How Aruba's Cloud-Native OS Drives New-Gen Networking

eWEEK NEW-PRODUCT NEWS: Aruba's new lineup enables centralized visualization of network health using distributed analytics across every switch in the network to reduce troubleshooting cycles from days to minutes.


Networking equipment and software maker Aruba on Oct. 22 launched a new lineup of network switches designed to address specific new-generation requirements of business campuses, branch offices, edge nodes and devices, and data centers.  

The Aruba CX Switching Portfolio now includes the Aruba CX 6300 Series fixed configuration and CX 6400 Series modular access, aggregation and core switches, while also delivering new advancements for its home-developed AOS-CX operating system. This gives network operators one simple, end-to-end switching platform.

Go here to see eWEEK's list of Top Data Center Switching Companies.

“Our simple idea is that you can have a self-driving network,” Aruba Vice President of Products William Cloe told eWEEK. “Having scripts and visibility at every network switch can provide insights and notifications at each layer–maybe even remediation. That’s a powerful capability that we’re excited about.”

Aruba, owned by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, claims to be the first network equipment provider to offer a single switching platform that runs on a modern network operating system–AOS-CX–from the enterprise edge to the core to the data center. This cloud-native platform is optimized by Aruba’s Network Analytics Engine (NAE), which utilizes embedded analytics and automation to simplify management, accelerate troubleshooting of application performance issues and remediate common network problems.

What Exactly Is 'Cloud-Native'?

A cloud-native infrastructure exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Modularity: It provides abstractions for independent packaging of services (such as containers or serverless functions).
  • Programmability: It supports provisioning and management via declarative APIs and policies.
  • Elasticity: Resources can be scaled up and down dynamically in an automated and policy-driven manner using orchestrators.
  • Resiliency: Services are loosely coupled units that are independent and fault-tolerant.

Modern enterprises need an edge-to-cloud network running on a common platform to benefit from automation and increased operational efficiency, freeing up network operators to focus on business-critical activities.

The new platforms in the Aruba CX Switching Portfolio include:

  • Aruba CX 6300 and CX 6400 Series switches featuring Aruba’s 7th Generation ASIC architecture: The Aruba CX 6300 Series is a stackable family of switches that offers flexible growth via a 10-member virtual switching framework (VSF) and provides built-in 10/25/50-gigabit uplinks to meet the bandwidth needs of today and the future. The Aruba CX 6400 Series modular switches offer both a five-slot chassis and a 10-slot chassis with a non-blocking fabric that scales from Gigabit POE access to 100G core, allowing customers to standardize on one platform across the enterprise, including hybrid use cases.
  • AOS-CX 10.4: The new version of AOS-CX introduces rich access features to the OS while extending CX differentiators to the access layer of the network. These include Aruba Dynamic Segmentation to provide secure, unified policy across wired and wireless down to every user and internet of things (IoT) device, Ethernet VPN (EVPN) over VxLAN for simplified and secure connectivity from enterprises to data centers, and Virtual Switching Extension (VSX) live upgrades for no downtime during maintenance cycles.
  • Aruba NetEdit 2.0 with Network Analytics Engine (NAE): The significantly enhanced version of Aruba’s NetEdit software now integrates with Aruba’s NAE. This advancement enables centralized visualization of network health, leveraging NAE distributed analytics across every switch in the network to reduce troubleshooting cycles from days to minutes. New automation capabilities simplify common tasks such as implementing configuration changes or initial system setup, which can now be completed via the CX Mobile app.

“AI-powered automation must be at the heart of a modern, edge-to-cloud architecture and, in order to be truly useful, it requires an intelligent infrastructure as the foundation,” Aruba President and founder Keerti Melkote said in a media advisory. “We believe that AI is the key to analyzing data, providing actionable insights, and automation at scale to optimize network operators’ ability to quickly troubleshoot, remediate and proactively resolve some of IT’s most pressing challenges.

"Our vision for the future is a cloud-native architecture that delivers true business agility and new digital experiences, and today’s introduction is an important step in that direction.”

The CX Switching Portfolio, including the Aruba CX 6300 and CX 6400 Series switches, the new version of AOS-CX and Aruba NetEdit 2.0, will begin shipping in November. List pricing for the Aruba CX 6300 and CX 6400 Series starts at $5,899 and $13,499, respectively.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...