Arista Networks Partners with Puppet Labs to make SDN a Reality

By CIOReview | Thursday, March 5, 2015

PORTLAND, OR: Puppet Labs, a provider of IT automation software and Arista Networks –a computer networking company –have partnered to enable Software Defined Networking (SDN) on a large scale.

As a result of the decision, Arista Networks will now support Puppet – an open source configuration management utility –on its Extensible Operating System (EOS) platform and would make a native Arista EOS Puppet agent and an Arista EOS available on Puppet Forge.  Arista EOS is a fully programmable and highly modular, Linux-based network operation system, using Command-line Interface (CLI) and runs a single binary software image across the Arista switching family.

Puppet Forge is a repository of modules written for Puppet Open Source and Puppet Enterprise IT automation software. This availability will make SDN possible by allowing joint enterprise customers of Puppet and Arista to extend Puppet’s management beyond servers and into the entire data center.

Gartner makes a case for automated provisioning of network services associated with a workload and states that this can reduce provisioning time significantly. Even though mature server automation practices exist, device management poses a challenge. With this partnership in place manual changes to devices can be overcome by including them in Puppet’s management.

The Arista module is built on NetDev standard for networking hardware support developed by Puppet Labs and having Arista EOS in this module will enable the user to configure the switches using Puppet. Puppet Labs will provide support for the Puppet agent to its Enterprise customers, and Arista will provide support for the Arista Puppet module. The integration of native Puppet agent with Arista EOS will allow users to skip using a proxy host and manage each network device like a Puppet node.

"With hundreds and thousands of compute, storage and network elements requiring maintenance and support, Arista and Puppet agents reduce ongoing operating expenses and increase data center automation," says Ed Chapman, Vice President of Business Development and Alliances, Arista Networks.