HPE and Cumulus Networks partner for open storage

Cumulus Networks has announced a partnership with HPE that will see its NetQ management software run on HPE’s network storage products.

Under the deal, HPE’s StoreFabric M-Series Ethernet switches will run Cumulus’s Linux operating system and NetQ, a move that Cumulus said in a statement will deliver “a flexible networking fabric that is predictable, scalable, and reliable.”

Combining the M-Series switches with Linux and NetQ will offer enterprises a high-bandwidth, low-latency way to connect primary, secondary, hyperconverged, NAS, or object-storage systems, and is an ideal way to build an Ethernet Storage Fabric (ESF), the company added.

An ESF is a faster, more versatile alternative to Fibre Channel with up to three times the performance and support for block, file, and object storage, vs just block storage for Fibre. ESF also supports the increasingly popular hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and software-defined storage (SDS) designs, making it suitable for both enterprise data centers and cloud service providers. They are designed especially for SSDs and support NVMe-over-Fabric protocols.

The plan behind the alliance is to address the growth of data in new technologies such as AI, 5G and IoT. These performance-intensive applications require high-performance, all-flash storage infrastructure with deeper levels of automation, and they need a networking solution to match, which legacy storage networking solutions simply can’t provide, Cumulus said.

“Storage networks built on M-series switches deliver high levels of performance and ultra-low latency,” Marty Lans, HPE’s general manager of storage connectivity, said in a statement. “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.”

The combination of HPE hardware and Cumulus software means the two firms are now able to offer enterprises an open, fully-automated storage networking fabric that can be used in both data centers and edge networks.

Cumulus Networks is a startup created by veterans from Cisco Systems and VMware, and has so far raised about $130 million in venture funding. Since its launch it has introduced a variety of new switching hardware and Linux-based open-networking software, including networking appliances targeted at web-scale networking adopters with up to 100G throughput.

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