Nvidia CEO says company is doubling down on data center development

Not too long after announcing its “home run” and long overdue acquisition of computing networking company Mellanox Technologies, Nvidia has revealed plans to add an additional asset to its lineup: networking software company Cumulus Networks.

The acquisition, according Amit Katz, vice president of Ethernet Switch at Mellanox, will enable the company to contribute to the new era of the accelerated, software-defined data center.

“With Cumulus,” Katz wrote in a blog announcing the acquisition, “Nvidia can innovate and optimize across the entire networking stack from chips and systems to software. including analytics like Cumulus NetQ, delivering great performance and value to customers. This open networking platform is extensible and allows enterprise and cloud-scale data centers full control over their operations.”

Mellanox and Cumulus already had a relationship dating back to 2013, when Mellanox was forming its Open Ethernet strategy and thus began a partnership with the Cumulus at the OCP Summit in March 2016.

And further, Nvidia Mellanox Spectrum switches already ship with Cumulus Linux and SONiC, the open source offering forged in Microsoft’s Azure cloud and managed by the Open Compute Project.

“The ability to innovate across the entire technology stack will help us deliver performance at scale for the accelerated, software-defined data center,” Katz wrote.

In a welcome letter sent to Mellanox employees following the $1 billion deal, Nvidia Founder and CEO Jensen Huang wrote of the future of data centers.

“Yesterday’s cloud data center architecture is called Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, where CPU-servers with integrated storage “scale out” into large data centers. Cloud computing was born and revolutionized the industry,” he stated. “AI is now driving an architecture change from Hyper-Converged Infrastructures to Accelerated-Disaggregated Infrastructure. NVIDIA and Mellanox are at the epicenter of this shift.”


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