Reza Malekzadeh

Author Archives: Reza Malekzadeh

Reflections on OpenStack Summit 2015 – A Market Maturing

I just came back from the OpenStack Summit 2015 in Vancouver and have finally caught my breath, so I can share some insights from this important event. It was incredible to bear witness to the continued growth of the OpenStack community in general and this event in particular. I still remember the very early summits when this industry was in its infancy. Back then, it seemed that most of the attendees were engineers conducting design sessions. This past week was gratifying to see how many real customers and actual OpenStack users were at the show. I would even go so far as to say they constituted the majority of the attendees.

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Cumulus Networks co-founder and CTO Nolan Leake talks with visitors at the Cumulus Networks booth.

OpenStack Users Love Cumulus Networks

Cumulus Networks was very much present throughout the show — in our booth, in our partners’ booths, in panel sessions and, apparently, in the minds of many of the attendees. Cumulus Linux was seen as a universal network OS underlay for a variety of architectures. In addition to the sessions featuring our co-founder and CTO Nolan Leake, it was exciting to hear Cumulus Networks mentioned in many of the sessions I Continue reading

Arista Jumps into Open Networking — or Do They?

On March 31 Arista announced it will offer its EOS operating system as a subscription license separate from its switch hardware.  While the rest of the industry is realizing disaggregation of hardware and software for the sake of customer choice and innovation, Arista’s “disaggregation” is only a new pricing model. Arista hardware and its EOS operating system remain locked. Customer choice is limited to pricing models.

That is not open networking. And it’s not what customers need. This is an open pricing model at the best.

Currently Arista sells its hardware and software as a single bundle, but with this new pricing model, Arista claims it gives customers a better way to balance their CapEx and OpEx budgets. Arista also says this will let customers scale their cloud deployments as they want, paying for their network resources only as they consume them and — given the subscription service — helping them avoid exorbitant upfront investments.


Is Arista opening their pricing model because of growing industry support for open networking? Their announcement nods towards a “disaggregated offering,” but EOS still requires Arista hardware, and Arista switches still require EOS. Customers can buy the hardware/software components separately, but they still can’t Continue reading

The cloud journey continues: HP and Cumulus Networks

Is open networking mainstream?

If the HP announcement of new data center networking solutions with Cumulus Linux is any indication, then we will venture to answer.


On Feb. 19, HP announced a partnership with Cumulus Networks for new HP open network switches with Cumulus Linux, the operating system for open networking. HP has designed an efficient supply chain model including a joint venture with Accton, delivery worldwide via HP logistics centers, and HP local sales and support.

Open networking was born when web-scale providers developed proprietary cloud networking that reduced CapEx costs while improving OpEx and enabling automation.  Similarly, hosting companies, service providers and high-tech firms re-architected their data centers realizing similar benefits.  Next, financials, government, and education entities found affordable capacity and new innovation opportunities with their cloud journey.  Today, a broad range of enterprises are adopting open networking for a wide set of use cases – and for automation and rapid service delivery using Linux tools already standardized for servers.

In that context, the new HP open network switch offerings with Cumulus Linux address a range of use cases but the sweet spot is hyper-scale data center operators. Of course HP also offers the servers, storage and Continue reading

Juniper OCX – Welcome to the Revolution

Early December 2014, Juniper announced their OCX products that are focused on open, disaggregated networking systems.  As one of the instigators of the revolution, it will be intriguing to see which side Juniper is really on.

While competing with Juniper will be interesting, we’re happy to see them recognize the customer drive towards Open Networking.  Juniper indicates that they are joining the ranks of start-ups like Cumulus Networks and industry leaders such as Dell in this inevitable industry transition… avoiding the “head in the sand” perspective maintained by some other networking vendors.

There were four main sources of information as part of the announcement.

Initial reading shows us a focus very aligned with Open Networking. They say things like…

Juniper announced the OCX1100 that combines … Junos® operating system with Open Compute Project (OCP) enabled hardware

Let me say that again: Customers will have the ability to remove Junos and deploy another vendor’s operating system

To some not familiar with Juniper, news that we are embracing an open hardware design might sound counterintuitive in that anything “open” is not aligned with our strategy. On the contrary, Juniper has always embraced open architectures and open Continue reading

Dell World: Driving Innovation in a New Era

I just returned from Dell World in Austin, Texas this past week. It’s one of my favorite events because not only does this week bring out hundreds if not thousands of new and innovative ideas, it also brings together thousands of people from around the world with different experiences and backgrounds.

Dell World booth - Cumulus NetworksThis event was like no other Dell event that I’ve attended. First, it actually rained in Austin. For two days straight! But more importantly (and as dramatic), as a private company, Dell had a very different vibe. Michael Dell repeatedly said that this was the first time he was having fun in a long time, and looking at the crowd, you could sense it! The general feel was that this new Dell could take on any new challenge and could do so swiftly. Always optimize for the long run and drive innovation to accelerate business.

It’s very evident that the software-defined world is changing. At DelCumulus Networks - Reza Malekzedah at Dell World 2014l World you could feel the buzz and witness each and every company’s evolution and observe how each product is helping evolve the face of the entire IT ecosystem. With all of the hype surrounding the software-defined market, I’m happy to have had Continue reading