Do your switches run Cumulus Linux? Puppet will pull your strings

DevOpsify your boring Ethernet

Cumulus Networks, home of a Linux-of-choice for white-box switches, has linked arms with Puppet Labs and joined its Puppet Supported Program.

While it's “just another” certification from one angle, Puppet's Carl Caum told The Register it's important to the company.

He said while there are plenty of tools to manage equipment in the software-defined networks (SDN) space, these pieces of software can only work via the equipment vendors' APIs – the networking devices themselves remain black boxes.

“Cumulus Linux gives us full control like any other server operating platform,” Caum explained. “For a top-of-rack switch you might not want to spend a ton of money, but you'll want to manage it the same way you would if it was a core switch”.

The new deal means customers can run Puppet Enterprise natively on Cumulus Linux: “You can manage the switch platforms with the same tool you use to manage compute.”

The one tool gets a lot of insight into the data center, he said.

The integration also builds on last year's deal between Cumulus Networks and Dell, the latter already a partner with Puppet.

A sysadmin rolling out a new leaf mode just wants to power-up the switch and have it work – which in the modern data centre means more than just passing Ethernet frames around.

“An application needs the switch to provide a path to the database server – if you can talk about that in terms of code, and write the code to make that path available, it removes the magic”, Caum said. Instead, a new, blank switch running Cumulus can get the configuration it needs as a chunk of code, and run that code when the switch first spins up. ®

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