Software Defined Network

Software based network environments

We have recently seen new demands on network environments in companies and research institutions. The entire company structure including production depends on a smooth network operation. The number of network experts in the market is manageable, and we see a trend for the networks to be managed by a small infrastructure team that simultaneously manages storage, servers, virtualization, containers, and applications. If necessary, the network should be able to scale delivery times quickly and independently of manufacturer.

This results in the following requirements.

  • The network switches can be managed in principle as well as the servers.
  • The network is easy to automate.
  • The network is easy to scale.
  • Runs on standard switch hardware - vendor-independent.
Software Defined Network - Layer 3 Leaf - Spine Fabric

The above graph of a Layer 3 network shows a setup that allows you to scale to 1536 ports at 50Gbps by just adding another leaf switch. With a blocking factor of 1:3. For a Non Blocking Fabric 6 spine switches are needed in this case. Leaf switches with 25Gbe ports require only 3 spine switches for non-blocking.

Cumulus Networks

The example of the successful network startup par excellence. In simple terms, Cumulus is a network operating system based on Debian Linux. However, it is much more than that. It is a network solution trusted by the largest companies in the world. It can be operated on switch hardware from many manufacturers (DELL, HPE, Lenovo, Nvidia, Edgecore and many more). It is based on standards, all developments are included in the Linux kernel. It's easy to manage and automate using the same tools as your servers. It is perfectly optimized for a scalable Layer 3 environment and offers a large and robust feature set.

More about Cumulus Linux


Nvidia may not yet be familiar to anyone in the Ethernet environment, but it should (not even after the $ 6.9 billion acquisition by NVIDIA). Nvidia is one of the few manufacturers to produce its own Switch ASIC (CPU), which not only provides one of the best latency and throughput rates (400Gbit / s linerate) on the market. They offer features such as native VXLAN and EVPN support as well as the Precision Time Protocol (PTP). In addition to the switches, Nvidia also manufactures its own 10, 25, 50, 100, 200Gbit Ethernet network cards. The Nvidia RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access) support is probably indispensable in any major IT solutions (Microsoft HyperV and Storage Space Direct, VMware vSphere and many more). The Nvidia switches come standard with the Onyx operating system, but can also be used with Cumulus, Sonic and many other network operating systems. Cumulus and Nvidia are particularly well matched.

Hamburgnet offers qualified Engineers who will assist you with words and deeds. From the first concept, to the Proof of Concept (POC), to procurement, from implementation to actual operation: we are there for you!

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