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Arista Weaves Security Blanket Over Data Center, Campus and Cloud

Arista is stepping up its war with Cisco, extending its new networking fabric strategy to encompass security.

Mitch Wagner

August 21, 2018

4 Min Read
Arista Weaves Security Blanket Over Data Center, Campus and Cloud

Arista is taking a big step in its march to becoming a full-service networking vendor, adding security to its portfolio. More precisely: Arista has always provided security in its products, but now the company is expanding its offerings to the campus and cloud, and making more of a point of talking about its security vision, the company announced Tuesday.

"Security has always been fundamental to us but it hasn't always had a spotlight focused on it," Jeff Raymond, Arista Networks Inc. vice president of EOS products and services, tells Light Reading. (EOS is the operating system Arista runs across its physical and virtual switches.)

Historically, Arista has been a data center networking and interconnect company, focused on switching, programmability, telemetry and automation. Now the company is adding routing to its toolbox and expanding beyond the data center to the public cloud and into campus networking as part of an initiative launched in May (without a lot of fanfare). As part of that expansion, Arista this month bought Mojo Networks, which specializes in WiFi network management. (See Arista Finds Its Campus Mojo.)

Traditional networking has required different equipment, software and security in different locations, including the core network, cloud and campus, Raymond says. (Hint: Whenever a networking vendor that's not Cisco takes a dig at traditional networking, it's talking about Cisco.)

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Arista, in contrast, offers its uniform networking software and architecture on both physical and virtual equipment, spanning the core, campus and cloud networks. Arista calls this philosophy "Places in the Cloud".

Now, Arista is extending that philosophy to security, providing uniform security tools across the network. "The security challenge is great enough as is, but when you have to tackle it with myriad siloed tools it becomes more challenging for enterprise customers," Raymond says.

Arista is making three announcements. First, it's launching microsegmentation in partnership with VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW). Arista will support VMware's NSX, to enable network operators to provide policies on virtual workloads, using NSX, or physical workloads running on bare metal servers, mainframes, storage arrays and Arista's top-of-rack switches. The security can be administered through Arista's CloudVision.

VMware plans next week to announce a strategy to improve network performance and security by combining network and application awareness in a strategy it's calling Microsegmentation 2.0. (See How VMware Plans to Put the Screws on Cisco.)

Arista is extending Zone Segmentation Security for its vEOS router product, a virtual router running EOS that runs on Amazon Web Services Inc. , Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. The extension allows network operators to provide the same policies across Arista networks and virtual networks running on the public cloud, Raymond said. "In addition to being cloud agnostic, it can be coordinated through CloudVision, so you have a common management platform both on-premises and in the cloud to manage zone segmentation rules." (See Arista Slashes Cloud Networking Complications.)

And Arista is extending security to the client device in partnership with Zscaler, to help network operators secure cloud apps.

Secondly, Arista is providing tools for compliance and auditing, via the CloudVision Compliance Dashboard, allowing operators to create an inventory of their switching and routing devices to ensure their software is up to date and not carrying known vulnerabilities. That's a big job for large estates, and Arista is automating that process with CloudVision.

Third, Arista is adding encryption capabilities to its mainstream data center interconnect products. It is providing new encryption options for its 7280 platform with MACsec for Data Center Interconnect and 7020R platform with IPSec enterprise WAN.

Arista's primary competitor in its new security push -- and in all things -- is Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), which has declared security a strategic priority. Juniper is also making a security push. (See Cisco Automates Security in 'Any Data Center & for Any Cloud', Juniper Snapping Up Cyphort for Security and Cisco & Juniper Heat Up Cloud Security Feud.)

— Mitch Wagner Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn profile Visit me on Tumblr Follow me on Facebook Executive Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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