What are the Aruba CX Switches and Why Should You Care?

HPE Aruba CX Switches are part of a new generation of networking switches, capable of powerful intelligence for the data center, the campus, and the edge.

It can be difficult to get particularly excited about new hardware because decision-makers want to know what functional difference this next-gen network switch makes. More specifically: why should you care, and what business impacts could you see by upgrading?

Aruba CX Switches: Next-Gen Networking Capabilities from the Data Center to the Edge

Enterprise organizations tend to be limited by constraints of legacy hardware and network design, and as a result must create costly, complex, inefficient architectures to operate with the speed and compliance necessary for today’s data and business intelligence operations.

HPE Aruba Networking CX is a best-of-breed network operating system that enables organizations to evolve past those complex, inefficient workarounds. This modern, database-driven operating system operates seamlessly in nearly any data context: data centers, campuses, and the edge.

The Aruba CX Switches are built to capitalize on this modern network OS thanks to a fully programmable AMD Pensado DPU.

The combined result is software-defined services delivered inline, at scale, and with industry leading performance. These new switches deliver scale and performance improvements at exponential levels compared to the traditional L2/3 switches many organizations continue to rely on. And they do so at a fraction of those legacy switches’ total cost of ownership.

Aruba CX Switches By the Numbers

Aruba CX Switches provide 3.6 Tbps of line-rate bidirectional switching capacity and 2,000 Mpps for forwarding. In terms of performance, the dual AMD Pensado DPUs also drive 800G of stateful service performance.

Connectivity is impressive as well. Interface configurations support 1, 10, and 25GbE (SFP/SFP+/SFP28) as well as 40 and 100 GbE (QSFP+/QSFP28) connectivity. An available model offers 48 ports with the former configuration (SFP/+/28) along with six enabling the latter (QSFP+/28). An optional 4×10 and 4×25 breakout is also available.

All of this is achieved within a 1U form factor, saving space and enabling more power in less square footage.

More Advantages Delivered

The advantages and benefits of upgrading to Aruba CX Switches span from distributed operation to security and more. Consider these additional advantages and the business impacts they could make at your firm.

Distributed Stateful Services

Because HPE Aruba Networking CX OS is embedded in the Aruba CX Switch itself, these switches offer inline stateful software service that provides:

  • Stateful firewalling and secure segmentation
  • DDoS protection
  • Deep flow-based session-level telemetry (with logging)

These do not require host-based agents or dedicated appliances because they exist in the fabric switching infrastructure.

Unified Security Policy Configuration

Aruba CX Switches also improve security operations and automated policy enforcement by enabling a unified configuration across the data center, campus, and/or edge. Aruba CX evolves beyond so-called Zero Touch deployment (which requires many touches up front). The Aruba Fabric Composer (AFC) includes turnkey workflows that allow customers to implement highly efficient solutions without deep specialization or coding knowledge. The result is drastically simplified operations and easier deployments.

Beyond turnkey solutions, there is also a wizard-driven workflow that pushes better provisioning orchestration, enabling SecOps and NetOps teams to roll out applications and updates faster while remaining compliant.

Integration Packs allow integration with many other solutions, including VMware Cloud Foundation, vCenter, HPE SimpliVity, Nutanix, and more.

Last, Aruba CX Switches and the accompanying CX network operating system enable true end-to-end visibility. Finding and solving network issues and performance problems becomes automatic or nearly so, allowing businesses to be proactive and solve issues before they have real impacts.

Network Analytics Engine (NAE)

Aruba’s NAE also improves visibility and troubleshooting, enabling event analysis that triggers automatically when there is a threat or attack. NAE enables organizations to more easily solve problems whether they occur in networks, systems, or applications using both Python agents and REST APIs.

Virtual Switching Extension

Aruba offers a virtual switching extension that makes possible a highly available distributed architecture. Using two chassis connected with an inter-switch link, Networking CX OS can maintain a synchronous state during upgrades and other events.

Fabric Composer

Fabric Composer is an intelligent, API-driven, software-defined orchestration solution that accelerates leaf-spine fabric provisioning and improves numerous aspects of day-to-day operations. With a point-and-click GUI, composing and orchestration is simpler and more user-friendly.

Other Assorted Operational Benefits

  • Surpasses the limitations inherent in software only and dedicated appliances
  • Limits appliance sprawl and thus improves the organization’s security posture
  • Pushes zero trust segmentation deeper into the data center
  • Offers both isolation and multi-tenancy whether workloads are virtualized, bare metal, or containerized
  • Lowers downtime by overcoming chokepoints in the centralized networking service layer
  • Reduces spending on both security and services

The Aruba CX Switches are more than just an iteration in an undifferentiated product market. They are a true evolutionary step forward, enabling today’s enterprise to overcome current legacy constraints and move operations forward, from the data center to the edge.

Talk to a Comport network engineer today to discuss your Aruba Networking options. Comport Secure, our managed IT services team can also help out with managed networking services.

Extend the capabilities of your IT team with Comport’s technology services and solutions.

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