Enabling Unified Software-First Automation and Policy Across Any Vendor, Any Workload, and Any Cloud
Apstra® Inc. has introduced significant advancements to the Apstra Operating System (AOS®) including tighter design, build, and operational interoperability between the underlying physical network and software-defined overlay networks with a solution that liberates customers from being locked into any specific network hardware vendor.
Enterprises are embracing business and digital transformation to improve customer experience, gain competitive advantage and increase revenue. A barrier to this is often the ability of the infrastructure to support these transformations which can result in a significant loss in investment expenses. Apstra enables these transformations through automated software-first Intent-Based Networking.
Apstra customers are able to mitigate challenges introduced by the underlying network when implementing digital transformation with VMware NSX network virtualization. Customers are now able to confirm that any underlay network they design, deploy and operate meets several criteria to reliably support NSX including VLAN configurations, MTU settings, and LAG configurations. These validations occur both during the initial setup of the network along with continuous validation during ongoing operations.
“Customers that want to accelerate digital transformation require a software-defined network that spans all infrastructure and ties all these pieces together with one-click deployment,” said Nikhil Kelshikar, vice president of product management, networking and security at VMware. “Network virtualization offers the only practical way to provide this automated experience. NSX with Apstra AOS enables customers to treat the network infrastructure as code. This helps to accelerate deployments by bridging the gap with the physical underlay, reducing operational costs and simplifying troubleshooting.”
“Driving global innovation and customer value requires the ability to leverage both private data centers and public clouds with an expectation of consistency in operations, policy, and intent across each of these,” said Ken Brooks, Lead Network Architect at Chevron. “Apstra and VMware are enabling businesses to drive cloud-scale availability, resiliency, and efficiencies in private data centers while maintaining unified policy across these data centers and the public cloud.”
“Haute-Savoie Department provides services to thousands of people and relies on information technology to do this with the highest quality and resiliency possible,” said Thierry Grosjean, Head of Technical Support and Service at Haute-Savoie Department. “Apstra and VMware are converging the configuration, visibility, and ongoing validation of the overlay and underlay which enables organizations such as Haute-Savoie Department to gain better closed-loop operation of our infrastructure.”
What is different about AOS 3.1?
Automation – AOS automates and enables consistent network and security policy for workloads across the physical and virtual/NSX infrastructure. As a result, businesses are more agile, and IT can adapt and respond faster to business needs.
Hardware Agnostic – AOS integrates with numerous networking hardware and operating system vendors including Cisco and Arista, enabling consistent service delivery across the entire infrastructure. It enables businesses the flexibility to deploy an infrastructure of their choice that meets their budget and requirements without being locked-in to one vendor.
Scale – AOS brings cloud-scale, deployment, and remediation to any physical and virtual/NSX infrastructure. Businesses that are expanding, refreshing or consolidating their data centers are able to scale deployments across thousands of switches with no performance impact.
Visibility and Auto-Remediation – AOS bridges the visibility gap by correlating traffic traversing physical infrastructure and NSX environments enabling faster root-cause analysis and anomaly correlation. In situations where there is performance degradation, intermittent services or known maintenance on network switches, AOS enables the network team to quickly take appropriate actions ensuring applications are not impacted.
Closed-Loop Validation – AOS goes beyond automation in delivering full integrity checks and continuous validation of policies defined by NSX eliminating complex troubleshooting procedures. Businesses can accelerate resolutions thus increasing application availability.
“Apstra’s system gives us a single view into the entire media production network — regardless of our devices, switches, operating systems or vendors,” said Tony Lott, Global Head of Capital Projects for Bloomberg’s IT Infrastructure team. “It has enabled us to gain the day-2 operational efficiency needed to manage and sustain the complex network infrastructure in our cutting-edge media production facility.”
Some of the newest features of AOS 3.1 that will be on display at the VMworld US event in the Apstra booth #1469 include:
Apstra AOS and VMware NSX
AOS accelerates deployments, improves collaboration among teams including network, security, virtualization and cloud, reduces operational cost by 83% and faster MTTR (mean time to resolution) by 70%. Apstra AOS 3.1 bridges the gap with the underlay and increases the simplicity of deploying network infrastructure with NSX. These customers will experience tremendous benefits by deploying Apstra AOS 3.1:
Enterprises can bridge the network and security policy gaps between the physical underlay and virtual overlay to accelerate the delivery of business services. Enterprises can automate a consistent network and security policies across any vendor, any workload and any cloud. Enterprises can quickly troubleshoot and remediate problems.
Multidomain Unified Group-Based Policy Enhancements
AOS 3.1 boosts Multi-domain Unified Group-Based Policy with granular policies and visualization increasing application security and availability. This provides flexibility in policy enforcement and increases application availability. Full visualization of rules provides an enhanced view of the entire security posture.
Advanced, Cloud-Scale Intent-Based Analytics and Root Cause Identification
Apstra Intent-Based Networking and Apstra Intent-Based Analytics deliver full life-cycle automation that adapts to a dynamic environment across a multi-vendor infrastructure. AOS 3.1 delivers customizable Intent-Based Analytics (probes) to fit the needs of any environment allowing IT the flexibility to view rich, detailed analytics. Lastly, the solution expands root cause identification mapped to implicated anomalies to include disconnected systems, in addition to misconfigured or disconnected cables.
Expanding Multi-Vendor, Software First Support Model
AOS allows enterprises to continuously drive a business-first model enabled by software-first Intent-Based Networking which eliminates hardware lock-in. Apstra continues to expand multi-vendor device operating system management support to include new versions of Cumulus, in addition to Cisco and Arista, to reduce operational costs.
Expanding Enterprise-Class Features
AOS 3.1 offers expanded authentication options including RADIUS in addition to LDAP, Active Directory and TACACS+, hardening our platform and delivering flexibility to authorize AOS users. Also in 3.1, accelerated cable map discovery with LLDP to accelerate deployments. Lastly, AOS can now automate the first boot process of all network and bare metal Linux devices using a reference implementation ZTP server.
Product Availability and Pricing
Apstra Intent-Based Networking 3.1 will be generally available in September 2019 at no additional cost for existing or new Apstra customers.