Building Your Data Center Network: Aruba NetEdit

By Scott Koster, Product Line Manager, DCN and Core Switching Aruba
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This blog is the first in a series about building your data center network. In this first post, I explore how Aruba NetEdit can be used to optimize the management of an Aruba data center.

Data center automation with NetEdit

Did you know that your favorite campus networking provider of networking solutions has been building data center networks? With the Aruba CX 8xxx series of switches, we have deployed industry leading data center networking solutions worldwide!

As part of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Aruba’s rich heritage in data center networking began many successful years ago, delivering data center and data center network (DCN) solutions including meeting requirements for EVPN and automation. We’ve taken this expertise and created a new fully programmable operating system, AOS-CX, where programmability and critical networking capabilities like high availability are baked in. With the recently released fifth version of AOS-CX (10.4) running on the Aruba CX 8320, CX 8325 and CX 8400 switches, we have the software features you need to build data center networks for the future.

The Aruba CX portfolio delivers important Data Center Network (DCN) benefits:

  • High availability – Aruba VSX Live Upgrade enables upgrades without maintenance windows
  • DCN protocols – VXLAN, BGP-EVPN, DCB and more
  • Network visibility – Aruba Network Analytics Engine enables distributed network analytics and root cause analysis
  • Automation – Aruba NetEdit provides a unique view on automating data center networks without having to learn a new programming language. (Of course, we support Python and other API integrations as well.)
  • Orchestration – Robust support of DCN automation tools, especially Ansible
  • Flexible platform options – The 8400, 8325, 8320 and new 6400 series provide flexible hardware options to mix and match the best switches to optimize your data center network deployment

We’ll spend more time discussing many of these topics over the coming months, but today I want to share a deeper look into how Aruba NetEdit can be used to optimize managing an Aruba data center.

Aruba NetEdit is a new management tool for AOS-CX networks that enables network operators to more easily configure and automate their networks. While traditional network automation requires learning a programming language, like Python, or an orchestration toolkit, like Ansible, we enable automation using the power of the CLI. This is a very familiar tool that network administrators already understand, know, and love. Using the CLI as the framework means new automation workloads without the training burden of learning and standardizing on a new language throughout your networking staff.

NetEdit in Practice
Let’s walk through an example use case here for a VXLAN and BGP-EVPN network. Let’s say an organization who deployed Aruba CX switches and NetEdit wants to add a new VNI to their VXLAN pod. With NetEdit, they simply select all the leaf switches in the pod and add the CLI for the new VNI and VLANs and deploy to all the leafs in a single workflow using the NetEdit CLI Editor. This can be 4, 8, 16 or more switches all configured simultaneously and automated using the familiar command line interface the administrator is used to. Additionally, NetEdit runs all changes through a robust validation framework where the user is presented a comprehensive view of the network state before and after the change, ensuring that the new VNI (or other change) didn’t cause unintended errors somewhere else in the data center.

Using NetEdit for a VXLAN and BGP-EVPN network.

Using NetEdit to add a new VNI on their VXLAN and BGP-EVPN network.

To really see this and more examples in action, check out this video on Data Center Day 2 operations with NetEdit. 

More Insight into Building the Data Center of the Future
We’ll be coming to you more to discuss additional aspects on how Aruba’s 8xxx series switches and AOS-CX are building the best data centers, scaling from the small edge data center to the large enterprise data center. The data center network operation experience is a key focus of ours, and NetEdit is a key example of how we are looking at defining the new operator experience for data centers of the future.

Check out the Aruba Data Center Networking Website for more.

Aruba Data Center Validated Reference Designs