Traditionally, Arista Networks has focused on data center switching, leveraging merchant silicon and its Extensible Operating System (EOS) software. But the company is taking methodical steps to gain market share in routing.
In March 2016, Arista launched its 7500R line of switches meant to connect the data center to the outside world. Then in June of 2016, Arista added routing into its universal leaf switch, announcing the 7280R Series Universal Leaf, a fixed switching and routing platform.
Both of those announcements “were hardware launch messages,” said Jeff Raymond, Arista’s VP of EOS products and services. “Today, we’re highlighting the continuation of all this. We’ve built out the software control plane that adds capabilities that you would need to deploy in routing use cases.”
Raymond was referring to Arista’s announcement this week of what it’s calling “cloud grade routing” via its most recent EOS release 4.20, which is now shipping and which runs across all of Arista’s products.
“It’s a milestone of investment in building our routing stack,” said Raymond. “To address the needs of our largest cloud customers we had to adopt cloud principles. We’re taking the same principles and same platforms and moving to new routing use cases where otherwise legacy routers would have been used.”
With the latest Arista EOS 4.20 release, the company says it offers modern routing software, leveraging a state-based architecture programmable at all layers that’s optimized for a common spine/leaf design.
Eye on the Prize
Arista is targeting its cloud grade routing to the legacy router footprint.
“If you take the legacy router platform, it comes from a heritage of supporting a variety of interfaces and protocols,” said Raymond. “Over time, because they’ve added functionality on top of functionality, the software stack has grown to become heavy. Meanwhile, today’s architectures are evolving away from those legacy protocols to IP and Ethernet.”
He said Arista’s EOS is a modern operating system designed specifically for IP and Ethernet and with a sharp focus on cloud principles. Customers needing to replace end-of-life traditional routers could choose Arista’s 7500R or 7280R with EOS 4.20.