Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Vincent Brasseur, Ignacio M. Llorente

Related Topics: Cloud Expo

Cloud Expo: Article

Andy Bechtolsheim’s Off Reinventing the World Again

Arista claims to have the first network product to bridge physical, virtual and cloud networks

Arista Networks, the so-called “cloud networking” start-up that began life by challenging Cisco with an ultra-fast network switch that cost a tenth the price of a Cisco switch, is closing in on the problem of redesigning the network to support large data centers and cloud computing that it was started by Andy Bechtolsheim to solve.

The company’s premise is that existing networks aren’t designed for virtual and mobile workloads.

See, along with virtualization has come an explosion of virtual machines over physical servers by a factor of 10x-20x creating in turn a proportional sprawl of virtual switches to connect the VMs in the physical servers.

Arista contends that this combination of multi-core CPUs, VMs and virtual switch infrastructure is making untenable demands on the underlying cloud network fabric. The traditional 64:1 oversubscribed network topologies don’t cut it.

Too much latency.

It says the industry needs seamless user-to-VM, VM-to-VM, VM-to-physical machine access and that the network needs to be redesigned for non-blocking any-to-any cloud networks, as well as peak bandwidth of terabit scale.

The situation, it says, calls for consistent physical, virtual and cloud networking. It also calls for consistent, holistic management across virtual and physical networks during VM migration.

Naturally, Arista’s got a fix.

It claims to have the first network product to bridge physical, virtual and cloud networks.

And naturally it involves its Ethernet switches.

Essentially its switching platform is now integrated with virtual machine management and cloud reach.

It says it can link physical, virtual and cloud networks using VMware, a close ally of Cisco and an early investment of Bechtolsheim, the man with the golden touch who co-founded Sun and was Google’s first investor.

Arista’s got a newfangled virtualized Extensible Operating System (vEOS) that’s supposed to bring hitless upgrades, network troubleshooting and configuration to VMware’s vSphere 4.

vEOS is an vSphere-linked implementation of Arista’s existing modular Extensible Operating System (EOS) that manages VMware’s distributed switches.

It auto-discovers all vSwitches and VMs in a vDS domain and provides an interface for network administrators to establish consistent policy and accounting.

Arista’s magic is supposed to be in its software, which it developed long before its silicon, and EOS separates state from different processes and stores all of the state of networking variables and inter-process communications in a transactional database.

Anyway, vEOS is supposed to move workloads from physical servers to virtual machines and to cloud infrastructures while maintaining segmentation, trust boundaries and policy control.

With VMware’s vConverter it moves network state from the physical port to the logical port and with vSphere it binds state to each mobile VM.

It integrates with VMware’s vCenter virtualization platform so there’s a familiar network interface and offers consistent policy and accounting for physical ports, virtual machines and cloud deployments.

Arista president Jayshee Ullal – a Cisco alum like Bechtolsheim, von Bechtolsheim actually, and other senior Arista folk – says that with vEOS, tricked out as a virtual appliance or an integrated EOS feature, Arista and VMware customers will be able to manage their growing converged networking infrastructure and move VMs around more easily.

The widgetry is meant to address the need to manage hybrid virtual and physical infrastructures with multiple network operating systems.

So it manages VMware’s vNetwork Distributed Switch and links physical and virtual machines to network policy and profiles.

Arista claims virtualization is creating a management gap between physical and virtual networks. vEOS is supposed to offer administrators a familiar, industry-standard network interface for configuration and monitoring without throwing a monkey wrench into the virtualized infrastructure.

vEOS is described as a single system image that runs on Arista’s 7000 family of cloud networking switches as well as a VMware virtual appliance.

Arista observes that with vSphere 4’s new capabilities such as Dynamic Resource Scheduler (DRS) and Fault Tolerance, VMs move from one host to another automatically. It reckons this demands an order-of-magnitude more capacity, lower latency and new network architectures.

vEOS, which supports third-party application development, is also supposed to bring monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities to virtualized environments including HP Openview support, standard SNMP monitoring and fully integrated access control while integrating with VMware Fault Tolerance to provide high availability for the vEOS virtual appliance.

Arista says it will be signing up customers for the open beta of vEOS starting in October or November. It won’t be available until the fourth quarter. Preliminary pricing suggest a 64-host network configuration license will run $5,000; 64 hosts per vEOS instance translates into 12,800 VMs.

Arista was founded on Andy and his partner Arista chief scientist David Cheriton’s nickel. With no one else funding it, Arista isn’t worried about meeting milestones or chasing more VC money. Its 10 gigE switches have been shipping for the last year.

See www.aristanetworks.com/veos/beta.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
High-performing enterprise Software Quality Assurance (SQA) teams validate systems that are ready for use - getting most actively involved as components integrate and form complete systems. These teams catch and report on defects, making sure the customer gets the best software possible. SQA teams have leveraged automation and virtualization to execute more thorough testing in less time - bringing Dev and Ops together, ensuring production readiness. Does the emergence of DevOps mean the end of E...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective ...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrateg...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water,...
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
Want to enable self-service provisioning of application environments in minutes that mirror production? Can you automatically provide rich data with code-level detail back to the developers when issues occur in production? In his session at DevOps Summit, David Tesar, Microsoft Technical Evangelist on Microsoft Azure and DevOps, will discuss how to accomplish this and more utilizing technologies such as Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio online, and Application Insights in this demo-heavy session.
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device exp...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
"Verizon offers public cloud, virtual private cloud as well as private cloud on-premises - many different alternatives. Verizon's deep knowledge in applications and the fact that we are responsible for applications that make call outs to other systems. Those systems and those resources may not be in Verizon Cloud, we understand at the end of the day it's going to be federated," explained Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at...
"For the past 4 years we have been working mainly to export. For the last 3 or 4 years the main market was Russia. In the past year we have been working to expand our footprint in Europe and the United States," explained Andris Gailitis, CEO of DEAC, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. Acco...
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
"Cloud consumption is something we envision at Solgenia. That is trying to let the cloud spread to the user as a consumption, as utility computing. We want to allow the people to just pay for what they use, not a subscription model," explained Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...