Arista says it can route VXLAN too, just like Cisco

Data center switching rival responds to BGP EVPN control plane announcement

Cisco’s claim that its Nexus 9000 leaf switches have a VXLAN routing advantage over those based on Broadcom Trident II silicon is meeting some resistance. In announcing support for the BGP EVPN control plane for VXLAN on its Nexus 9000 switches, Cisco said its Nexus 9300 leaf switches, equipped with Cisco’s custom ALE ASIC, can route VXLAN overlay traffic, which the company touts as a benefit over Broadcom Trident II-based platforms from competitors.

Arista Networks is a Cisco competitor with Broadcom Trident II-based leaf switches: the 7300X and the 7050X. Anshul Sadana, senior vice president for customer engineering at Arista, said the Trident II was built to support VXLAN routing. All it needs is the software to activate it.

Arista’s VXLAN routing software is in beta now, with general availability slated for the second quarter, Sadana says.

Arista also took the opportunity of Cisco’s BGP EVPN control plane for VXLAN announcement to introduce its Open Control Network initiative. OCN is a three phase strategy to support multivendor controllers in software-defined cloud networks.

Phases 1 and 2 of the OCN strategy occurred in 2012 and 2014. In 2012, Phase 1 involved using multicast replication for MAC address learning over Layer 3.

Phase 2 in 2014 centered on federating with controllers such as VMware NSX, Nuage Networks and OpenStack using the popular and widely-adopted OVSDB protocol.

Phase 3 is upon us this year, and involves federating protocols like Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP) with the Arista EOS operating system, and integrating with gateways and routers from Aruba, HP, A10 and Alcatel/Lucent that support MBGP/EVPN tunnels.

In other Cisco-related developments, Cisco is taking issue with a Bloomberg report that Arista received a favorable ruling in their litigation before the US International Trade Commission. Cisco took its patent and copyright infringement case against Arista to the ITC in an effort to expedite the injunction of Arista product.

Arista stock jumped as much as 9% today after Bloomberg reported that Arista received a favorable ruling before the ITC. Cisco said the Bloomberg report was incorrect and the litigation is proceeding apace.

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