Arista today announced productization of OpenFlow support and OpenStack integration (both just in time for the upcoming Open Networking Summit 2013). While Arista has had OpenFlow support in beta since ONS last year, they’ve now formalized support for OpenFlow 1.0 in their 7050 switches. Arista’s view is that the key markets looking for OpenFlow support from them were primarily research and education, and as such enabling OpenFlow only on the 7050 made sense–since the 7050 is a more cost-effective switch than the Intel FM6000-based 7150. The 7050 is anticipated to support about 2,000 flows, with some further optimizations expected down the road. Arista’s OpenFlow solution supports hybrid mode deployments, and also comes with a command-line interface, DirectFlow, to provision flows directly from the CLI. Arista’s OpenFlow support is available now and DirectFlow will become available in Summer of 2013. Arista does not have any plans to provide a controller yet, and is adamant about being the best partner for a wide range of SDN controllers, commercial and open-source, but we at SDxCentral expect there will be an SDN-based control infrastructure at some point–it is hard to imagine a networking company ceding the brains of their products to an external entity over the long term.
In addition to OpenFlow support, Arista is also throwing its weight behind OpenStack. Arista is making available to the open-source community a generic driver layer in OpenStack’s Quantum module that can support physical switches. This allows OpenStack to provision multi-tenant network segments (VLANs or VXLANs in the future) across both physical and virtual switches. In addition, as VMs in OpenStack migrate around, this plugin will ensure that the VLANs and ACLs will also automatically migrate. Arista expects the code to be released in Fall 2013.
The final element in Arista’s announcement is a refresh of their EOS API, eAPI. eAPI has been streamlined around the HTTP JSON data format and allows a wide variety of configuration frameworks, in particular Chef and Puppet, to run commands and receive output in a popular structured format.
What this means:
- OpenStack Quantum gets further support and momentum behind it. The ability to provision physical and virtual networks is a plus for cloud service providers looking for more complete solutions.
- With the Quantum plugin contribution, Arista has indicated a strong push towards the SP datacenter market, beyond its initial cadre of financial services customers with primarily low-latency needs.
- Arista is finally dipping more than just its toe in the OpenFlow waters, but continues to do so warily and in a carefully staged manner. We can’t wait to see how this all plays out and whether their flagship 7150 will eventually speak OpenFlow as well.
Original Press Release Follows
Arista Delivers the Next Phase of Software Defined Networking
Seamless Network Provisioning for OpenStack and OpenFlow Environments
Santa Clara, Calif., March 27, 2013 – Arista Networks today announced the next phase of its Software Defined Networking (SDN) offerings by integrating Arista EOS(TM) (Extensible Operating System) natively with OpenStack, the leading open-source cloud provisioning and orchestration system. Arista EOS is also delivering enhanced OpenFlow extensions via direct flow based configuration interfaces and data-plane programmability. This combined with Arista’s programmatic interfaces showcases a broad array of multi-vendor network monitoring and cloud integration with technology partners such as NEC, NetScout Systems, SolarWinds, Splunk, Big Switch, Cloudera, Corvil and ExtraHop Networks.
This innovative suite of SDN capabilities, available in the latest release of Arista EOS, significantly enhances cloud networking workflows for rapid cloud provisioning – taking IT workflows that often take weeks and delivering them in seconds. With Arista EOS, customers now have the programmable network capabilities that are necessary to operate a Software Defined Network.
“Arista continues to lead the way in data center network innovations, this is the first real API integration of a broad-based data center network platform and seeing it connect with OpenStack and solve real customer provisioning issues is exactly what this industry has needed to scale cloud computing, ” said Paul Rad, vice president Rackspace.
Key SDN introductions include:
- Arista EOS application programmatic interfaces (eAPIs) for integration with leading orchestration and provisioning tools and customer applications.
- Arista contributed code to the OpenStack Quantum project that enables unified physical and virtual network device configuration.
- A new modular hardware driver architecture in the Quantum OVS plugin, and an open source version of Arista’s driver.
- New EOS native OpenStack provisioning capability that connects the Quantum OVS plugin to EOS via eAPI.
- OpenFlow 1.0 support in Arista EOS for external controllers.
- Enhanced Data Plane Programmability via direct flow-based OpenFlow extensions
“Extending Arista EOS for connection to cloud orchestration platforms provides programmability for building agile, self-service cloud architectures. This has been core to Arista EOS development from its inception,” stated Tom Black, vice president, SDN Engineering for Arista. “These software innovations demonstrate Arista’s increasing relevance and agility in addressing SDN for public cloud operators and private clouds.”
Unifying IP and SDN:
The introduction of OpenFlow extensions into Arista EOS gives customers
the flexibility and freedom of implementing both IP and OpenFlow in a heterogeneous solution. Standard OpenFlow support in EOS can be orchestrated through a SDN Controller and value added extensions to OpenFlow are now possible via direct, data plane manipulation of flow tables in the Arista switches. This brings unprecedented open, application driven and programmatic control of network path selection at wire speed.
Furthermore, through the Arista eAPI remote systems can connect to Arista EOS via JSON based web services API for machine-to-machine communication. Working natively with the OpenStack Quantum plugin this brings another industry first where the physical network topology is unified with virtual switch configuration and virtual machine placement in an OpenStack cloud.
Arista EOS support of OpenFlow, Arista Direct Flow mode, eAPIs and OpenStack is available now.
The company was founded to deliver software defined cloud networking solutions for large data center and computing environments. Arista’s award- winning 10 GbE switches redefine scalability, robustness, and price– performance, with more than one million cloud networking ports being deployed worldwide. At the core of Arista’s platform is EOS, the world’s most advanced
network operating system. Arista Networks products are available worldwide through distribution partners, systems integrators and resellers.
Additional information and resources on today’s announcement can be found at: http://www.aristanetworks.com
Arista Networks firstname.lastname@example.org (408) 547-5798
Check out more about Arista Networks on SDxCentral: (our favorite is an Interview with Jayshree Ullal, Arista Networks CEO)