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Open Cloud Networking-Redefined

Jayshree Ullal
by Jayshree Ullal on Mar 14, 2019 1:30:08 PM

Networking vendors have long touted distinct routers and switches with different LAN/WAN interfaces for different customer use cases. After three decades of evolution, Ethernet now truly addresses all aspects of the present state and the next generation of networking, making it possible to support these previously separate use cases from a single common platform, which flexibly incorporates new capabilities in an open, standards-based approach. Arista, together with an ecosystem of partners including Broadcom and Cloud Titan customers, has a history of collaborating in many industry forums to define these new networking capabilities, including OCP, 25/50G and COBO, while driving next generation optics such as OSFP and QSFP-DD.

Open Platform Collaboration

As the deployment of workloads and the volume of workflows and traffic increases, the importance of building open universal platforms is vital. While the early Internet used UNIX hosts as routers in the 1980s, eventually it took high performance routers and switches to support its growth in the 1990-2000s. We are now entering the software driven era of networking in 2020. The flexibility of Arista’s software and platform stack is further demonstrated today with the announcement of a revolutionary platform, the Arista 7368X4, a combination of the best of the 7300X Series and 7060X Series. By running the same EOS binary image on all products, rich EOS features including open programmability, scalability, hitless speed changes, Smart System Upgrade (SSU) and advances in traffic awareness and analytics are delivered consistently. Arista continues to uphold its tradition of programmable highly operationally-optimized capabilities. At the same time, we embrace the principles of cloud networking for a vibrant and thriving cloud experience for billions of consumers.

The Arista 7368X4 redefines the concept of an open platform that is pioneering true customer-vendor partnerships. To quote my long-time friend and industry expert, Najam Ahmad, Vice President of Network Engineering at Facebook, “The Arista solution allows Facebook to remain multi-sourced, with an option to run Arista EOS or FBOSS on both, where either system can be deployed in multiple tiers of networks.”

Over the last year, Arista and Facebook engineering teams collaborated on the system level requirements and with parallel development efforts have ensured full manageability via FBOSS (Facebook Open Switching Software) controlling the system, along with the data plane and control plane as shown in the figure below. Arista has initiated similar developments with Microsoft and SONIC (Software for Open Networking in the Cloud)in building the Azure cloud network since 2016.


The Arista 7368X4, shaped by two talented engineering teams, has resulted in a better outcome than would have been achieved by each team designing in their own silo. The Arista 7368X4 Series is available as an 8-Slot modular system with a choice of 100G and 400G modules based on industry standard interfaces and full EOS support with a single binary image, as well as supporting FBOSS options.

Welcome to the new decade of open cloud networking powered by the innovations shaping the next frontier of partnerships delivered together with our customers.

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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 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 and Barron’s “World’s Best CEOs” in 2018.

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