Apstra Introduces the First Vendor-Agnostic, Intent-Driven Distributed Operating System to Automate the Data Center Network

The Apstra Operating System (AOS) Delivers Real-time Network Visibility, Operational Simplicity, Control, and Choice to Reduce Network Complexity and TCO

Apstra Founders CTO Sasha Ratkovic, CEO Mansour Karam and Chief Scientist David Cheriton delivering the first vendor agnostic data center automation. Photo credit: Vladimir Perlovich

MENLO PARK, Calif.--()--Users have been vocal that data center networks need to improve agility, reduce costs and avoid downtime. They are managing their networks manually box by box; they are unable to select hardware of their choosing because of operational complexity; and they lack the tools and visibility to efficiently diagnose problems and prevent outages. Consequently, their data center networks do not adequately support their business goals. Time to market for network services is critical.

Apstra, Inc., the company automating the data center network, today announced the Apstra Operating System (AOS), a vendor-agnostic distributed operating system that enables network leaders to take control of their network and:

  • Provides unmatched visibility through high-resolution, real time telemetry that continuously validates performance and configuration and detects anomalies
  • Delivers operational simplicity and agility through powerful intent-driven automation that enables network engineers to rapidly convert their business intent into specific designs and blueprints
  • Massively reduces Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) through powerful vendor-agnostic automation that leverages the choice of hardware

Using AOS, data center network operators can stand up a new multi-vendor data center network without tripping over subtle vendor-specific configuration issues, track the configuration and performance of the network from a single pane of glass, and perform normal maintenance actions by simple intent-based specifications, minimizing exposure to errors.

AOS is implemented as a distributed platform that runs a turnkey application, as well as community code that sits on top of an existing physical and virtual network infrastructure. At the core of the AOS platform is a distributed data store that scales to the largest data centers, providing visibility into telemetry, configuration and incident data. AOS provides platform services through RESTful APIs that can be leveraged across various applications including workflow management, resource management, device management, and streaming functions. The AOS turnkey application automates end-to-end network services in the context of data center networks. AOS is interoperable with leading vendors’ data center hardware as well as Linux-based containerized environments.

AOS started early field trials in August 2015 and will be generally available this summer.


“SDN industry efforts have served to rally sentiments and give users a voice, but not a comprehensive solution. The Apstra Operating System is the first vendor-agnostic distributed operating system for the data center network that empowers CIOs and network architects to take control, transform how they build and operate their networks, and start a journey similar to what the server teams initiated 10 years ago to deliver business value. We are grateful for the tremendous customer response.”
Mansour Karam, Apstra, CEO and Founder

"Apstra has developed the best automation platform for building and operating networks that I've seen to date. To put it plainly: it works. It’s easy to install and use, provides great network visibility, works on equipment from many vendors, and improves security. We use AOS at Awnix, and we're incorporating it into the designs for our Engineered Systems for OpenStack with SDN.”
Rick Kundiger, Awnix CEO

“Apstra has built the first vendor-agnostic architecture and abstraction layer with closed loop telemetry that enables seamless deployments of best of breed products from various vendors. This is not easy to do. Network agility, visibility, and time to delivery are critical to supporting modern business requirements. We were glad to work closely with the Apstra team on the first version of this promising platform that will provide network automation, visibility, and choice to technology teams in the future.”
Karl Armani, Medallia Head of Global Infrastructure and Cloud Engineering

“Businesses are demanding a more agile IT infrastructure, no longer hampered by vendor lock-in or forced hardware refresh. Incumbent vendors have been slow to respond, conscious that greater choice and reduced cost will have a massive impact on their top line revenue. However a new breed of ‘Cloud Native’ software vendors are enabling end users to design hardware-agnostic solutions whilst remaining in complete control of their environment. With its intent based networking deployment Apstra not only removes the necessity for the specific vendor CLI or GUI, but truly delivers on the long term promise of SDN.”
Jason Dance, BigTec Managing Director

