Application Based Cloud Networking – The Next Frontier

Jayshree Ullal

Networking over the past two decades has mostly been about raw connectivity. Rarely have applications been tuned and optimized to truly take advantage of the network. People have been talking about this vision for years but few have gone much beyond just talking. The reason is that it takes a radical departure from today’s closed monolithic network operating systems to a modern extensible software-defined network operating system such as Arista EOS (Extensible Operating System). Arista EOS incorporates thousands of man-years of effort over the past decade by the industry’s highest caliber engineers. Arista’s pioneering EOS has made its way to leading financial, Web 2.0 and cloud providers where the tighter coupling to applications makes the network a true asset as opposed to a cost center.
A new dimension in system performance: Arista’s Application Switch Upping the ante, Arista is building networks with more flexible and programmable levels that can closely integrate and tune applications and thus empower them. The benefits of integrated application processing on the network have now outstripped the legacy general-purpose server approach to high performance application acceleration.
By optimizing the path between applications and networks we reduce the cost and latency associated with unnecessary network hops and bring unique Inline Programmability to networking. Simply put, this allows the switch to integrate tightly with mission critical applications and eliminate server-based delays to deliver end-to-end performance improvements for many services. Applications range across market data normalization, low latency market trading risk analysis, programmable routing and lawful intercept use cases.
Arista’s Application Switch once again sets a new milestone in the networking industry. Our customers are more empowered as they create unique competitive advantages for their business. No more is it just about switch latency alone. We are bringing a 5-10 times improvement in the system-level latency of a financial trading environment, reducing it from 5-10 microseconds to sub microsecond for trade executions. Our partnership with our financial services customers deepens by enabling safer and un-compromised trading environment performance.
Another highly beneficial use case is for operators of large cloud/service provider networks that can advantageously use the large dedicated memory pool of the 7124FX as a buffer to reduce the equipment costs at each edge station. This permits a significant reduction in the power draw and form-factor of the equipment needed in critically space constrained ground stations, and also permits improvement in network utilization over the long-distance links by offering a fourfold improvement over conventional switching systems buffer characteristics.
Key attributes of Arista’s Application Switch include: – Ultra-low system (end-to-end) latency
- Inline Programmability using advanced FPGA technology
- Customized switching – decide how to forward traffic with transparency
- Accurate clocking from external sources, as well as an Atomic clock option within the switch
- High capacity local storage and logging options
No equivalent switch products exist. Arista has combined its advanced network operating system, EOS, with custom programmable platforms to natively support customer applications to realize the elegance and simplicity of application based networking.
Introducing Arista’s first Application Switch – the Arista7124FX Arista is proud to introduce the first product in its Application Switch category, the 7124FX. The Arista 7124FX brings the application as close to the data source as possible, even directly at the network edge, reducing overall power, latency, and space while accelerating application execution with the on-board Inline Programmability. Customers can retain control of the intellectual property that creates their competitive advantage and still realize dramatic reductions in deterministic latency. The main benefits of the 7124FX are lower end-to-end system-level latency, less intrusive deployment/data capture, and improvements in deterministic performance. Inline data paths are extremely deterministic and consistently perform a given set of functions.
Arista is working with both Appliance and System integration partners to provide a broader eco-system. Appliance partners provide “turn-key” images that provide a defined set of functionality, and support for that image on the FX platform. System integration partners offer development environment support, pre-built IP blocks and customer specific integration and production application support.
Join me in learning more about yet another of Arista‘s innovations to create a new category in networking. As always I welcome your views at feedback@arista.com

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