Nvidia today announced its plans to acquire Cumulus Networks, an open-source-centric company that specializes in helping enterprises optimize their data center networking stack. Cumulus offers both its own Linux distribution for network switches, as well as tools for managing network operations. With Cumulus Express, the company also offers a hardware solution in the form of its own data center switch.
The two companies did not announce the price of the acquisition, but chances are we are talking about a considerable amount, given that Cumulus had raised $134 million since it was founded in 2010.
Mountain View-based Cumulus already had a previous partnership with Mellanox, which Nvidia acquired for $6.9 billion. That acquisition closed only a few days ago. As Mellanox’s Amit Katz notes in today’s announcement, the two companies first met in 2013, and they formed a first official partnership in 2016. Cumulus, it’s worth noting, was also an early player in the OpenStack ecosystem.
Having both Cumulus and Mellanox in its stable will give Nvidia virtually all the tools it needs to help enterprises and cloud providers build out their high-performance computing and AI workloads in their data centers. While you may mostly think about Nvidia because of its graphics cards, the company has a sizable data center group, which delivered close to $1 billion in revenue in the last quarter, up 43% from a year ago. In comparison, Nvidia’s revenue from gaming was just under $1.5 billion.
“With Cumulus, 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,” writes Katz. “This open networking platform is extensible and allows enterprise and cloud-scale data centers full control over their operations.”