Tech Corner

Arista Breaks to the Edge with the Cognitive Campus 720XP Leaf Switch

Bake-offs have been taken to a new level in the past decade. The Great British Bake Off has stormed people’s households with Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, and Prue Leith. Today, we aren’t talking about the bake-offs that result in a sweet pastry or delicious dessert, but rather a bake-off that proved change is happening everywhere in your network. Recently, we helped a client conduct a bake-off at the Edge and the champion was not who you’d first think. Arista’s 720XP Series Campus Leaf Switches came out on top, and we wanted to dive into the switch itself and how Arista could fit into your network. We will take a look at its advantages, key specifications, and what was most attractive to our client.

First Things First: Arista Networks

Arista Networks is an industry leader in cognitive cloud networking for mission-critical data center and campus environments. Arista is focused on lowering power consumption and your footprint in the data center along with scalable, high-performance, and ultra-low latency cloud networks - exactly the things that make Arista a Gartner leader for Cloud and Data Center Networking. A long-time leader in the data center, Arista has recently made a play to the edge with striking success. Their switching portfolio has expanded into campus and branch offices, as they are making an impact on the industry.

Cognitive Campus PoE Leaf Switch

Paired with new WiFi access points, the PoE leaf switch was added to the Cognitive Campus lineup to reach past the enterprise moving into edge devices. This helps provide a complete cognitive enterprise networking portfolio with the goal of achieving uniformity across the full network. Simplicity in today’s network is how many clients see themselves gaining the edge on their bottom line from a management perspective. Arista’s software-first approach through their Cognitive Campus, CloudVision, and single EOS systems bring simplicity to the network. We saw it with our client who conducted a bake-off, and we hope to see it happen more in the industry. One key area we’ve seen the leaf switch work best is improving latency.

Leaf switches are popular in bringing traffic from server nodes to connect to the core of the network, in Arista’s case, using spine switches. Especially when looking at a season of high growth, leaf switches can be added to the network quite easily without having to focus heavily on the network architecture. Every spine switch can connect to any leaf switch, which connects the leaf switch to the core. The less rigid structure allows for the easy addition to the network even if there are multiple tiers stacked on top of each other. In regards to the connections themselves, there are both active and inactive switch-to-switch connections which the inactive can then serve as backup connections. Using this connection setup improves latency and minimizes bottlenecks. What we will dive into next is how leaf switches and spine switches can bring scalability to your network, specifically using the 720XP PoE Leaf Switch.

720XP Series Switch

The Cognitive Campus PoE leaf switch from Arista is the first purpose-built campus leaf product designed to bring wired edge components to Arista’s Cognitive Campus portfolio. The 720XP delivers wire-speed connectivity to a consistent and simplified operation model using:

  • Device Analyzer
  • Cloud-like operations
  • Network access control integration
  • Wireless mobility and roaming
  • End-to-End Troubleshooting
Models Downlink Copper Ports Uplink & High Speed Ports
720XP-48ZC2 40 x 100M/1G/2.5G
8 x 1/2.5/5G
4 x 1/10/25G SFP
2 x 40/100G QSFP
720XP-24ZY4 16 x 100M/1/2.5G
8 x 100M/1/2.5/5G
4 x 1/10/25G SFP
720XP-48Y6 40 x 10M/100M/1G
8 x 100M/1/2.5G
6 x 1/10/25G SFP
720XP-24Y6 16 x 10M/100M/1G
8 x 100M/1/2.5G
6 x 1/10/25G SFP


The 720XP switch series utilizes data center-class virtualization that delivers integrated and real-time data to support your business needs. We often chat with our clients about customer intelligence, IoT, fraud detection, integrated analytics, and risk analytics, all while simplifying your network through automation and workflow integration.

In addition to 4K 802.1Q VLANs, the 720XP delivers 16.7 million VXLAN overlay networks with CVX and EVPN control plane support. The combination of virtualization–providing hundreds of segmented networks to thousands of users and devices–plus the layer 2 and 3 hardware ensures a secure campus. Through the campus overlay setup, administrators can implement large segmented networks which helps in designing for scale in the future.

Designing Your Network with the 720XP

Virtualization is not the only avenue the 720XP bring optimal performance to the table. To take full control of your network design with the 720XP you have the ability to use customizable topologies. The switch, along with all Arista devices, supports open, standards based, L2 MLAG and L3 ECMP load balancing features. The 720XP's Dynamic Load Balancing (DBL) capabilities allow administrators to employ either feature to deliver high availability load sharing. DBL improves typical load sharing by tracking flow volumes. It then rebalances them across shared links.


A Look Inside the 720XP Switch

General Specifications CC 720XP Series Leaf Switch
Blade or Standalone Standalone
Device Type Managed
Flash Memory 4 Gbps
Power Supply 1050 W (2 slots)
RAM 4 Gpbs
Max SFP/Uplink Port Speed 100 Gbps
Switching Type Layer 3
Ports 10/100/10000 (54 total ports)
Throughput 400 - 2240Gbps (based on model)
Latency (RJ-45) 1.2 microseconds
CPU Dual Core-x86


Protecting Your Switch

Our hope is that your network needs match the capabilities of 720XP Leaf Switch from Arista. We also know building a network isn't just about the right infrastructure. PivIT's Lifetime Warranty through our third party maintenance, OneCall, ensures you have the right protection for your equipment to keep your network operating at maximum efficiency. Through OneCall's Lifetime Warranty, custom SLAs, and global coverage get the maintenance you need for the 720XP or other network gear. 

Get a Quote    Protect Your Hardware

Networking Capabilities

Platforms Mode 0 Mode 1 Mode 2 Mode 3 Mode 4
Mac Addresses 112K 96K 64K 32K 16K
IPv4 Host Routes 16K 32K 64K 96K 16K
IPv4 LPM Routes 16K 16K 16K 16K 144K
IPv6 LPM Routes 8K 8K 8K 8K 72K
IGMP Groups     4K    
IPv4 Multicast Groups     8K    
ACL Entries (Ingress/Egress)     9K / 1K    


Whether you are looking to expand your network, diversify the edge, maximize throughput, or to simply find a better solution, look to the PivIT Global and Arista's 720XP Leaf switch to meet your needs. Reach out today to learn more or start your quote!

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