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Network Blockbuster: Aruba Takes On Cisco With New 'Catalyst Killer' Core Switch – Page: 1


Aruba Networks new core switch and OS software targeting Cisco catalyst switches. Page: 1
Aruba Networks is bringing its mobile cloud-first software directly into the heart of corporate networks with its first ever core switch aimed squarely at displacing Cisco’s popular Catalyst line of network switches.
Partners are calling the new offering — the Aruba 8400 Core Switch Series powered by the new ArubaOS-CX operating system — a “Catalyst killer” that for the first time brings modern dynamic software capabilities to the enterprise network. They say the new switch provides a legitimate challenger to Cisco at the network core, bringing automation and software intelligence to customers anxious for an alternative to the more than 20-year-old Cisco Catalyst franchise.
“We now can sell across the architecture and our customers won’t have to rely on Cisco for what used to be a core part of their networking strategy, ” said Keerti Melkote, senior vice president, general manager and co-founder of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, in an interview with CRN. “They can go end-to-end with HPE- [Aruba] with a mobile-first approach.”
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Melkote — the technology visionary behind Aruba’s mobile cloud first software offensive — said the mobile cloud-first approach pioneered by Aruba completely transforms the corporate network.
“The core needs to be a lot more valuable to the changes that are actually happening which means it needs to be driven by new tools that allow it to be automated, to allow it to provide a lot more intelligence. It needs to be a part of an architecture as opposed to a standalone environment. The entire network value proposition has changed, ” said Melkote. “We are going to enable better security, better automation and better analytics as a result of this new architecture.”
The new Aruba 8400 Core Switch Series, debuting Monday at the 2017 HPE Discover Conference in Las Vegas, is purpose-built for the changing traffic patterns created by mobile and cloud business applications, delivering a “breakthrough” in campus networking that extends Aruba’s intelligence from the edge to the core, said Christian Gilby, director of product marketing for Aruba.
“We see it primarily going after the [Cisco] Catalyst 6000. Most of the customers are using that for their core, ” said Gilby. “In terms of the switch fabric, the 8400 is 19.2 Tbps. That’s a closer match to the [Cisco] Nexus [switch series’] level of performance… With this new switch, we’re really focusing on boosting beyond what the Catalyst 6000 has.”
The Aruba 8400 delivers 1.2 Tbps per line card, which is approximately eight times the performance of the Cisco Catalyst line card, according to Gilby.
One top executive from a solution provider who partners with both Cisco and Aruba called new solution a Cisco “Catalyst killer.”
“That’s the target because a lot of that Catalyst equipment needs to be retired. Customers are evaluating a new platform, so they may as well take a look at Aruba, ” said the executive, who asked not to be identified. “A lot of them are really basically tired of SmartNet. It’s quite a hefty premium.”

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