First Distribution becomes distributor of Arista Networks in Southern Africa


First Distribution, the leading pan-African distributor of IT, data center and networking solutions, announces its distribution partnership with Arista Networks for South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Arista Networks is an industry leader in data-driven client-to-cloud networking for large data centers, campuses, and routing environments. Its award-winning platforms deliver availability, agility, automation, analytics, and security.

“We are excited to take on the distribution of the full line of Arista product offerings,” said Phil Wallis, General Manager of the Network Division at First Distribution.

He explains that customers today need a modern network that is predictable, as automated as possible, and adaptable to all the different connectivity requirements and workloads that need to run on a single network.

“Because software is so often the cause of network glitches and outages, the modern network must be driven by high-quality software,” says Wallis. “And it should provide real-time, end-to-end visibility, while allowing adjustments and corrections to be made.”

Arista meets these needs with its customer-centric solutions that automate and drive modern networks.

“We are excited to work with First Distribution to bring our solutions to the African market,” said Ed Chapman, vice president of business development and strategic alliances at Arista Networks. “First Distribution has a strong and growing customer base and local expertise that will allow us to jointly deliver greater value and leading-edge networking and security technology to the local market.

Arista solutions cover five main areas: data center switching; high-end routing; the campus and Wi-Fi environment; network monitoring fabric; and network security through network detection and response.

It provides solutions through its CloudVision® platform and the Arista EOS (Extensible Operating System)® advanced network operating system.

Wallis explains that Arista EOS is a modern network operating system, which has evolved into a network stack with a state-based Network Data Lake (NetDL™) and store for data-driven multimodal networking. It is open, modular and built on a highly programmable architecture with a single binary image used across all networks, regardless of the size of the business application, representing a significant value proposition for customers.

Arista EOS’ resilient state-sharing architecture delivers maximum system availability, reduces capital and operational expenditures by simplifying IT operations, and enables business agility. Additionally, it offers programmability at all layers, including eAPI, EOS SDK, Linux, DevOps integration, and broad scripting support.

CloudVision is a modern multi-domain network management plan based on cloud networking principles for telemetry, analytics, and automation.

“Among its many features, CloudVision is truly the automation tool that facilitates zero-touch provisioning,” adds Wallis. “It enables the automation of traditional changes, moves, and adds, while providing real-time monitoring and telemetry…all heavily influenced by machine learning.”

Designed for use in data centers, wired and wireless campuses, multi-cloud, and routing use cases, CloudVision provides a consistent operating model across all domains, helping enterprises simplify network operations by eliminating traditional network management silos.

Arista is a leader in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in its platforms. Wallis highlights its security solutions, which use AI for troubleshooting as well as replicating and extending human expertise.

“Arista solutions also offer AI/ML-based Autonomous Virtual Assistance (AVA™) that leverages AI and machine learning to continuously analyze and improve performance in the modern data-driven network. .”

First Distribution will offer Arista through its partners in South Africa and SADC. He is currently recruiting, empowering, onboarding and training new and existing partners to deliver Arista solutions.

“Once we understand our partners’ requirements, we’ll provide them with all the value-added services and differentiators they need to deliver quality, downstream service and value to their customers,” says Wallis.

Wallis adds that there is massive synergy between First Distribution and Arista.

“Arista loves our business and our go-to-market model,” he says. “And conversely, we are extremely excited to add the Arista brand to our data-driven networking business.”

About the first cast

First Distribution is the leading value-added distributor in Africa. Our offering includes a world-leading portfolio of products and services for data center, cloud, networking and security. This encompasses hybrid solutions with access to any combination of end-to-end on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud solutions from multiple vendors. The portfolio, along with highly trained staff to support and manage vendors with an unparalleled level of expertise, ensures that our partners have the key elements necessary for success. First Distribution further hosts one of the largest technology partner networks in Africa, enabling partners to extend the reach of their solutions across the continent.

Learn more about the first cast here.

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