Aruba Introduces The Next Evolution of Switching Architecture

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, introduced the industry’s first Distributed Services Switch enabling enterprises to deploy software-defined stateful services where data is created and processed, eliminating legacy appliances and host software needed to build the hybrid clouds demanded by modern applications and IT organisations.

“Markets in transition create new opportunities for disruption. As the Cloud moves to the Edge, distributed services are disrupting everything from AI/ML, to 5G and virtualisation,” said John Chambers, Chairman of Pensando, CEO of JC2 Ventures.

“This new category – the Distributed Services Switch, enabled by Pensando software-in-silicon, makes the process of deploying distributed services, previously only available to hyperscalers like AWS, in the enterprise both simple and more cost-effective. By eliminating legacy appliances and host software, enterprises can deliver 100x the scale and 10x the performance at 1/3 the TCO of traditional approaches.”

The Aruba CX 10000 Series Switch represents a new category of data centre switches that combines best-of-breed Aruba data centre L2/3 switching with the industry’s only, fully programmable DPU (Pensando Elba) to deliver stateful software-defined services inline, at scale, with wire-rate performance and orders of magnitude scale and performance improvements over traditional data centre L2/3 switches at a fraction of their TCO.

Rethinking Network Services Model

While data centre networking has evolved over the past decade providing higher performing 25/100/400G leaf-spine topologies to address the volume and velocity of emerging application architectures, security and services architectures have not.

With the explosive growth of east-west traffic in the data center, centralised security appliances are proving inefficient, expensive and difficult to manage. Simply put, hair-pinning traffic to an appliance sitting at the data center edge introduces heavy performance, cost and operational penalties.

This problem is further exacerbated by microservices-based applications, where traffic may not  even need to leave a physical host to go from one service to another. This means some application traffic may never be inspected by a hardware firewall, IPS, or other security devices, leaving enterprises vulnerable to attack from within the enterprise itself.

Moving to a New, Distributed Services Architecture

The Aruba CX 10000 Series Switch with Pensando provides an entirely new class of switching solution to overcome the limitations of legacy architectures. The Aruba CX 10000 will allow operators to extend industry standard leaf-spine networking with stateful distributed microsegmentation, east-west firewalling, NAT, encryption, and telemetry services – all delivered inline, all the time, on every access port, closer to where critical enterprise applications run.

The solution delivers a unique blend of performance, scale and automation for distributing advanced networking and security services where it is impractical and costly to force traffic back and forth across the network to a centralised policy enforcement point. Instead, enterprises can now simply apply these services at the network access layer edge where the applications are running.

Key initial use cases include:

On-premises Enterprise Data Centres and Private Cloud

Traditional data centre architectures with centralised, hardware-based security appliances are being pushed to their breaking point – imposing performance, agility, and cost burdens that are not sustainable.

The Aruba CX 10000 delivers an architecture to distribute advanced services to the data centre edge with unified network and security automation and policy management. This new solution optimises network bandwidth and performance by not having to hair-pin local traffic to a centralised chokepoint, helping improve security posture while limiting appliance sprawl, complexity and cost.

Co-location Edge – Securely Interconnecting Cloud Providers: The cost of encrypting access to the public cloud using traditional appliances is exorbitant. Many customers have a compliance mandate to encrypt all access to public cloud resources. The Aruba CX 10000 provides edge routing, line-rate encryption, firewall and NAT, with end-to-end telemetry for public cloud dedicated connections from either on-premises or co-location data centres.

This solution radically lowers the total cost of ownership, provides an optimised security architecture and reduces an organisation’s IT blast radius and risk.

Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) was designed to unify, automate and secure all network edge services across domains including remote, branch, campus and data centre.

The Aruba CX 10000 helps customers expand a Zero Trust Network Architecture deeper into the data centre, to the network-server edge, delivering 800G E-W Stateful Services across every switch port, dramatically scaling and strengthening the security of critical applications and workloads.

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Extending the HPE/Pensando Relationship

This new solution complements the previously announced Pensando Distributed Services.

Platform (DSP) for HPE Servers, delivered as a factory option in HPE ProLiant servers, HPE Apollo systems, and HPE Edgeline Converged Edge systems.

The Aruba CX 10000 extends the implementation of these intelligent services into the data centre network fabric, addressing a wider range of use cases including brownfield deployments or infrastructure agnostic/heterogeneous environments to complement or augment SmartNIC deployments.

As part of the joint relationship, Pensando also gains access to HPE’s vast patent portfolio through its Defensive Patent Purchase Program.