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The Aruba Networks ESP Data Center uses technology and tools to transform the data center into a modern, agile service delivery platform. Organizations of any size, distributed or centralized, can benefit from streamlined performance and improved network cost-effectiveness using the ESP Data Center.

The Aruba AOS-CX operating system simplifies overall operations and maintenance using a common switch operating system across the campus, branch, and data center. The system can be managed on-premises or in the cloud. AOS-CX employs robust artificial intelligence functions that continually analyze and realign network flow to ensure that the system operates seamlessly in accordance with network management best practice, without requiring manual IT staff intervention.

The use of converged Ethernet has changed the way hosts access storage within the modern data center. Dedicated storage area networks (SANs) are no longer required. Lossless Ethernet and bandwidth management protocols ensure timely reads and writes using a traditional IP LAN. The combined cost savings and operational simplicity are driving a major conversion to converged Ethernet.

At the same time, network topologies have become virtualized. Although virtualization delivers the flexibility required to meet the changing data center requirements, it can present complexity and challenges with implementation and management. The Aruba ESP Data Center addresses these challenges by automating installation and implementation of the Aruba AOS-CX operating system, with features such as automated device group configuration, Zero Touch Provisioning, scheduled configuration backups, dashboard-ready network performance metrics, and built-in alerts for critical network functions.

Securing applications and hosts in a data center is critical for maintaining application availability, data integrity, and business continuity. New threats such as ransomware, data exfiltration, and denial of service continue to emerge. Policy and security enforcement requires many tools applied at different layers. The Aruba CX10000 series switch with AMD Pensando introduces an industry-first distributed services data center switch, capable of performing inline firewall services at wire-speed in the switch itself, focusing on the high volume of east-west traffic typical in a data center environment.

Before designing a new or transformed data center, it is important to consider the organization’s current and projected strategy for hosting and accessing applications from the cloud. Determine the applications that will remain on-premises so you can establish the data center with ample storage to meet requirements.

To accommodate growth and future adaptation of the network, implementation of a spine-and-leaf underlay that supports software-defined overlay networks is highly recommended. The Aruba Networks CX 83xx, 84xx, 9300, and 10000 switching platforms provide a best-in-class suite of products featuring a variety of high-throughput port configurations, industry-leading operating system modularity, real-time analytics, and “always up” performance.

Purpose of This Guide

This guide describes the Aruba ESP Data Center Network deployment, with reference for architectural options and associated hardware and software components. It explains the requirements that shaped the design and the benefits it provides. It introduces Aruba data center solutions that support options for both distributed and centralized workloads. It delivers best practice recommendations to deploy a next generation spine-and-leaf data center fabric using VXLAN and BGP EVPN.

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