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Start-Up Emerges To Supplant SDN

Apparently this new-age software-defined networking (SDN) stuff is already in danger of becoming yesterday's news, if start-up Apstra Inc. has its way.

Emerging from stealth, the Menlo Park, Calif., company this week announced the Apstra Operating System (AOS), a "vendor-agnostic distributed operating system" that seeks to patch the holes left by SDN.

"SDN industry efforts have served to rally sentiments and give users a voice, but not a comprehensive solution," said Apstra CEO and co-founder Mansour Karam in a statement Wednesday. "The Apstra Operating System is the first vendor-agnostic distributed operating system for the datacenter network that empowers CIOs and network architects to take control, transform how they build and operate their networks, and start a journey similar to what the server teams initiated 10 years ago to deliver business value."

AOS aims to tackle the problem of multiple SDN components from different vendors in the same network that can lead to configuration and interoperability headaches. With its unified system, network pros can track component configuration and performance from one pane of glass, the company said, easing maintenance and minimizing errors.

The company said AOS:

  • Provides visibility through high-resolution, real-time telemetry that continuously validates performance and configuration and detects anomalies.
  • Delivers operational simplicity and agility through intent-driven automation that enables network engineers to rapidly convert their business intent into specific designs and blueprints.
  • Reduces Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) through vendor-agnostic automation that leverages the choice of hardware.

All that is accomplished with the aid of platform services accessible via RESTful APIs that can work across different applications, such as workflow management, resource management, device management and streaming functions.

Favoring the declarative approach over the imperative, it uses customer-declared statements of intent as a basis for automating different processes to design and deploy network configurations.

"AOS is implemented as a distributed platform that runs a turnkey application, as well as community code that sits on top of an existing physical and virtual network infrastructure," the company said. "At the core of the AOS platform is a distributed data store that scales to the largest datacenters, providing visibility into telemetry, configuration and incident data."

The company said AOS works with datacenter hardware from various vendors and Linux-based containerized environments. Compatible hardware includes Arista EOS and vEOS, Cisco NXOS and NXOSv, Cumulus Linux and CVX, and Ubuntu generic servers. It's expected to become generally available this summer.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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