2 min

Aruba and startup Pensando have developed a new switch for data centers. The Aruba CX 10000 Series uses a distributed services fabric to deliver network, security and layer 4 to 7 functionality anywhere in the network.

Today’s data center traffic runs through complicated infrastructure and network layers. According to Aruba, said traffic is unnecessarily prone to problems. Its new switch promises to efficiently drive traffic through a distributed services fabric. Through the CX 10000, all added services, such as load balancing and security, should remain available without the hard pre-requisite of additional network infrastructure or software.

Production of the CX 10000 is in its final stage. Aruba notes that the switch will be generally available from January 2022 onwards.

Functionality from Aruba

The CX 10000 runs on AOS-CX, Aruba’s proprietary operating system. According to the organization, the OS allows various network operations and functionality to be fully automated. Switch and network configurations, as well as switch and distributed firewall policies, can be defined in a single environment through Aruba Fabric Composer, a network and security management engine.

The Aruba Fabric Composer solution also provides capabilities for VSX (MLAG) switch provisioning, OSPF/BGP underlay and BGP EVPN overlay provisioning, server port provisioning and storage QoS provisioning. Furthermore, Aruba’s engine visualizes the settings of switches, servers, NICs, hypervisors, VM’s and containers in the network, aiming to simplify IT management.

Visualization, as mentioned above.

Aruba states that the CX 10000 and its adherent software integrate with network, management and security tools from partners such as Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, Crowdstrike, Splunk, Netscout, Tufin and Guardicore.

DPU from Pensando

At the heart of the CX 10000, we find Pensando’s Data Processing Unit (DPU). Pensando is a networking startup backed and led by former Cisco CEO John Chambers. The Pensando DPU handles both software- and hardware-defined network services commonly found in data centers. Think of firewalls, DDoS, encryption, network address translation (NAT), load balancing and network telemetry.

Use cases

According to Aruba, the switch is particularly suited for companies that require more flexibility, scaling and performance from their data center environments. Deploying the switch when adding new infrastructure hardware such as servers or pods is mentioned as a central use case. Aruba furtherly describes the CX 10000 as a means for gradually replacing leaf switches.

Tip: DNS data is a gold mine, but integration is necessary