Whitebox switches and licensing for home lab?

  • 4 January 2016
  • 4 replies


I'm looking forward to using Cumulus VX in my home lab (thank you for making this freely available), but am also interested in a future purchase of a whitebox switch to run Cumulus Linux on in my home lab.

1. Are there any plans at Cumulus to offer a cheaper home lab / non-production license of Cumulus Linux? VMware has done this with their VMUG membership ($200/yr), I currently run ESXi in my home lab.

2. Are there any plans at Cumulus to port / support any cheaper switches? I was hoping there was a smaller, less featured switch that I might be able to use in my home lab / network for $500 or less, the cheapest options I've seen for a 1Gb switch are around $2500.

4 replies

Userlevel 4
@darren this hasn't really changed. Cumulus Express is still the most affordable way to run Cumulus. You can buy the switch from Penguin Computing or direct from Cumulus.
Userlevel 5
Current time-line does not include this but it is definitely worth a look. I will share this internally. In the mean time you can also email sales@cumulusnetworks.com and open dialogue with a sales manager to help share this desire.
Userlevel 4
Hey Don,

Unfortunately the margins get thinner the smaller the form-factor. The most inexpensive switch we could sell is the Cumulus RMP (http://www.penguincomputing.com/products/network-switches/arctica-4804ip/) currently available from Penguin Computing for around $999 USD (software + hardware + support). It is still a 48x1Gb with 4x10Gb uplinks (line-rate). If you want to talk to a Cumulus sales person email sales@cumulusnetworks.com.

There are no current plans in our pipeline for a smaller form-factor switch. However now that we have been around 3+ years in production you might start seeing 'used' equipment on Ebay/used market. Make sure its on the Cumulus HCL (cumulusnetworks.com/hcl). We can't promise support will be available for EOL (end of life) switches but you might be able to get something working....

Is there something specific that Cumulus VX does not do that you need a physical switch? We can improve VX to make it a better free product for customers to learn and try it out on.
Has anything changed with this in the last two years?

I would like to set up a small lab in a school computer club and was wondering what the cheapest hardware I could run cumulus linux on was.