Apstra Unveils Multidomain Unified Group-Based Policy and Enterprise Cloudification in Newest Product Release


Intent-Based Data Center Automation 3.0 Empowers New Intent-Based Analytics Features, Enhanced VMware vSphere with Automated Remediation, and Support for Super Spines with Unified Management Plane

Apstra has introduced significant advancements to the Apstra Operating System (AOS) including new Group-Based Policy, enterprise cloudification features, advanced VMware vSphere connection, and major Intent-Based Analytics enhancements.

Apstra Intent-Based Data Center Automation 3.0 enables businesses to build an Intent-Based Data Center that increases application reliability and availability, simplifies deployments and operations through automation, and reduces costs (OpEx and CapEx). Apstra enables network engineers and operators to quickly and reliably design, build, operate, and validate a data center network of any size with scalability for the largest data centers.

“The network of today and tomorrow is one based on a software-defined network architecture that spans all infrastructure and environments; delivers, new levels of automation, programmability and security; and responds end to end to the needs of applications,” said Pere Monclus, chief technology officer, networking and security at VMware. “VMware and Apstra are working together to help enable customers to re-imagine what the data center network looks like and how it operates, and take full advantage of this new era of networking to support their digital transformation initiatives.”

“Enterprises are supporting the demand for digital transformation by implementing both private and public cloud solutions,” said Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President for Azure Networking, Microsoft Corporation. “Apstra Intent-Based Data Center Automation 3.0 supports the SONiC operating system in addition to industry requirements for automation, unified group-based policy, and analytics to create a consistent experience and outcome between public and private clouds.”

“Business and digital transformation are driving the mandate for data center infrastructure transformation which also means cloudifying operations, increasing reliability, and cutting costs,” said Michael Wood, CMO and Vice President of Product at Apstra.  “In addition to being the only multi-vendor Intent-Based Networking solution on the market, Apstra Intent-Based Data Center Automation 3.0 now enables enterprises to extend Intent-Based Networking beyond automated design, build, deployment, and operations.  This new level of operation is achieved by applying and validating policy and intent uniformly across center of data domains (private data center, public cloud, and edge) while also achieving comparable or better levels of scale and operational efficiencies as hyperscale cloud providers.”

“Enabling private data centers, edge compute, and public cloud to operate at exceptional speed and performance is something Mellanox has driven for over a decade,” said Kevin Deierling, Senior Vice President Marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “The advanced telemetry of our Spectrum family of switches is a perfect complement to Apstra’s new group-based policy and Intent-Based Analytics capabilities which enable Enterprises and cloud providers to simplify the ongoing operation of these centers of data while reaching new heights of operational efficiency across multiple domains.”

“Edgecore Networks provides open network switches to the world’s very largest network operators and sees the challenges that more traditional enterprises face to build, secure and operate large data center networks at scale,” said George Tchaparian, CEO at Edgecore.  “Apstra’s support for automating large Clos topologies including those built using Edgecore switches, along with their IPv6 and vSphere problem remediation, enables enterprises to realize the same benefits seen by hyperscale operators.”

New and enhanced features in AOS 3.0 include:

Multidomain Unified Group-Based Policy: Enterprises struggle to manage an increasingly diverse combination of private and public cloud compute resources. The typical organization has more than one data center and at least one cloud service provider, all of them utilizing different policy languages, methods, and infrastructure. Inside a single private data center, an operator can expect to find an assortment of new and legacy equipment, from different vendors, all with different management platforms. Apstra is now expanding the industry’s first Intent-Based Network technology platform to include Multidomain Unified Group-Based Policy, which unifies these disparate centers of policy and allows for automated policy enforcement regardless of the location, type, or manufacturer of the devices and operating systems. Apstra Multidomain Unified Group-Based Policy provides a simple user interface and API that delivers end to end policy deployments, rendered in the vendor-specific syntax and methods, automatically without requiring the user to know where the policy needs to be implemented. This intent-derived logic is unique to Apstra Intent-Based Data Center Automation, freeing customers from the complexities of ACL syntax, enforcement locations, and multitenant policy communication.

Enterprise Cloudification and Cloud Scale:

  • 5 Stage Clos – Apstra increases the scale of IP Clos fabrics by adding support for an additional layer of “Super Spines” for building larger pods with a unified management plane. This enables architects to design massive IP fabrics for the largest data centers, all the while maintaining a simple and unified policy for isolating workloads with EVPNs, VXLAN, ACLs, and VRFs. 5 Stage Clos templates can be configured and deployed in minutes, even without knowing which vendor platform will be selected, effectively eliminating hardware selection and lock-in as a gating factor in the design of a large network. IT manages these larger deployments with all of the existing features of Apstra and are able to increase the size of the server hosting environment at any time.
  • External Routing Policies – Environments with multiple business functions often require complex routing adjustments to prioritize traffic flows to match business requirements. For example, different lines of business may utilize separate internet connectivity and routing scenarios. Each business unit may have unique requirements for EBGP routing adjustments, in addition, there is often a need to provide finely tuned summary routes when egressing from a large network segment. With AOS 3.0, architects can now create External Routing Policies utilizing prefix-lists, complex route-maps, and larger summary routes.
  • IPv6 Application Support – Apstra Intent-Based Data Center Automation now supports IPv6 applications, enabling architects to minimize their use of limited IPv4 address space as well as offering fully dynamic server and container addressing.

VMware vSphere with Automated Remediation:

Apstra Intent-Based Data Center Automation 3.0 extends existing VMware vSphere capabilities to support automatic remediation of network anomalies. Apstra Intent-Based Analytics probes constantly check the network to help assure that the network configuration between the Apstra managed topology and the vSphere servers are in sync. If a deviation is detected (i.e. network is missing VLANs configured in vSphere), Apstra can automatically create the needed VLANs to guarantee that VMs are not stranded on isolated port groups.

Intent-Based Analytics Momentum:

Apstra Intent-Based Data Center Automation now supports composable Intent-Based Analytics dashboards, allowing operators to create application or topology specific viewports that combine elements of multiple Intent-Based Analytics probes. A dashboard could include a heatmap of indicators for Intent-Based Analytics anomalies including the count of anomalies, a topology heatmap (bandwidth headroom), bar graphs and charts, time series views, and more. These dashboards automatically update both content and context in real time, freeing the network operators from updating the dashboards with each change to the network.

Intent-Based Analytics Reference Values:

Intent-Based Analytics probes support using the insertion of reference values for SLAs and maximum desired operating thresholds which dynamically adapt as intent changes. An operator can simply insert these values during probe creation and update them at a future point in time to “dial in” the reporting or alerting they desire. Enterprises can set their SLAs once and ensure compliance dynamically.

Product Availability and Pricing

Apstra Intent-Based Data Center Automation 3.0 is generally available immediately at no additional cost for existing or new Apstra customers.


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