Arista Networks, VMware extend network virtualization partnership

Switch vendor Arista Networks, Inc. (NYSE: ANET) and VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) have announced a strategic relationship that they say will help customers accelerate the adoption of network virtualization in the software-defined data center (SDDC).

Switch vendor Arista Networks, Inc. (NYSE: ANET) and VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) have announced a strategic relationship that they say will help customers accelerate the adoption of network virtualization in the software-defined data center (SDDC).

Arista Networks and VMware point out that today's data center networks require automation, self-service provisioning, and linear scaling of both performance and economics. Arista's data center switching products combined with VMware’s NSX software platform can deliver next-generation network virtualization, custom programmability, and simplified architectures, with a single point of management, the companies claim.

The new agreement builds on the companies' four-year relationship providing software for the data center and focuses on joint development and marketing of the generally available Arista and VMware products integrated under VMware NSX.

Arista and VMware are expanding their partnership in areas that will optimize the software-defined data center for the hybrid cloud. Building on previous work around VMware vSphere, VMware vCloud Director, and VXLAN support, the companies are working together to drive greater interoperability across the broader VMware portfolio.

"With multiple years of joint engineering and customer deployments, this announcement highlights our growing relationship with VMware," said Jayshree Ullal, president and CEO, Arista Networks. "Arista is committed to working with VMware products and architectures to optimally combine the VMware network virtualization platform and Arista programmable physical networks for the best network-wide virtualization deployments."

The joint platform comprises Arista's network programmable "underlay" – using the Arista Extensible Operating System (EOS), network APIs, and hardware-enabled VXLAN Tunnel Endpoints (VTEPS) and VMware’ NSX network virtualization platform – to support a software-defined data center for both enterprise and service provider customers. This creates a complete network virtualization platform that can simplify management and provisioning, speed service delivery, reduce costs, and create opportunities for competitive differentiation, the partners claim. The tools provided by Arista and VMware "put control and visibility back in the hands of the network and systems administrators," according to a joint press release.

Mirko Voltolini, VP technology and architecture at European service provider Colt, said, "The excitement around SDN and network virtualization is that – for the first time – networking is becoming more software orientated, so we're able to dynamically orchestrate service modification and activation in real-time. Network connectivity can now keep up when virtual machines and associated compute and storage change or are moved within distributed data centers. This means that servers, storage and now the network are in synch so that we can meet the specific needs of our customers in a timescale they demand. As a result of deploying a new network architecture based on Arista and VMware networking technologies, the time for Colt to add, change or modify services now takes minutes rather than days, and enables Colt to onboard customers faster and expand its service portfolio quicker."

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