Aruba CX 10000 Series Switch delivers security services for enterprise data centers

Aruba introduced the Distributed Services Switch enabling enterprises to deploy software-defined stateful services where data is created and processed, eliminating legacy appliances and host software needed to build the hybrid clouds demanded by modern applications and IT organizations.

Aruba CX 10000 Series Switch

“Markets in transition create new opportunities for disruption. As the Cloud moves to the Edge, distributed services are disrupting everything from AI/ML, to 5G and virtualization,” said John Chambers, chairman of Pensando, CEO of JC2 Ventures, and former CEO of Cisco Systems.

“This new category – the Distributed Services Switch, enabled by Pensando software-in-silicon, makes the process of deploying distributed services, previously only available to hyperscalers like AWS, in the enterprise both simple and more cost-effective. By eliminating legacy appliances and host software, enterprises can deliver 100x the scale and 10x the performance at 1/3 the TCO of traditional approaches.”

The Aruba CX 10000 Series Switch represents a new category of data center switches that combines Aruba data center L2/3 switching with the fully programmable DPU (Pensando Elba) to deliver stateful software-defined services inline, at scale, with wire-rate performance and orders of magnitude scale and performance improvements over traditional data center L2/3 switches at a fraction of their TCO.

”Aruba and Pensando have enabled the industry’s first distributed services architecture that allows enterprises to create and operate network infrastructures that perform and scale just like the hyperscale infrastructure giants,” said Alan Weckel, founder and technology analyst at 650 Group. “We believe this is an emerging industry category, distinguished from all others, that will grow over time. New and emerging workloads like AI/ML will drive the ecosystem towards comparable solutions based on innovative, distributed services principles.”

Rethinking today’s network services model

While data center networking has evolved over the past decade providing higher performing 25/100/400G leaf-spine topologies to address the volume and velocity of emerging application architectures, security and services architectures have not.

With the explosive growth of east-west traffic in the data center, centralized security appliances are proving inefficient, expensive and difficult to manage. Simply put, hair-pinning traffic to an appliance sitting at the data center edge introduces heavy performance, cost and operational penalties.

This problem is further exacerbated by microservices-based applications, where traffic may not even need to leave a physical host to go from one service to another. This means some application traffic may never be inspected by a hardware firewall, IPS, or other security devices, leaving enterprises vulnerable to attack from within the enterprise itself.

Moving to a new, distributed services architecture

The Aruba CX 10000 Series Switch with Pensando provides an entirely new class of switching solution to overcome the limitations of legacy architectures. The Aruba CX 10000 will allow operators to extend industry standard leaf-spine networking with distributed stateful segmentation, east-west firewalling, NAT, encryption, and telemetry services – all delivered inline, all the time, on every access port, closer to where critical enterprise applications run.

The solution delivers a unique blend of performance, scale and automation for distributing advanced networking and security services where it is impractical and costly to force traffic back and forth across the network to a centralized policy enforcement point. Instead, enterprises can now simply apply these services at the network access layer edge where the applications are running. Key initial use cases include:

On-premises enterprise data centers and private cloud: Traditional data center architectures with centralized, hardware-based security appliances are being pushed to their breaking point – imposing performance, agility, and cost burdens that are not sustainable. The Aruba CX 10000 delivers a compelling architecture to distribute advanced services to the data center edge with unified network and security automation and policy management. This new solution optimizes network bandwidth and performance by not having to hair-pin local traffic to a centralized chokepoint, helping improve security posture while limiting appliance sprawl, complexity and cost.

Co-location edge – securely interconnecting cloud providers: The cost of encrypting access to the public cloud using traditional appliances is exorbitant. Many customers have a compliance mandate to encrypt all access to public cloud​ resources. The Aruba CX 10000 provides edge routing, line-rate encryption, firewall and NAT, with end-to-end telemetry for public cloud dedicated connections from either on-premises or co-location data centers. This solution radically lowers the total cost of ownership​, provides an optimized security architecture​ and reduces an organization’s IT blast radius and risk.

Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) was designed to unify, automate and secure all network edge services across domains including remote, branch, campus and data center. The Aruba CX 10000 helps customers expand a Zero Trust Network Architecture deeper into the data center, to the network-server edge, delivering 800G E-W Stateful Services across every switch port, dramatically scaling and strengthening the security of critical applications and workloads.

“We are excited that Aruba has brought the Distributed Services approach to the next level by elevating it from the server to the Top-of-Rack networking layer,” said John Galatea, vice president of Sales at Dasher Technologies, an Aruba Platinum Partner. “We believe our clients will benefit from the enhanced granular security and visibility provided by the Aruba CX 10000 while optimizing network and infrastructure resources. This architecture allows our clients to overcome the limitations of legacy solutions by moving security closer to where applications and workloads are being processed.”

Extending the HPE/Pensando relationship

This new solution complements the previously announced Pensando Distributed Services Platform (DSP) for HPE Servers, delivered as a factory option in HPE ProLiant servers, HPE Apollo systems, and HPE Edgeline Converged Edge systems.

The Aruba CX 10000 extends the implementation of these intelligent services into the data center network fabric, addressing a wider range of use cases including brownfield deployments or infrastructure agnostic/heterogeneous environments to complement or augment SmartNIC deployments.

“Today’s announcement further extends the partnership between HPE and Pensando – by incorporating Distributed Services from Pensando into the industry-leading Aruba switching platform, the elimination of legacy technologies needed to build a zero-trust private cloud has never been easier or more cost-effective,” said Prem Jain, CEO at Pensando Systems. “I look forward to continuing our relationship and to bringing additional solutions to market.”

As part of the joint relationship, Pensando also gains access to HPE’s vast patent portfolio through its Defensive Patent Purchase Program.

Pricing and availability

The Aruba CX 10000 will be generally available in January 2022 with pricing starting at $45,000 USD which will include accelerated Stateful Firewall, Zero Trust Segmentation, ERSPAN, Telemetry, and DDoS protection.

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