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Aruba's Next-Gen Switching Portfolio 'Biggest Enhancement' Since Initial Release

It's Aruba's first major switching portfolio announcement in more than two years.

Lynn Haber

October 22, 2019

4 Min Read

HPE’s Aruba on Tuesday announced its next-generation network operating system – AOS-CX 10.4 – and two new next generation hardware additions – the Aruba CX 6300 Series fixed configuration switches and CX6400 Series modular access, aggregation and core switches – to its Aruba CX switching portfolio.

Aruba also announced NetEdit 2.0 with Network Analytics Engine (NAE) integration, or software tools that offer advanced analytics, intelligent configurations and operational simplicity.

The latest generation of software and hardware represent the first major upgrade to the CX switching portfolio since the vendor announced its new OS, the AOS-CX, and new hardware platform, 8400, designed for the core of the network, more than two years ago.


Aruba’s Steve Brar

“This is the fifth and next major release of the AOS-CX,” Steve Brar, senior director of portfolio marketing for Aruba, told Channel Futures. “It’s the biggest enhancement to the operating system since the initial release. What we’re bringing in this latest release is campus active layer features.”

So, where Aruba began AOS-CX in the core, in aggregation of the network, AOS-CX 10.4 brings the operating system out to the access edge in campus environments. The broadened switching portfolio addresses the needs of today’s modern enterprise campus, branch and data center, and addresses customer networking challenges in the edge-cloud era.

Aruba defines those challenges in three buckets: fragmented operations; the inability for legacy networks to keep pace; and constrained control and visibility.

Today’s enterprises can’t remain competitive by relying on greater performance and increased bandwidth alone. The modern enterprise requires an advanced architecture that is self-validating and self-tuning through closed-loop automation to intelligently support mission-critical applications, circumvent new security attack vectors, and deliver the agility that today’s enterprises require. Until now, network operators have had to contend with inflexible, disparate architectures especially when managing branch offices, enterprise campuses and data centers. These architectures require manual processes across multiple operating systems, resulting in fragmented operating models, networks incapable of modern functions and a plethora of unstructured data that isn’t actionable.


Aruba’s Keerti Melkote

“AI-powered automation must be at the heart of a modern, edge-to-cloud architecture and, in order to be truly useful, it requires an intelligent infrastructure as the foundation,” said Keerti Melkote, president and founder at Aruba. “We believe that AI is the key to analyzing data, providing actionable insights and automation at scale to optimize network operators’ ability to quickly troubleshoot, remediate and proactively resolve some of IT’s most pressing challenges. Our vision for the future is a cloud-native architecture that delivers true business agility and new digital experiences, and today’s introduction is an important step in that direction.”

AOX-CX was built from the ground up and is built on cloud-native principals such as a modularity, programmability and resiliency.

“This gives a number of benefits to our customers and partners, in that it provides a stable and resilient platform,” said Brar.

He noted that to date, more than 1,000 customers are on AOS-CX at the core and the company is rolling out about 80 network cores per month.

AOX-CX also extends from the core of the network to the edge, or uses one OS everywhere. This latest OS version offers 140+ access layer features, including major ones such as dynamic segmentation, VXLAN with MP-BGP EVPN, and always on PoE.

The new switching platforms – the CX 64000 series and the CX 6300 series – feature Aruba’s seventh-generation ASIC architecture. The Aruba CX 6300 Series is a stackable family of switches that offer flexible growth via a 10-member virtual switching framework (VSF) and provides built-in 10/25/50 gigabit uplinks. The Aruba CX 6400 Series modular switches offer …

… both a five-slot chassis and a 10-slot chassis with non-blocking fabric that scales from gigabit POE access to 100G core.

NetEdit 2.0 with NAE is the latest version of the NetEdit software. The NAE integration enables centralized visualization of network health leveraging NAE distributed analytics across every switch in the network to reduce troubleshooting cycles from days to minutes. New automation capabilities simplify configuration changes or initial system setup, which can be done via the CX-Mobile app.

Today, the majority of revenue generated through Aruba switching, or about one-half of Aruba’s overall revenue, is driven by channel partners, according to Brar.

This next-gen Aruba CX switching portfolio offers partners a number of benefits: a single, cloud-native platform to deliver a simple enterprise campus to branch to data center, or end-to-end, switching portfolio; and the ability to deliver a complete networking portfolio to customers with no software licensing or subscription costs, as well as a professional services opportunity.

Brar said that partners can offer the new switching portfolio via a capex model or opex model though HPE GreenLake for Aruba. The CX switching portfolio, including the CX 6300 and CX 6400 series switches and new version of AOS-CX and NetEdit 2.0, will begin shipping next month.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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