“Business leaders need a solution for the data center network that unlocks their expertise and empowers them to close the gap between business demands and network service delivery. Apstra is a force multiplier to ensure the network is ready for business.”
Ernest Lefner, ONUG Co-Founder and Co-Chairman

“I have had the opportunity to be among the first in financial services to have lab tested some of the most disruptive networking products currently on the market. Networks are heterogeneous collections of vendor equipment, operating systems, and domain functions all with proprietary command sets, monitoring semantics, and APIs. Managing the 'network service' today is a distributed systems problem, plain and simple. The network community needs a vendor-agnostic abstraction layer to normalize these vendor differences and allow us to take full advantage of our network.”
James Younan, Founding ONUG Board Member

"ONUG provides ideas and permission for vendors to build what users require across the entire IT stack. Apstra is a prime example of innovation that has emerged out of the ONUG narrative, and the first to deliver a user mandate for a true vendor-agnostic platform. AOS is a purpose-built distributed operating system that delivers intent-based abstractions and telemetry to enable IT business leaders to swap out vendors as they build out their hybrid cloud infrastructure and address the huge gap that exists between the cloud and enterprise data center network."
Nick Lippis, ONUG Co-Founder and Co-Chairman

“Disaggregation, network automation and orchestration, and open networking offer opportunities for transformational change within the networking marketplace. The decoupling of hardware and software represents the potential for a fundamental improvement in how networks are designed, procured, managed, and evolved. The potential for long-term innovation to emerge with an open SDN-based marketplace is clearly disruptive to what has traditionally been a hardware-centric model.”
Mark Fabbi, Andrew Lerner, Danilo Ciscato - Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Networking, May 16, 2016 # G00278427

“The secret sauce is that intent is by nature declarative and not imperative. AOS software extracts value out of multi-vendor hardware by delivering it as an easily consumable service in response to the specification of declarative intent by the consumer. On top of that, intent and expectation-driven telemetry ensures that AOS extracts more knowledge about the system's health by gathering less data, while at the same time allowing a network operator to insert their expertise into the system.”
Sasha Ratkovic, Apstra CTO and Founder

“Many people dramatically underestimate the complexities of building a highly scalable distributed full tolerant system. We have invested heavily in our distributed systems architecture to support a vendor-agnostic platform extensible enough to automate the network. One of the problems in doing it earlier was that the ingredients weren't there: extensibility of switch operating systems, APIs, and many people approached this from configuration as the starting point. We believe that telemetry is the starting point, to understand what is going on before you try and control it. One of the reasons that SDN efforts have been less fruitful than you would expect is that they tackled the problem at the control plane level, whereas the real problem is, in fact, at the management level. We're tackling the problem at the management level and exploiting mature control planes that exist in every switch operating system.”
David Cheriton, Apstra Chief Scientist and Founder

View a video here.

About Apstra, Inc.

Apstra is redefining how data center networks are built and operated and has developed the first and only vendor-agnostic, intent-driven distributed operating system to deliver operational simplicity, control and choice to make the network an asset in accomplishing a company’s business goals. Apstra was founded by industry veterans Mansour Karam, David Cheriton, and Sasha Ratkovic, experts in networking, intent-based abstraction architectures, and distributed systems. The company is based in Menlo Park and is privately funded.


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@apstrainc launches intent driven, vendor agnostic #datacenter network automation to deliver on #SDN #cloud http://apstra.com/press/apstra-introduces-the-first-vendor-agnostic-intent-driven-distributed-operating-system-to-automate-the-data-center-network-june-22-2016/


For Apstra:
Mari Mineta Clapp, +1 408-398-6433

Release Summary

Apstra, Inc. delivers agility and the promise of SDN. AOS provides configuration and telemetry and is the first vendor-agnostic, intent-driven, distributed operating system for the data center network


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For Apstra:
Mari Mineta Clapp, +1 408-398-6433