Arista's New Network Platform Targets Cloud Service Providers

The 7500R Series platform converges switching and routing to bring greater scalability and workload mobility to cloud networks.

data centers

Arista Networks is unveiling a new networking platform aimed at cloud service providers and next-generation data centers that converges switching and routing for greater agility and scalability.

The company's Arista 7500R Series "universal spine" platform uses Broadcom's year-old "Jericho" ASICs to help cloud providers and enterprises better manage the changes that come with the continued shift of applications to the cloud—private, public and hybrid clouds—which has increased the demand for better scalability, agility and workload mobility in the networking infrastructure.

Over the past two years, the way applications are built and deployed has changed significantly, from siloed legacy infrastructures to more workload mobility, according to Arista CEO Jayshree Ullal.

"The demands of these new workloads change the way spine networks are reconstructed for cloud networking," Ullal wrote in a post on the company blog. "As physical compute or storage silos evolve to support cloud applications, one can automate and provision the entire network to handle any workload, workflow or workstream, with real time agility."

In addition, the move to the cloud also has fueled the development of what she called "killer big data applications."

"Big data is everywhere, and comprised of structured and unstructured datasets that grow so large that they become too cumbersome to work with using traditional management tools," Ullal wrote. "Difficulties include network capture, sharing, analytics and visualization. The growth trend, though a moving target, is on the order of Zettabytes of data, pressuring a new class of cloud networks."

To address the challenges, Arista officials in 2010 began talking about a new way to build networks for cloud providers. The new 7500R is the latest step in that effort.

The 7500R Series is the follow-on to the company's 7500E Series, bringing 100 Gigabit Ethernet density and large table sizes in a single chassis. The Chassis Fabric has a capacity of up to 115 terabits per second, and the platform comes with up to 432 10GbE ports in three different form factors.

"With the Arista 7500R, we unveil the next generation of the Universal Spine with its many roles," the CEO wrote. "Defying the traditional siloed definition of 'router' and 'switch' functions, the Arista 7500R blends the best of both with uncompromised performance and flexible cloud-scale networking."

The company's Extensible Operating System (EOS) has been enhanced to include support for agents in the Go programming language and for OpenConfig APIs and data models, officials said.

The systems themselves offer Ethernet port speeds of between 1GbE and 100GBE—touching on 10GbE, 25GbE, 40GbE and 50GbE—reliable packet transfers with 288GB of packet memory, and Virtual Output Queues (VoQ) for lossless forwarding. They offer programmable engineering with up to 128,000 MPLS, Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE), VXLAN and IP-in-IP tunnels.

Arista's FlexRoute technology delivers up to 1 million wire speed routes and includes support for Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), segment routing and Ethernet Virtual Private Network (EVPN). Customers can mix and match 7500E and 7500R line cards, and the systems offer three new wire speed line cards, which support 36 100GbE QSP and 40GbE—which can use combinations of 10GbE and 100GbE ports—and 48 10GbE SFP+.

"The 7500R is the highest performance switching and routing platform that supports the full Internet routing table, enabling a Universal Spine in cloud-scale networks," Andy Bechtolsheim, Arista's chairman and chief development officer, said in a statement.

The 7504R and 7508R systems will be available in the second quarter, as will the 7500R Series line cards. The 7512R will be available in the third quarter. Pricing starts at $3,000 per 100GbE port.