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New Arista campus switches aim to simplify designs

The Arista campus switches are an effort by the company to target enterprises with the same set of features used by large data centers and carriers.

Arista Networks is extending its data center switching portfolio to the campus LAN with two new switches that scale up to 50 Tbps of throughput.

The 7300X3 and 7050X3 spline switches are 10/25/40/50/100 Gigabit Ethernet hardware equipped with telemetry and visibility features engineered to help IT administrators diagnose performance issues. The Arista campus switches will be available this fall, according to the vendor.

Arista is touting the switches as a replacement for the three-tier architectures common in many campus networks. The spline collapses the leaf-spine architecture used in large data centers into a single tier, simplifying how network components communicate and how data travels across the network.

Jim Duffy, an analyst with 451 Research, said Arista's move could be a reflection of its data center customers asking the vendor for some campus products. "Campus networking is a mature market that is, at best, flat," he said in an email. "So, Arista is not expecting a gold rush."

The company may also be trying to offset some of the data center business it may be losing as a result of white box switching, he added. Microsoft, which is Arista's largest customer, has launched its own open source software, SONiC, which is designed to run on commodity hardware powering its data centers.

Andrew Froehlich, president of the network consultancy West Gate Networks in Loveland, Colo., said Arista's strategy is to differentiate itself from other campus switch vendors, particularly Cisco, which dominates the market. "First is to flatten the network, both physically and logically," he said in an email. "The other is to add next-generation AI and visibility features into the campus to assist with reliability and per-application data flow guarantees."

In addition to rolling out the new Arista campus switches, the vendor said it is partnering with VMware and Aruba Networks to develop platforms capable of supporting internet-of-things and edge computing applications. No further details about those partnerships were released.

In other networking news

Savvius Inc. released an upgrade to its network analysis monitoring software that includes new dashboards and a hike in performance to 35 Gbps. Spotlight 2.0, available now, lets users define, name and have a network view of any application, including custom applications. By applying filters, users can create a variety of dashboards through which they can pinpoint network traffic issues. The software will be released later this quarter, along with a new version of Savvius' stand-alone 1U Spotlight Appliance.

The University of Arkansas in Little Rock will upgrade its wireless network with software and access points from Aruba Networks. The school will deploy more than 3,000 access points, along with AirWave and ClearPass software that will be used to connect and protect mobile and internet-of-things devices.

The university will also resize its overall network, eliminating two-thirds of the 29,000 wired ports it formerly relied on to provide connectivity. Other services, such as location-based mobile engagement using beacon technologies, will be launched later, Aruba said. The new network replaces one equipped with components from multiple vendors, including Cisco and Ruckus.

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