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CRN Interview: Apstra Global Sales Chief Butler On The Future Of The Multi-Vendor Data Center And The Partner Opportunity In Intent-Based Networking

Dave Butler, Apstra's global head of sales and business development, said 100-percent channel Apstra offers customers a streamlined solution for notoriously complex data center environments.

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In order to have Cisco's intent-based networking platform, you have to have its Catalyst 9000 switches, and you're saying you can have whatever switches you want.

Yes. The Catalyst 9000 is an awesome switch. They're really good switches, as are a number of other vendors' switches. There are basically three big areas in terms of innovation in the data center beyond just getting this stuff to work together. It's how do I treat the fabric as a single system. Cisco uses ACI to do that, but it only works with Cisco switches and only when they're running in ACI mode. The second thing is continuous validation and intent-based monitoring, and Cisco has a bunch of new products and of course they only work with Cisco stuff. They're great products. Third is deep analytics, checking for things beyond just whether this CPU is overloaded compared to that one. It's really thoughtful things that engineers design and change on the fly. They have an important product called Tetration that does this stuff, or some of it, but we've made it generic and more programmable. It's a play for the channel as well.

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