What is a Cumulus Linux 'starter-kit' and where can I buy one?

  • 25 June 2015
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 4
I heard a Cumulus Networks rep talk about a 'starter-kit'. What is the 'starter-kit' and how much does that cost? Does it include any training? Sounds like a decent setup for a Proof of Concept lab I am setting up.

5 replies

Userlevel 4
The starter kit contains everything you need to get started with open networking: a few switches for the spine, leaf and management layers, all running licensed versions of Cumulus Linux. Plus cable and optics to connect them all together, and some training and setup assistance to help get you up and running.

To get one, contact your Cumulus Networks sales team or channel manager.
If you are interested in purchasing the starter kit, please send an email to sales@cumulusnetworks.com.
Userlevel 1
Don't forget the 2 boot camp passes!

Cumulus Linux Boot Camp Datasheet.pdf

If you decide to purchase one of our starter kits, you will get 2 FREE seats (a $1398 value!) in one of our Cumulus Linux Boot Camps.

All you need to do to redeem, is email education@cumulusnetworks.com with the date you would like to attend, and we will get you registered!

For a list of the upcoming Cumulus Linux Boot Camp classes,
visit http://cumulusnetworks.eventbrite.com.

Great huh?
Can you tell us more about the components? I'm not sure why an employee is asking about buying a kit to start a lab, probably so you can have this topic open. Is the price competitive with buying the hardware components on my own? Presumably this is designed to be enough pieces to have the right learning opportunities.

I am working on developing a systems design curriculum and would want to make networking an important topic. Cumulus would be a great resource because I want to teach on the most accessable systems with a strong preference for open technologies when they are available. If we ever get to the point of building out a network lab, this starter kit might be the way to start that.

My background and experience is software development and Unix/Linux operations, so can you point me to the best high level resources for designers? Say I wanted my students to learn by designing a metro-scale WAN, and I want to teach them everything they need to know about Cumulus based products as well as the marketplace of components based on the key current and emerging standards?

I will continue to explore on my own, and find the resources that I can use. Right now I'm working within a personal budget but in the long run we'll probably have an educational non-profit and would be able to budget for the tools we need to get a lab started. The more I know about rough costs up front the easier it is to plan. No need for quotes, but estimates with one significant digit and an order of magnitude will do.

The components of a starter kit are a good starting place, but it would be even more useful to build a picture of the components and costs of several deployment scenarios with current products. I'm in Chicago, so if we based our models on a local build, the network scale is on the large end, but we would want to plan in a way that can grow from seed deployments on a neighborhood scale. The design exercise might start from one or two hubs with backhaul connections and a growing fiber and wireless point-to-point, and be designed to grow to offer service to the whole region. So from about 10,000 client networks to millions.
Userlevel 4
Hey Gerry,

I'm not sure why an employee is asking about buying a kit to start a lab, probably so you can have this topic open
Exactly :)

Is the price competitive with buying the hardware components on my own? Presumably this is designed to be enough pieces to have the right learning opportunities.
Yes, in addition to the equipment you get 2 Boot Camp passes and a RSA (Remote Setup Assist). This will help with education and adoptability (basically wrapping up equipment + Consulting Services into one very affordable package).

The package includes->
  • 2 - 32x40G
  • 2 - 48x10G+4x40G
  • 2 - 48x1G+4x10G
The cables are included as well to hook this up. One of our cable setups can look like this->
  • 8x Active Twinax SFP+ Cables (1m, 3m or 5m)
  • 4x Active Twinax QSFP+ Cables (5m)
  • 4x RJ-45 Cat6a Cables (5m)
  • 4x 10G-SR Optical Transceivers
  • 2x 40G-SR Optical Transceivers
Part of the awesome part of the starter kit is the automation is all pre-done because we know which form-factor switches are being sold, which cabling topology you will be using so it makes adoptability that much easier for Open Networking. We pre-built Ansible playbooks for traditional L2, L2 with A/A and MLAG, and finally a L3 CLOS. This is made by the same people creating playbooks and manifests for our largest customers running modern data centers today.

The price is around ~$50K USD and you would need to contact sales@cumulusnetworks.com. Please let us know if you have any trouble reaching out and getting a quote.

To give some comparison here is a Cisco Nexus 3064-X (14K USD standalone, so just 4 of those would be more expensive then our entire solution with no optics, consulting, etc and no 40Gb switches). Obviously prices vary constantly on vendors and there is no way to do a 1:1 comparison on price easily with a static webpage or community post. I will say that Open Networking will always save on both CapEx and OpEx.
So from about 10,000 client networks to millions.
We can help you do that. Another way to get started is using the free Cumulus VX that is absolutely free. This obviously has no hardware support, no ASIC, its just a VM to play around with and get used to Open Networking risk free.