Nvidia acquires Cumulus Networks for an undisclosed sum

Written by Jennifer Allen

May 5, 2020 | 15:00

Tags: #acquisitions #business #networking

Companies: #cumulus-networks #nvidia

Nvidia has announced its acquisition of network company, Cumulus Networks, which suggests continued expansion plans for the graphics card giant. 

A company that makes open-source software for network equipment, Cumulus Networks, may seem like an initial departure for Nvidia's usual plans but it's all starting to make sense. The firm has made products such as a Linux distribution for network switches in the past, as well as tools for managing network operations. There's also Cumulus Express which provides a hardware solution in the form of its own data centre switch. 

Completely focused on optimising data centre networks, a blog post by Nvidia suggests that the plan is to use the company to innovate across the entire networking stack. Former Mellanox vice president and new vice president of Ethernet Switch at Nvidia, Amit Katz, explained, 'with Cumulus, NVIDIA can innovate and optimise 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 centres full control over their operations.'

Does the name Mellanox sound familiar? That's because Nvidia just acquired it for $7 billion. We're guessing this latest acquisition of Cumulus Networks is the next step in a big plan.

Interestingly, Cumulus already had a previous partnership with Mellanox, so it's a logical next step for Nvidia. 

The thinking is that Nvidia will be in a prime position to help enterprises and cloud providers build upon their high-performance computing and AI workloads in their data centres. Nvidia has a sizeable data centre group which achieved nearly $1 billion in revenue in the last quarter and it seems likely the firm is keen to build upon this success. In comparison, gaming revenue was just under $1.5 billion.

There's no word on how much Nvidia paid for the acquisition of Cumulus Networks but it certainly won't have been cheap. It seems likely that Nvidia is keen to expand its horizons much further than simply being everyone's favourite gaming hardware company. Keep an eye out for possible further acquisitions. 

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