Aruba, a unit of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE), unveiled orchestration software that makes it possible to centralize the management of network switches in the data center, across an extended campus and at the network edge.
In addition, Aruba is adding a family of five 1/10/25/40/100 GbE switches to its portfolio that are designed to be deployed in the data center or network edge.
Finally, Aruba is making available integrations for HPE ProLiant DL and DX servers as well as SimpliVity, Nimble, Synergy, Cray Shasta, Cray ClusterStor, SAP HANA, VMware and Nutanix platforms.
William Choe, vice president of product management for Aruba, said Aruba Fabric Composer can also be coupled with HPE GreenLake, a managed service HPE provides to remotely manage HPE servers on behalf of customers.
Based on a graphical interface, Aruba Fabric Composer is designed to make it possible for IT generalists to provision any type of switch, Choe said. The goal is to reduce the total cost of networking by enabling IT teams to centralize the management of switches regardless of whether they are a data center, campus or edge computing environment.
With the rise of edge computing, the number of network switches that are being employed across a distributed computing environment is increasing. The challenge IT teams face is they can’t easily dispatch personnel to physically provision switches in remote locations at a time, as most IT staff members are working from home to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aruba Fabric Composer, which is designed to be accessed via a VMware console, eliminates the need to manage enterprise networks in a piecemeal fashion, added Choe.
Arguably, the centralization of network management is long overdue. Too many IT organizations are still managing each individual switch via a command-line interface (CLI) for each box. That not only makes managing a large network cumbersome, but it also creates a rigid IT environment that is unable to adroitly respond to rapid changes being made to the application environment. At a time when many organizations are trying to accelerate the deployment of applications needed to drive digital business transformation initiatives, legacy approaches to networking are hampering the modernization of IT.
There are other networking equipment providers working to centralize the management of switches. However, it remains to be seen whether IT organizations are prioritizing the centralization of network management during the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic. But there is an absolute need to increase network bandwidth, so one way to justify an upgrade to the network is to make it less expensive to operate.
As part of that effort, many organizations are also starting to converge network operations with best DevOps practices using application programming interfaces (APIs) and overlays such as service meshes to programmatically manage network underlays. Regardless of approach, the days when networks were managed by a dedicated team of specialists are on the wane.