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Arista Delivers Continuous Integration Pipeline for Network as a Service Automation
Arista Networks announced a comprehensive network automation solution with the Arista Continuous Integration (CI) Pipeline. Built on Arista's EOS Network Data Lake (NetDL), the Arista CI Pipeline helps enterprise customers adopt a modern network operating model. This approach delivers an agile, data-driven change management process for the network, enabling faster, more reliable deployment with reduced operational time and expense.

"Leveraging the Arista Validated Designs network automation framework with CloudVision, we rapidly matured our operations through infrastructure-as-code. With up-to-date documentation and validation test cases, the team configures new network services easily and consistently," said Gary Nye, Manager of Cloud Engineering, US Signal Company.

A modern network operating model provides operational efficiency and cost savings. It is based on cloud networking principles, including repeatable design patterns, automated operations via software control, and an open, flexible architecture. To achieve this operating model, enterprises may attempt to build their own automation infrastructure but often struggle with the required resourcing, skill sets, and associated maintenance effort.

This new Arista CI Pipeline addresses these challenges, enabling enterprises to achieve a modern network operating model, consisting of:

  • Continuous design
  • Continuous integration
  • Continuous testing

Continuous Design

Arista's Validated Designs (AVD) are design principles consumable as code, providing a continuous design framework. As a part of the Arista CI Pipeline, AVDs accelerate the transformation of our customer's operating model and improve the reliability of customer networks with the following benefits:

  • Flexibility with Open Data Models: Extensible fabric-wide network models, simplifying configuration, delivering consistency, and reducing errors
  • Simplification through Multi-Domain Automation: A framework that can automate the data center, campus or WAN, enabled by a consistent EOS software image and management platform
  • Comprehensive Workflows: Automating the full life cycle of network provisioning from config generation to pre and post-deployment validation, and self-documentation of the network

AVD inputs can be fed directly into CloudVision for provisioning a network through CloudVision automation, studios, and dashboards and for use with open-source / 3rd party automation solutions, such as Red Hat's Ansible Automation Platform.

"Red Hat is delighted to continue our collaboration with Arista to bring the benefits of automation to network developers and operators to further transform enterprises and industries. The Arista CI Pipeline with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform provides enterprise architecture and ops-as-code, streamlining tasks for provisioning, deployment and validation," said Tom Anderson, Vice President, Red Hat Ansible Automation, Red Hat.

Continuous Integration

Continuous Integration provides an advanced DevOps environment for managing network operations and change control workflows. Leveraging the CloudVision platform, CI is a packaged solution that simplifies and streamlines the execution of a Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) workflow for network automation by providing:

  • An easy-to-deploy, packaged solution to operate a CI pipeline for network operations
  • Enhancements to CloudVision's change control to facilitate a complete CI/CD operations workflow to facilitate pre/post validation testing
  • The ability to push and pull test results and AVD models into EOS NetDL
  • Enhanced integration for external DevOps and CI tools

By using CloudVision and NetDL, a data lake extending the EOS state database to a broad aperture and data set of configuration and telemetry data, users can easily customize their workflows while taking advantage of having access to all the information stored in NetDL for data-driven automation.

Continuous Testing

Arista's Cloud Test services provide a cloud-based virtual environment to test network designs and configurations. As a component of the Arista Networks CI Pipeline, examples of Cloud Test include:

  • Change control testing
  • Code certification testing
  • Automation testing

By creating a digital twin of a customer's network using a virtualized version of the same EOS and CloudVision software as is deployed on physical devices, network operators can develop confidence in their proposed deployment changes without having to create a separate physical test environment.

"Through Arista's infrastructure-as-code approach to networking, Computacenter has elevated our game by adopting a programmable, agile service delivery model. This enables us to deliver secure, efficient, and consistent network services to our customers," said Michael Davidson, Chief Technologist, Computacenter.

Availability

Arista CI Pipeline delivers a combination of continuous designs, continuous integration, and continuous testing to bring a holistic DevOps solution for modernizing the operating model of enterprise networks. This results in a faster, more reliable, and cloud-like experience for network operators and their users.

The Arista CI suite is in trials and will be available in 2023. Arista Professional Services are available to deploy these solutions. Additionally, all the above software offerings are fully supported by Arista TAC globally.

Published Thursday, November 03, 2022 9:40 AM by David Marshall
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