How Apstra Operating System Works: Intent‑Based Networking

Data center network infrastructure has become too complex to manage, and in many cases is now a roadblock to business success. Apstra was founded to simplify and automate data center network management and pioneered Intent-Based Networking to achieve it.

Apstra’s Intent-Based Networking automates the design, build, deployment and operation of data center networks. We dramatically reduce the cost of operations, prevent outages, accelerate deployment and augment an organization’s existing talent.

Intent-Based Networking must make network infrastructure simple, agile, and reliable in the presence of constant change, not only change in business rules, but also change in network operating state.

— Sasha Ratkovic, Founder and CTO of Apstra

Key Features of Apstra AOS

Automate your Design, Deployment and Operations

Get an easy button for cloud-scale IP network design, deployment, and operations, from two servers to thousands of racks. Intent-Based Analytics gives you advanced customization for system checks, ensuring you verify what is most important in your network.

Use any Hardware or Vendor

Apstra AOS decouples software from hardware, giving you freedom of choice to use any hardware, any open-source Network Operating Systems (NOS), and any vendor. Easily deploy, remove, and manage the lifecycle of devices from vendors including Cisco, Arista, Juniper, and Cumulus, with support for white-box network solutions and free NOS alternatives like Microsoft SONiC.

Powered by Intent-Based Analytics

Automatically extract actionable insights and rich context out of raw telemetry. Explore the state of the network in real-time, and continuously validate your best practices and predefined industry-best checks with zero delays.

5 Stage Clos IP Fabric

See how Apstra builds large 5 Stage Clos IP fabrics in minutes.

Apstra AOS Capabilities

Seamless Integration with VMware NSX, vSphere and Nutanix

Focus on applications rather than network complexity. Apstra AOS reads directly from a VMware environment, providing simple visibility across the network fabric and compliance checks between server and network security policies. AOS also supports direct integration with Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure.

Group-Based Policies

Simplify your network access management and tenant segmentation across all vendors, with no need to manage individual access-control lists or command-line interface syntax.

5-Stage Clos

Apstra AOS scales to support the largest data centers around the world. Manage thousands of connected devices as a single logical element, with a complex EVPN overlay that can be instantiated with a few simple clicks. Create tenant isolation in a simple workflow that allows you to reconfigure a multivendor fabric in seconds and automatically enforce policy changes no matter how large your network grows.

Advanced Root Cause Identification

Dramatically improve MTTR (mean-time-to-repair) by pointing operators directly to the cause of service-affecting problems. Accelerate troubleshooting with predefined, customizable, automated probes and an enriched view of anomalies with context and summary of root causes.

Zero-Touch Provisioning

Reduce the time and complexity associated with initial device provisioning with integrated support for device management and control right out of the box. Plug in a single network cable and use AOS to manage nodes regardless of the vendor type or network operating system.

IPv6 Application Support

Future-proof your network addressing with both IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously supporting massive virtual and containerized compute environments.

Cloud-scale Infrastructure

AOS simplifies scaling to handle the largest data center requirements, including 5-Stage Clos for massive cloud and compute farms of over 100,000 servers. Unified system monitoring and management based on simple design patterns and rules.

Network Lifecycle Day 0, 1, 2+ Move/Add/Change Automation

Grow, shrink, and move your network and servers without affecting business applications. Use a simple browser-based management tool to drain network traffic off devices before upgrading or remediating problems with network hardware.

Rapid Network Operating System Upgrades

Ensure the latest verified software is running on all devices at all times. Control the certified operating system level of every device in a single location and employ automated workflows to remediate deviations for security compliance.

Multi-vendor Support

There’s no need to know what label is on the front of the network devices. Easily add/remove devices from vendors including Cisco, Arista, Juniper, Cumulus, with underlying support for white-box network solutions and free NOS alternatives like Microsoft SONiC.

Intent-Based Analytics (IBA)

IBA draws from your intent to determine how to check each condition. Explore the state of the network in real-time, and commit your best practices and predefined industry-best checks to real time validation, with no delay and no need for future modification.