The rapid arrival of real-time gaming, virtual reality and metaverse applications is changing the way network, compute memory and interconnect I/O interact for the next decade. As the future of metaverse applications evolve, the network needs to adapt for 10 times the growth in traffic connecting 100s of processors with trillions of transactions and gigabits of throughput. AI is becoming more meaningful as distributed applications push the envelope of predictable scale and performance of the network. A common characteristic of these AI workloads is that they are both data and compute-intensive. A typical AI workload involves a large sparse matrix computation, distributed across 10s or 100s of processors (CPU, GPU, TPU, etc.) with intense computations for a period of time. Once the data from all peers is received, it can be reduced or merged with the local data and then another cycle of processing begins.
As an industry leader in data-driven networking, Arista’s introduction of 400G platforms in 2019 intersected the emerging needs of hyper-scale cloud and HPC customers to dramatically increase bandwidth for specific ultra-high performance applications.
Arista’s EOS (Extensible Operating System) has been nurtured over the past decade, taking the best principles of extensible, open and scalable networks. While SDN evangelists insisted that the right way to build networks started with the decoupling of hardware and software in the network, manipulated by a centralized, shared controller, many companies failed to provide the core customer requisite in a clean software architecture and implementation coupled with key technical differentiation. This has been the essence of Arista EOS.
Arista has a long history of joint development with hyper-scale cloud providers delivering innovative solutions for a broad range of customers. Our integration with Google Cloud and Network Connectivity Center is a testament to that ongoing innovation and abstracting complex networking challenges making them simple and agile for IT clients worldwide.
Over a decade ago, we entered the high speed switching market with our low latency switches. Our fastest switch then, the 7124, could forward L2/L3 traffic in 500ns, a big improvement over store and forward switches that had 10x higher latency. Combined with Arista EOS®, our products were well received by financial trading and HPC customers.
I don’t know about you but I am eagerly looking forward to the new year erasing all the negativity and losses that 2020 brought to our broader lives, health and the global economy. Today I digress to make some predictions on the post-pandemic era that are likely to change the way we live, learn, work and play, blending the lines between those distinct functions we had once partitioned.
Today we are introducing the Arista 750 Series Modular Campus switch, a next generation modular platform based on merchant silicon that delivers more performance, more security, more visibility and more power capabilities than any other product in its class.
The Networking industry is undergoing a metamorphosis. Modern networking operations teams are challenged to cope with multiple operational models. As attackers become better and better at breaching our defenses, security analysts are increasingly at the heart of a security organization. The operators are responsible for detecting, investigating and remediating potential breaches before they progress into brand, customer, financial and IP damage. This confluence of DevOps, NetOps, SecOps, and CloudOps demands persistent operations control. How do you cope with decades of security, threat and cyber detection done in reactive silos? What happens as more workloads move to the cloud? At Arista, we value our ecosystem of security partners and networking must adapt to the new complex threats.
Traditional networking has been transformed by cloud-networking principles. These principles drive an open, software-first approach to efficient automation, granular telemetry, and proactive analytics that have simplified traditional network operations. At Arista, we align our product strategy to these cloud networking principles and build our products based on modern software approaches. One such approach is the network-wide state and inference-driven architecture to manage networks with CloudVision. Arista’s strategic approach to automation, analytics, and change control has made CloudVision one of the favorite choices in the menu for our enterprise customers.
Arista has a decade long history of collaboration in open networking. We have pushed the envelope, co-developed open platforms and deployed them to build the world’s largest cloud -scale networks.
Just a decade ago, public cloud titans Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure Cloud, became synonymous with elastic scaling, and software provisioning through APIs. This was a phenomenon that didn’t exist within closed legacy systems.
Private clouds, by contrast, saw the relevance of enterprise customers recreating an infrastructure based on public cloud principles operating at a smaller scale. In an ideal world, both clouds would allow application developers to create and choose where to deploy applications without trade-offs. Arista pioneered technology development in this cloud networking category and today with Covid-19 restrictions driving millions of users to work-from-home, there are tremendous pressures on network access and bandwidth.
