Simplifying the Cumulus Linux pricing model

What happened?

  • 1G price reduction
  • leaf switch SKUs that combines 10G and 25G
  • spine switchSKUs that combines 40G and 100G

The difference:

  • Reduced pricing on the 1G switch makes it a more suitable solution for management applications.
  • The new pricing model simplifies licenses administration. Licenses are now use-case driven (leaf or spine), or, when breakouts are used, licenses are speed driven.

What is your definition of leaf and spine?

In a datacenter Clos network, leaf switches provide the access layer and are connected to server devices.
Switches that provide access to nodes,that form the lower layer of the network, and that connect to the upper tier are considered leaf switches. The spine switches form the backbone of the network, interconnecting all the leaf switches. If the switch provides access to servers, it’s a leaf and it requires a CL-LIC-L license. If it is interconnecting leaf switches, it’s a spine, and it requires a CL-LIC-S.

With regard to licensing, there is an exception to this principle: The exception to this rule is when break-out cables are being used in a 40G or 100G switch. A 40G or 100G switch that utilizes breakouts and provides 10G or 25G ports requires a CL-LIC-S license even when it is used as a leaf element in a network. 40G and 100G switches require CL-LIC-S license even if they are leaf and when they use breakouts to provide increased port density at lower speeds.

What if customer is using 100G as a leaf or in a “spline?”

If customer is using 100G ports with breakouts and the ports are access ports running at 10G or 25G, even if the switches provide the access layer and are connected to server devices, this customer will still be required to get a CL-LIC-S license. If the ports are running at 50G or 100G, if the switches provide
access to switches nodes, or if the network is a “spline” design, then the switch is a spine, and it requires a CL-LIC-S.

Can an “L” lic move from 10 to 25 over the term of support? Can an “S” lic move from 40 to 100 moves over same life?

The new licenses are consistent with the current license transfer policy: if the chipset is the same, customer can move, so it would be possible to move a license from 10G to 25G or 40G to 100G speeds within some specific chipsets. If a leaf-licensed switch moves to spine deployment, a new spine license is required. 10G and 25G licenses cannot be used with 40G and 100G systems. 

Within the same chipset, when 40G and 100G are the platforms in use, if you move a 40G spine to a leaf, intending to use breakout cables and provide 10G access, then customer can use their existing spine license. A 100G switch that uses breakouts at the edge requires a CL-LIC-S and so customers can use that same license. Except in the case where breakout cables are used, the license is associated with the use case: is the switch a leaf or a spine? If breakouts are used with a 40G or 100G switch, a CL-LIC-S is required.

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