NVIDIA generated a lot of buzz when it acquired Mellanox Technologies. The company spent $6.9 billion when it added Mellanox to its stable. Now they have announced their intentions to also acquire Cumulus.

This acquisition makes a lot of sense because Mellanox and Cumulus have been closely intertwined with one another’s activities for quite a while now. They came across one another in 2013. Back then, Mellanox was occupied with the Open Ethernet Strategy it was forming. In 2016 (at the OCP Summit), Mellanox and Cumulus cemented their partnership.

Considering the nature of their working relationship, once NVIDIA acquired Mellanox, it wasn’t that difficult for analysts to conclude that Cumulus would soon follow. If you know anything about the Mellanox Spectrum switches from NVIDIA, you know that they ship with Cumulus Linux, not to mention SONiC.

NVIDIA is looking to apply its innovative hand to the entirety of the technology stack and its acquisition of Cumulus will bring it one step closer to its goal. Cumulus is an open source-centric organization that works to optimize the data center networking stacks of the enterprises that utilize its products and services.

NVIDIA will sink even more of its fingers into this world, using the tools that Mellanox and Cumulus can now place at its disposal to optimize the performance that customers can squeeze out of its offerings.

No one knows the amount NVIDIA offered for Cumulus. But the company couldn’t have been cheap. This is going to surprise a lot of people that only know NVIDIA as a graphics card maker. But the brand is associated with a data center group of significant size and it generates a lot of revenue from this field.

The gaming arena is merely one arm of its operations. They have shown that they want to play a leading role in the innovations surrounding software-defined data centers. Cumulus has a lot to offer.

That includes the 1,800 people it employs. Cumulus Linux supports over a hundred hardware platforms. That isn’t even accounting for the work Cumulus did with Mellanox to build a distributed Linux Software framework targeted towards the Onyx operating system.

Cumulus made ONIE and Mellanox used it in its switches at a foundational level. Mellanox and Cumulus have collaborated so closely that it would have been foolish for NVIDIA to ignore Cumulus after bringing Mellanox on board.

With the Cumulus acquisition, NVIDIA has its hand in chips, software, systems, analytics, and everything in between.