Arista Networks Platform Review

Linux shell helpful for troubleshooting and capturing traffic, but the documentation needs improvement


What is our primary use case?

We use three different models of the 7000 series switches to make up the network in one of our data centers. We use the 7060SX as an active leaf, the 7260 as a border leaf, and the 7500 series as the spines.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the Linux shell, which is useful for troubleshooting or capturing traffic. 

What needs improvement?

The documentation for this solution needs to be improved. In the documentation, it is not easy to find the exact solution which describes the configuration step by step. It means that we've had to ask our supplier how to use certain features, and which commands to use. We can find a simple description on the website, as well as a list of the features, but a more complete description is not available. It is not clear exactly how to configure and use each of the features. For other vendors, we can find the exact configuration, with examples, that we need to deploy for any new features.

The documentation did not explain that we could not vary the speed between ports that are in the same block. For example, we cannot have 1G and 10G on the neighboring ports. All four ports have to be 1G or 10G, which was very annoying for us when we realized that we needed to change the configuration and the cabling that we had already prepared.

In the next release of this solution, we would like the option to use two switches as one virtual switch.

The CVP management platform needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this solution for more then eighteen months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is quite stable if the configuration is done according to the best practices. We found, however, that when we made some changes, we ran into problems.

These were temporary changes for test purposes. Nowhere was it explained that making these types of changes could lead to the problems that we observed, or that we would have any trouble. One such problem was that the utilization of links was very high because of an error in our test configuration.

Generally speaking, this is a very stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In our environment it is scalable. We can find the proper models to meet our requirements. I'm not sure how it would be in the case of very large networks, but in our data center there are a few hundred switches, so it is scalable.

We have thousands of users who use this network. This includes internal and external clients for our data center.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support for this solution is quite good, but the deepness of the explanation in the documentation is not as good as I expect.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Most of the equipment that I have used is Cisco, although I have also used Juniper and Cumulus. For this new type of data center architecture, however, we did not use a solution prior to this one.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of the individual switches is simple.

Using the Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) feature with the CloudVision Portal (CVP) is not simple, and it takes quite a long time.

Each of the switches can be deployed in about ten minutes, after several restarts, using the management interface. If I deploy using the command line then it will take a minute or two.

The CVP is supposed to be automated, but it is rather complicated and takes time.

What about the implementation team?

For the initial deployment, we needed the help of our local supplier, the Arista representative. It was very helpful for us because we could not find good examples on the website. The best practices were descriptive from a very high-level view and did not contain detailed configuration examples.

I think that it would be very hard to prepare the whole configuration for the data center architecture without the help of our local supplier and Arista engineers.

What other advice do I have?

This solution was my first experience with the new, modern data center architecture.

My advice to anybody who is implementing this series of switches is to carefully check the features that are supported on each model. Some new features are not supported on all platforms. I know that Arista still sells some old models that do not support the newest features.

This is a good solution, but the documentation needs to be improved. More detailed configuration examples are definitely needed.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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