SDN Technology

ExtraHop, Arista Team Up on SDN Visibility

ExtraHop is getting a jump on the expected flood of vendor news out of VMWorld next week, announcing Thursday that it has teamed with datacenter switch maker Arista Networks to create an integrated approach to delivering real-time visibility of network traffic in the highly volatile world of virtualized networks. (See: Arista, ExtraHop Team on Virtual Visibility.)

Specifically, ExtraHop Networks Inc. 's passive IT operations analytics platform takes the real-time data from the Data ANalyZer of Arista Networks Inc. 's Extensible Operation System for its switches. Together they can "auto-discover, auto-classify, and auto-categorize all the traffic into sessions, flows, and per-user transactions from the clients down to the storage tier and everything in between," Erik Giesa, ExtraHop's SVP of worldwide marketing and business development, told me.

The ExtraHop Content and Correlation Engine is able to provide visibility of the network, the infrastructure, the applications, and the end-user transactions without requiring deployment of probes or other devices. By creating an integrated ExtraHop-Arista Persistent Monitoring Architecture, the two companies intend to let service providers, particularly those in the cloud, as well as datacenter operators and enterprises, capitalize on the programmability of Arista's EOS and the real-time analytics of ExtraHop.

The continuous auto-discovery of virtual and physical servers and persistent analysis of traffic flows as virtual machines are spun up and spun down gives service providers the assurance that network efficiency isn't coming at the price of end-user experience, Giesa says. And while the deal is not exclusive, he adds, there is a deeper level of integration between his company's analytics and Arista's switches than ExtraHop has with other switch makers.

Why this matters
Moving software-defined networks and virtualization forward requires providing the tools both service providers and enterprises need to maintain the quality of service they have in today's un-virtualized networks and the quality they expect to get as they go virtual to achieve efficiency. One of the stark realities of virtualization is that it can create enormous complexity in determining how traffic is being handled and whether a variety of issues is impacting performance, simply because in the virtual world, service is no longer delivered consistently over the same physical path or set of equipment.

Efforts of vendors to address practical issues in the near-term can reduce the risks associated with the continuous changes of virtual machines in the datacenter and potentially speed deployment.

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— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

sam masud 8/26/2013 | 1:09:29 PM
Re: ExtraHop, Arista Wonder if the industry will move to proprietary but open APIs or APIs based on industry standards--or will there be a hybrid API environment....
Drew Conry-Murray 8/22/2013 | 5:48:23 PM
ExtraHop, Arista The market for network applications will really take off when developers can write one application that will run on a variety of switch platforms, rather than having to write to Arista's APIs, and then Cisco's APIs, etc. That's one of the goals of SDN, but we're still a long way off. Still, it's encouraging to see this kind of one-off integration happening.
Carol Wilson 8/22/2013 | 2:05:18 PM
Expect to see much more stuff like this If SDN/NFV are going to get real any time soon - and everyone agrees they need to -- I think there is going to be many more announcements like this one that address real-world deployment issues. 
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