CIOs today mandate a ‘Cloud First’ or a ‘Cloud Only’ model for new IT investments with three different cloud models.
Right around the same time I joined Arista in 2009, Amazon Web Services developed the concept of the Virtual Private Cloud, one of the seminal technologies that became a core construct deployed throughout public clouds enabling enterprise customers to corral and protect resources and provision them into logical groups, align security policies, and simplify their management. Following this, Google developed a model for Virtual Private Clouds that spanned regions allocating one subnet per region by default - creating the first multi-region VPC within a single cloud provider.
As legacy applications evolveto the cloud, hosted and multi cloud architectures blending on-premises data and applications with elastic scale-out and rapidly deployed cloud capabilities, legacy networking tools have been challenged causing them to become cumbersome and unreliable. The shift to cloud native architectures with containers, serverless instances and edge IoT sensors feeding in critical data, has significantly increased the number of devices that need to be managed. Meanwhile shrinking the amount of time available for provisioning, upgrades and change controls has become an issue.
I am very excited about our next-generation R3 Series routing platforms, which are setting new standards for throughput, density, power efficiency and price performance. We designed these products to address the growing bandwidth demands in cloud datacenter and public networks, supported by significant Arista EOS enhancements including route scale, telemetry and security.
Last August, Arista made its first acquisition, Mojo Networks, to transform the future of WiFi and campus networks. Just as Arista disrupted the datacenter with important architectural and technology-based innovations, I believe this is a similar pioneering step for the campus. Over the past two decades, the industry has deployed a WiFi controller-based architecture. This stagnant “WLC” approach for wireless connectivity has not evolved to address costly operational dilemmas such as:
Until now the intersection of human healthcare and networking machines was somewhat loosely coupled. Healthcare has been historically stymied by regulations and compliance issues making the adoption of modern IT challenging. Yet today in a quest for longer and healthier lives we are driven by metrics to monitor our health, measure continuous feedback of our heart, breathing and track our physical activity and exercise. Digital healthcare is impacting the continuum of patient care and the overall patient experience, generating exponential increases in data, and creating unprecedented demand for increased network speeds and agility. Just as the financial industry took to modernizing real time banking, the time has arrived to leverage the power of the network to modernize healthcare.
Why 400G Ethernet? In one sentence, because the easiest way to go faster is to go faster.
Over time, Ethernet speed transitions have been the primary driver for improving both the throughput and price-performance of datacenter networks. 400G Ethernet is the next major transition on this journey. While 100G Ethernet is still ramping up rapidly this year and next, it is projected that by the end of 2021 400G Ethernet will represent the majority of Ethernet bandwidth shipped.
When I joined Arista ten years ago, we were in the midst of developing a novel purpose-built software architecture from a clean sheet of paper for networking. The financial services industry was in crisis, with the collapse of major banks like Lehman Brothers. In parallel, emerging slowly but surely, was a new breed of hyper-scale cloud operators. Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google GCP were in the early stages of shaping what was to become the public cloud. The requirements of these new titans provided a source of inspiration for the Arista founders and me. We couldn’t have predicted the pace nor the impact of this cloud fury; it came strongly and rapidly. As I reminisce over the past decade, it is clear that the cloud inflection has forever changed the face of enterprise IT for the better. Yet it is just the beginning, and there is much ahead.
Every CXO worries about security because the perimeter is changing; in fact, there are no walls for protection. The lines between cloud, workloads, applications, enterprise networks and hosts are blurring and the challenges are getting exponentially greater. The true security architect must rapidly address the reality of a more holistic network-wide security strategy. It must be one that goes beyond the cyber threat of the day to address the risk, scale and mitigation of persistent security issues. The state of cyber security needs urgent resolution because: