Arista Networks is working with Red Hat and Tigera to help enterprises adopt containers in both private and public clouds. The three companies are demonstrating a preview of their upcoming offering this week at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2018 in Seattle.
The integrated product will include Arista’s containerized Extensible Operating System (cEOS) and CloudVision software along with Red Hat’s OpenShift Container Platform and Tigera’s Secure Enterprise Edition.
“It focuses on the three biggest pain areas for enterprises,” said Joe Hielscher, a product management leader at Arista. Those three pain points are networking in general, which is complex with Kubernetes; visibility in terms of seeing what’s running where in a Kubernetes environment; and security.
Red Hat’s OpenShift Container Platform is built around a core of application containers, with orchestration provided by Kubernetes, on a foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
Tigera’s Secure Enterprise Edition provides security and compliance for Kubernetes platforms using Tigera’s open source Calico networking technology.
Arista started working with containers a few years ago, and in 2017 it introduced a containerized version of its EOS. Arista’s cEOS can run on its own merchant silicon-based platforms, on bare metal switches, industry standard virtual machines (VMs), and containers.
Arista is also providing its Container Tracer product to “trace” what’s going on in containers. “For container clusters connected by EOS equipment, we created Container Tracer,” said Hielscher. “It provides you with visibility into the hosting environment attached to Arista equipment and software.” Tracer supports both Docker Swarm and Kubernetes management systems.
“The latest thing now is we’re taking Arista cEOS and making it available as an extension to Kubernetes CNI [Container Networking Interface],” said Hielscher. Arista is working with Tigera’s CNI based on the Calico open source code.
He said CNI is an interface that defines how networking plugs into Kubernetes. There are a number of competing projects that have their own CNIs. “But Calico is the most widely deployed,” said Hielscher. “The creator of Calico is the CTO of Tigera.”
Arista’s business motivation for all of this is to expand its customer base. Hielscher said the company has grown from its roots in the data center to moving into the public cloud with its CloudVision. In May it announced its entrance into the enterprise campus market. Its work with containers is a necessary extension to help its customers across all those environments as well as to gain new customers.