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CI-Based Cloud Network Automation

Jayshree Ullal
by Jayshree Ullal on Nov 3, 2022 6:00:00 AM

A pioneer in cloud networking for the last decade, Arista has become synonymous with elastic scaling and programmable provisioning through a modern data-driven software stack. Legacy networks with manual box-by-box configurations for production and testing have led to cumbersome and complex practices. Arista leads the industry in cloud automation built on an open foundation.

EOS NetDL – The Data Foundation

Arista’s software stack transforms the centralized EOS network database into a multi-modal, multi-tenant, capable data lake. The EOS Network Data Lake (NetDL™) has been pivotal in unifying all the multiple data types gathered in a network and allowing external data ingestion and enrichment. NetDL aggregates this data from systems, platforms, and services, enabling smoother operations between NetOps, CloudOps, and DevOps operators.

 Introducing the Arista CI Pipeline

Today, we are building upon EOS NetDL and applying it to customer networks. Automatic testing, version control, and change management are all services delivered through the Arista CI Pipeline, a comprehensive network automation solution. DevOps practices have been successfully used to scale and deliver applications for more than a decade but have not been properly applied to enterprise networks. It has been well documented that DevOps can increase reliability while making deployments faster. One can truly get the best of both NetOps and DevOps worlds by abstracting all the complexities of the underlying protocols and networking details. 

Arista CI Pipeline is an exciting step that fulfills the promises of SDN for customer deployments. Changes can be driven by data fed into the system via NetDL that constantly adapts and correlates the changes in a self-driving manner. Arista CI Pipeline consists of a suite of functions, including continuous design, continuous testing, and continuous integration, to bring a holistic DevOps solution for modernizing the operating model of enterprise networks. This results in a faster, more reliable, and cloud-like experience for network operators and their users, as shown in the figure below.

Arista CI Pipeline

Arista-CI-Pipeline

CIOs are hungry for strategies for their diverse operating environments across the cloud and on-premises. Developers and security operators are challenged in deploying a single operating model and framework across a broad array of applications. Arista’s CI Pipeline delivers one continuous workflow that can safely and effectively automate a virtuous cycle of making changes, testing the change, and capturing the resulting network state to inform the next round of changes, potentially through AI/ML.

 Customer improved operational efficiencies include:

  • Transform operations from device-centric to network-wide designs
  • Fully automate from a source of truth for all Arista devices
  • Increase efficiency and consistency of deploying new services
  • Reduce human error 
  • Automate testing and documentation 

By adopting Arista’s CI-based cloud networking principles of availability, agility, automation, analytics and AI/APIs, Arista is radically changing and simplifying deployments. Welcome to the new world of data-driven cloud networking! Feel free to give us your views at feedback@arista.com.

References:

Opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the original authors, not of Arista Networks. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Arista Networks or any other party.

Jayshree Ullal
Written by Jayshree Ullal
As President and CEO of Arista for over a decade, Jayshree Ullal is responsible for Arista’s business and thought leadership in cloud networking. She led the company to a historic and successful IPO in June 2014 from zero to a multibillion-dollar business. Formerly Jayshree was Senior Vice President at Cisco, responsible for a $10B business in datacenter, switching and services. With more than 30 years of networking experience, she is the recipient of numerous awards including E&Y’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2015, Barron’s “World’s Best CEOs” in 2018 and one of Fortune’s “Top 20 Business persons” in 2019. Jayshree holds a B.S. in Engineering (Electrical) and an M.S. degree in engineering management. She is a recipient of the SFSU and SCU Distinguished Alumni Awards in 2013 and 2016.

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