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Arista snatches-up SDN-pioneer Big Switch Networks

News Analysis
Feb 13, 20202 mins
Cloud ComputingNetworking

Arista acquires Big Switch software to grow multicloud networking software war chest

Arista confirmed what had been rumored for the past few weeks, that it has acquired software-defined networking (SDN) and cloud-software vendor Big Switch Networks for an undisclosed amount.

The move gives Arista a package of software technology that should complement Arista’s drive to meld data-center and campus networks with the multicloud deployments. 

Big Switch technology will also grow Arista’s product line as it battles major competitors including Cisco, VMware and  Juniper that have extended their data-center SDN platforms to provide consistent network and security policies across distributed multicloud environments.

Founded in 2010, privately owned Big Switch’s Big Cloud Fabric (BCF) software lets customers manage physical switches as a single fabric that includes security, automation, orchestration and analytics. BCF can run on a variety of certified switches from Dell EMC, HPE and others.

In addition, BCF Controller natively supports integration with various Cloud Management Platforms such as VMware (vSphere, NSX Manager, vSAN), and BCF for Amazon Web Services virtual private cloud  (VPC) management and OpenStack. BCF also supports container orchestrators such as Kubernetes, all via a single interface. 

Arista expects the Big Switch technology to extend its flagship software platform CloudVision and the  DANZ (Data ANalyZer) capabilities found in its Extensible Operating System (EOS).  DANZ offers features for Arista’s switches including network analytics, telemetry and security. 

“Big Switch BCF technology is meant for more of a converged fabric customer than we would have addressed until now,” Jayshree Ullal, President and CEO for Arista Networks said during the company’s 4Q financial call with analysts today. “Big Switch has tremendous engineering expertise and gives us a deep entry into packet network technology.”

Big Switch also has tight cloud relationship with Dell, which Ullal said will continue.

“Dell Networking is excited to extend the partnership we established with Big Switch to Arista, delivering advanced cloud and monitoring fabric capabilities to our customers,” Tom Burns, senior vice president and general manager of Dell Networking stated in a release.

The acquisition is only Arista’s third.  It previously acquired Mojo for wireless technology and chipmaker Metamako.