Arista Networks expands cognitive campus portfolio

Arista Networks announced an expansion of the cognitive campus portfolio with unified wired and wireless campus edge products designed to address transitional changes as the enterprise moves to an IoT (Internet of Things)-ready campus.

Extending EOS and CloudVision, Arista’s Cognitive Cloud Networking approach brings operational consistency and modern cloud principles to the enterprise campus.

This approach, combined with key partnerships, helps reduce customer operational expenses through simplified architectures, data-driven analytics and segment-based security. With these wired and wireless edge additions, Arista now has a complete cognitive enterprise networking portfolio, spanning the datacenter, the cloud and the campus.

“Arista’s software-first approach simplifies network designs across all of our switches from the datacenter to the campus. The benefit of a single EOS and common CloudVision management plane is operational consistency, which means time savings for our network operations team,” Jonathan Skelley, Director of IS Infrastructure, Roper St. Francis Healthcare.

Today’s campus networks continue to suffer from too much complexity brought on by the myriad platforms, operating systems, proprietary features and network management tools from incumbent vendors. Coupled with the explosive growth of endpoints these challenges are not unlike those of legacy datacenters, before the shift to cloud networking. The cloud networking principles of simplification, open-standards, software-driven control are just as applicable to today’s campus networks.

“Our experience with Arista in our datacenter deployments has been so successful, that we are thrilled that we can now extend Arista’s campus switching products to our broader enterprise networks,” Ariel Pisetzky, Vice President, IT, Taboola.

The Arista Cognitive Campus is a software-driven approach to unify wired and wireless campus access built on real-time, data-driven analytics that focus on delivering a great user and operator experience. The Arista Cognitive Campus leverages the Arista Universal Cloud Network (UCN) architecture developed for the world’s largest datacenters. In 2018, Arista introduced the 7300X3 and 7050X3 as the Campus Spline and later the controller-less Cognitive WiFi product family. Arista CloudVision and the Cognitive Management Plane were also extended to include campus specific use-cases for wired and wireless.

Introducing the Cognitive Campus Edge

The Arista 720XP Series represents Arista’s first purpose-built campus leaf products and are a key addition bringing the wired edge component to Arista’s Cognitive Campus portfolio. With the 720XP, customers will benefit from improved security and visibility as they are able to gain a more holistic understanding of endpoint behaviors across users, mobile devices, and IoT platforms.

The 720XP Series includes four fixed configuration models and offers capabilities for new multi-gigabit access port speeds (2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T) enabling the transition to higher speed access devices, up to 60 watts of Power over Ethernet (PoE) for powering IP phones, access points, and IoT devices, and a choice of 25G, 40G and 100G uplink ports for connectivity to Arista Campus Spline platforms.

As with all Arista switching products, the 720XP Series leverage the same Arista EOS and CloudVision software, bringing a consistent and simplified operational model to the campus edge. With that, these products provide the following new benefits to campus network operators:

  • Device Analyzer, providing endpoint inventory and deep flow analysis for all connected devices and helping to proactively identify security threat vectors.
  • Cloud-like operations, including workflows to simplify change controls though network-wide automation, to reduce the maintenance windows duration, and to quickly assess network compliance.
  • Network access control integration through standard RADIUS solutions as well as a standards-based group-based segmentation approach with VXLAN and EVPN.
  • Wireless mobility and roaming, leveraging integrated VXLAN tunnel termination instead of legacy controller-based options.
  • Expanded device support to manage PoE usage through CloudVision’s dashboards.
  • End-to-end Troubleshooting – leverage CloudVision’s network-wide database for unprecedented time-series visibility across campus, datacenter, and cloud networks in a single view.

The 720XP Series is designed to address the next generation campus edge requirements, with cognitive capabilities for real-time flow analytics compared to traditional campus monitoring approaches.

Unified Cognitive WiFi

These new campus leaf switches integrate directly with Arista’s Cognitive WiFi portfolio, including Arista’s first WiFi 6 access point. The new C-250 access point supports the full 802.11ax standard including 8×8 MU-MIMO, uplink OFDMA & MU-MIMO. Like other Arista enterprise access points, it also includes a 2×2 dual band 3rd radio. With target use cases for WiFi 6 such as higher bandwidth video, and many more simultaneous users, the 3rd radio will be essential.

Along with a variety of other data sources, the 3rd radio provides a continuous stream of telemetry data into Arista’s Cognitive WiFi architecture where the power of cloud is harnessed to apply machine learning and cognitive intelligence.

CloudVision WiFi delivers real-time insight into the WiFi client journey, including the health of the network services, the user’s ability to connect, and delivering great WiFi experiences through analytics and proactive remediation. With CloudVision WiFi, Arista is delivering a modern and technologically advanced controller-less WiFi solution to customers.