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The Aruba Networks ESP Data Center is built on a technology platform which provides the tools for transforming the data center into a modern, agile, services delivery platform satisfying the requirements of organizations large, small, distributed, and centralized. The Aruba AOS-CX operating system simplifies operations and maintenance with a common switch operating system across the campus, branch, and data center, managed from the cloud or on-premises, and backed by an artificial intelligence capability which provides best practices guidance throughout the operational lifecycle of a network.

Converged ethernet is changing the way compute hosts access storage in the modern data center. Dedicated storage area networks are no longer required. Lossless ethernet and bandwidth management protocols ensure timely reads and writes over a traditional IP LAN. The cost savings and operational simplicity of converged ethernet are major drivers for transformation in the data center today.

At the same time, network topologies have become virtualized. While this virtualization promotes the flexibility required to meet today’s transformational data center requirements, it can lead to complexity during implementation and management. The Aruba ESP Data Center mitigates these challenges by leveraging automation in the management plane and capabilities of the Aruba AOS-CX operating system such as automated configuration backups and built-in alerts instrumented on critical network performance metrics.

As you begin the process of designing a new or transformed data center the first step is to understand your organization’s cloud applications strategy. This will allow you to determine which applications will remain on-premises and what a right-sized data center looks like for your requirements. When establishing a new data center intended to grow and adapt into the future, plan to implement a spine and leaf underlay supporting software defined overlay networks. The Aruba Networks CX 83xx and 84xx switching platforms provide a best in class suite of products featuring a variety of high throughput port configurations and industry leading operating system modularity providing real-time analytics and always up maintenance.

Purpose of this Guide

This guide covers the Aruba Data Center Network deployment, including reference architectures along with their associated hardware and software components. It contains best practices recommendations for deploying a next generation spine and leaf data center fabric using VXLAN and BGP EVPN leveraging the orchestration capabilities of Aruba Fabric Composer. Please refer to volume one of this VSG for design guidance:

Aruba VSG: Data Center Design

This guide assumes the reader has an equivalent knowledge of an Aruba Certified Switching Associate.


This guide is written for IT professionals who need to deploy an Aruba Data Center Network. These IT professionals can fill a variety of roles:

  • Systems engineers who need a standard set of procedures for implementing solutions
  • Project managers who create statements of work for Aruba implementations
  • Aruba partners who sell technology or create implementation documentation

Customer Use Cases

Data center networks are changing rapidly. The most pressing challenge is to maintain operational stability and visibility while placing compute and storage resources where they need to be in order to best serve users. In addition, data center teams are being asked to support the rapid pace of DevOps environments including requirements to connect directly with public cloud infrastructure. Given the rapidly changing landscape for data center requirements it’s critical that network and system engineers be provided with tools to simplify and automate complex infrastructure configurations.

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