Probably you heard about “white box” term or Open Networking, which is a new move in the Networking Industry. It’s pretends decouple hardware from software in network device sold by vendor. Have you imagined running NX-OS in x86 server for a network fabric (leaf?) purpose? What do you earn doing this? It would be cheaper off course but you will need Network/Ops teams evolve with that (skill gap?). Some Service Providers like AT&T are moving on white box solutions, they are testing Provider Edge (PE) modes in MPLS network, replacing expensive boxes from vendors which doing basic functions. At the moment Cisco is not getting there with any product! Juniper is doing some advances, his new product OCX 1100 you can run Cumulus. But what is Cumulus? It’s full-featured Linux OS for networking hardware!
I’ve had an opportunity to play with Cumulus (2 spines/leafs with OSPF, BGP, VXLAN, Bridging), and it seems interesting, but i would expect a more readable CLI. Are we be able to learn another CLI? Absolutely!
Recently Cumulus Networks launch a Virtual Edition called Cumulus VX , it’s available for different Hypervisors, so Network Engineers will not be in the dark any more. Another benefit with Virtual editions is run a demonstration to customers is a few clicks.