& cplSiteName &

Arista Finds Love for Network Monitoring

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
2/13/2013
50%
50%

Arista Networks Inc. is entering the market for network monitoring, adding some features to the 7150 to make it suitable as an aggregation switch.

That could give it a new foothold against Cisco Systems Inc. And it also turns Arista into a new competitor for the specialists such as Gigamon Systems LLC that have had that market to themselves.

The software is called the Arista Data Analyzer -- DANZ for short -- and Arista is announcing on Wednesday that it's available on the 7150.

Network monitoring isn't just a separate beast from Ethernet switching; it's a whole other network. As operators put probes or taps around their network, to monitor traffic, they might build a separate network to feed the collected data into test and measurement equipment or into servers running analytics software. Gigamon made its name by offering a switch that aggregates and directs this monitoring traffic.

Of course, competitors came in, such as VSS Monitoring Inc., or Simena Networks, which was acquired by NetScout Systems Inc. in 2011. But Ethernet switch vendors didn't seem to care much.

10X the value
Now Arista wants in, but why?

Part of the reason involves the pricing of ports. A 10Gbit/s Ethernet port on a tap aggregation switch can cost US$2,500 to $4,000, compared with the $350 to $400 that Arista would charge, according to Doug Gourlay, Arista's vice president of marketing.

"It actually upset me," he says tongue-in-cheekly. "People value the monitoring of what we do 10 times more than what we're doing."

The difference can partly be explained by Arista's volumes, which make it easier to get economies of scale from the off-the-shelf switch chips it uses. "It's difficult for the company that sells specialized equipment to beat Arista in cost and throughput," says Peter Christy, an analyst with 451 Research.

Another attraction for Arista is that Cisco doesn't participate in this market. Keep in mind that some network owners build a second network for monitoring. That separate network doesn't have to be built from the same equipment as the main network, so it could be a way for Arista to get a foot in the door.

Customers that do use Arista gear now have the option of using part of a 7150 as a tap aggregation switch. It's just a feature activation away. It's not as if they get it for free, though; DANZ is available only under Arista's Z license option, one of the company's most advanced, Gourlay says. Presumably, that means it's also relatively expensive.

DANZ meets LANZ
DANZ is more than just Arista throwing its switch at the tap aggregation job. Arista is also taking advantage of existing capabilities of EOS, the Arista operating system, to sharpen the 7150's network monitoring mojo.

For example, Arista touts its switches' ability to decide when information should be sent for analysis, based on user-set thresholds. If latency starts building up (something the 7150 watches through a different feature called LANZ), the tracking begins.

"What people want is application-aware network analyzers," Christy says. When something goes wrong, "they say, 'Gee, how can I ask the network to give me all the traffic associated with those circumstances? I'd like it peeled off.'"

Arista also says it's increased the accuracy of the 7150's monitoring capabilities, to 10 nanosecond intervals, and it backs that up with hardware-based timestamps based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) 1588 standard.

Other Ethernet switch vendors might not be so interested in the tap aggregation market, but they're all getting more interested in network visibility. (In fact, there's a Light Reading webinar about that topic at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, focusing on 40Gbit/s and 100Gbit/s networking.)

For instance, at SC12 in November, Extreme Networks Inc. demonstrated a switch running Big Switch's Big Tap monitoring application. The availability of those kinds of software-defined networking (SDN) tools, as well as the need to adhere to service delivery agreements, might keep network monitoring a high-priority topic among switch and router vendors.

For more

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Craig Matsumoto
50%
50%
Craig Matsumoto,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/13/2013 | 7:49:30 PM
re: Arista Finds Love for Network Monitoring
NetScout does a lot of these same things, with the 3900 that was recently announced, right? So, in finding a niche that doesn't compete with Cisco, Arista runs into a different type of incumbent competition.

btw, Arista says the Z license runs $3K, amounting to about $50 per port. Not expensive by hardware-switch standards, but that brings up something else: These vendors will need to find a way to make money on software. Juniper talked about licensing schemes being all messed up. How bumpy a transition is this going to be?
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 19, 1:00PM EDT
Securing a Virtual World
Rita Marty, Executive Director, Mobility and Cloud Security, Chief Security Office, AT&T
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: SDN/NFV Pose New Interconnection Possibilities

9|28|16   |   04:37   |   (0) comments


Network operators should develop new APIs and business processes for reselling virtual assets to each other, says CenturyLink's Bill Walker. That will enable them to build digital business portfolios that help them avoid becoming commodity transport providers.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Overcoming Terror of Being Supplier, Integrator & Developer

9|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Travis Ewert of Level 3 Communications said there is terror in becoming supplier, integrator and developer, but it can be overcome and be cost effective.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Re-usable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into re-usable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2016
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
Open Source Getting on My Nerves
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/26/2016
Google, Facebook Gaining Network Equipment Clout
Patrick Donegan, Chief Analyst, Heavy Reading, 9/26/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.