Case Study

MicroAd case study

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Cumulus Networks ® Case Study MicroAD + Cumulus ® Linux ® Solution Mr. Hada and his colleagues were still exploring the benefits of Open Networking and bare metal switches when they were visited by a Cumulus Networks engineer. Their initial skepticism soon turned into optimism as they understood the benefits web-scale customers have realized by deploying bare metal switches and a Clos/IP network design. They were equally excited to learn that Cumulus Networks offers support for both their network OS and the underlying hardware. Upon getting his hands on a bare metal switch running Cumulus Linux, Mr. Hada was impressed with the user experience and convenience the solution offered. "It was refreshing to see a network switch actually running Linux. I could operate the switches using standard Linux commands I am already familiar with, just like I do on our servers. I was very confident of the operational benefits," said Mr. Hada. MicroAd developed a multidimensional database system that collected and analyzed user behavior based on their interaction with the advertising platform. The database system was built as a large in-memory database search engine running on a cluster of servers that required high-throughput network. To address this challenge, they decided to choose bare metal switches built by a leading original design manufacturer (ODM), which further helped to reduce the cost. "It was refreshing to see a network switch actually running Linux." — Kota Hada MicroAd, System Development Department Mr. Motoi said, "Cumulus Networks offers a network OS that is disaggregated from the underlying hardware, making it easy to replace hardware in case the hardware fails. Compared to a full coverage hardware maintenance service, which is often very costly, it is far more reasonable to purchase a backup replacement switch along with the basic maintenance service. The maintenance cost for network devices can be high in general, but Cumulus Linux totally changes the economics." The primary benefit of bare metal switches is the low CapEx when compared to traditional networking vendors' switches. MicroAd further lowered the OpEx by taking advantage of hardware and maintenance service choices. In December 2015, MicroAd completed the deployment of a multidimensional database system with a network consisting of ten 10G switches running Cumulus Linux. Overseeing the in-house testing of MicroAd's various services, Mr. Hada sees a promising future with Cumulus Linux. "We currently have ten switches in the new network. I am seeing the benefits of Linux-based network switches every day. I can manage them easily with Cumulus Linux. It is even possible to use our existing server management tools to automate our network." Mr. Motoi also believes that Cumulus Linux has a big advantage when taking into account his data center engineers' skill sets. "At MicroAd, our infrastructure engineers are responsible for managing servers, networks, middleware, operating systems and everything else within our data center but with so many proprietary technologies, it is hard to keep up and master everything. With Cumulus Linux, our engineers don't have to learn anything new as they can extend their existing Linux knowledge from servers to the network, reducing the learning curve." In order to expand the benefits, MicroAd is planning on deploying additional switches running Cumulus Linux. This will include expanding their multidimensional database system and spares for the entire infrastructure. ©2016 Cumulus Networks. All rights reserved. |

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