Arista Networks Embraces Kubernetes

As part of an effort to make it easier to deploy its networking software anywhere, Arista Networks today announced Arista CloudEOS, which includes a cloud-native instance of its network operating system that can be deployed as a container on a Kubernetes cluster.

As part of that initiative, the company also announced CloudEOS Multi Cloud, a high-performance virtual machine that normalizes the network connectivity to and between public clouds. CloudEOS dynamically redirects traffic across the most effective and efficient networking path available based on real-time topology, in-band telemetry and the billing model associated with each link. It also automatically encrypts all traffic moving across public networks and exchanges and rotates IPSEC keys. CloudEOS is available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure immediately and is slated to be available on Google Cloud within the next quarter.

Arista NetworksDoug Gourlay, vice president and general manager for cloud networking software at Arista Networks, says the overarching goal is to provide a declarative approach to deploying network operating systems that can be integrated with a variety of DevOps toolsets.

Arista Networks, much like every provider of a network switch, has been making a case for standardizing networking software across on-premises and cloud computing environments. Rather than rely on networking services from cloud service providers that need to be managed in isolation, Arista Networks is making it possible to deploy a common layer of networking software across multiple cloud and on-premises IT environments. Achieving that goal becomes even easier when all the platforms running that networking software expose the same Kubernetes application programming interfaces (APIs), notes Gourlay.

To make that possible, Arista Networks created CloudEOS Cloud Native, an instance of the Arista NOS that can be deployed on either a standalone Kubernetes cluster or on a Kubernetes cluster that supports the Container Network Interface (CNI) defined by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

Gourlay says the need to support containers as a format for deploying its NOS is being driven by the rate of speed at which DevOps teams now operate. Most can’t wait for network administrators to provision network services. CloudEOS Cloud Native makes it possible for DevOps teams to use a declarative framework to deploy the Arista NOS whenever there is a need, he says. Network administrators may not appreciate that loss of control, but the alternative is for DevOps teams to rely on the network services provided by cloud service providers that ultimately lock workloads into their specific cloud computing platforms.

Most IT organizations at this point are still coming to terms with multiple clouds. They have yet to define a hybrid cloud strategy down to the NOS level. However, it’s only a matter of time before they do simply because the cost of managing separate stacks of clouds will prove prohibitive. In the meantime, Arista Networks is betting that, by making it easier for DevOps teams to deploy networking services wherever they need them today, many more organizations will be closer to achieving true hybrid cloud computing tomorrow.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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