  With ECMP routing you can load-balance requests to endpoints with the same IP address.  

For a more in-depth exploration of Cumulus Network's "Routing on the Host" solution, check out their website.

Apstra's AOS Distributed Network Operation System

Apstra's initial AOS release already comes with support for L3 routing on the host, and now we support Cumulus Quagga.  This means you can leverage AOS through the entire engineering lifecycle to design, deploy, and operate a data center network built on Cumulus Linux and Cumulus Quagga.  

In just a few minutes you can tell AOS exactly what kind of network you intend to build and operate, including the network-operating system running on the devices and hosts that make up your infrastructure.  AOS will come back in seconds with a network topology, cabling documentation, and device configurations.  After you physically stand up your infrastructure, just turn on your gear and you are good to go!  AOS will automatically deploy the right device software versions, validate that network is cabled correctly, and deploy those configurations.  All within minutes and without mistakes.  After your infrastructure is up and running, AOS will continuously monitor the state of the entire network to ensure its operating as expected using it's closed telemetry feedback loop.

With AOS taking care of the grunt of the work, you can realize the benefits of Cumulus Network's "Routing on the Host" solution much sooner.  Go ahead and deploy some containers, then live-migrate them from host to host. All without thinking about the network.  AOS and Cumulus Quagga have you covered!  All of this, without complicated overlays or layer-2 shenanigans.  While you're at it, why not swap out one of those switches?  With just a few clicks and a physical swap you are done, lickety-split!

It’s Your Move!

Apstra’s AOS is available now to help you explore new network architectures and new operating models in your pursuit of private cloud. Let AOS break down the walls between you and better ways to build and run networks! You can learn more about how Apstra and Cumulus Networks work together in a joint webinar featuring Apstra CTO and Founder, Sasha Ratkovic and Cumulus CTO and Founder, JR Rivers.

 

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