First Distribution, the leading pan-African distributor for IT, Datacentre and Networking Solutions, announces its distribution partnership with Arista Networks for South Africa and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

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

“We are excited about taking on the distribution of the full range of Arista product offerings,” says Phil Wallis, General Manager: Networking Division at First Distribution.

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

“Because software is so often the cause of network issues and failure, the modern network has to be driven by high-quality software,” Wallis says. “And it needs to provide end-to-end visibility in realtime, 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 delighted to work with First Distribution to bring our solutions to the African market,” says Ed Chapman, Vice President 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 cutting-edge network and security technology to the local market.”

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

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

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

Arista EOS resilient state-sharing architecture delivers maximum system uptime, reduces capex and opex by simplifying IT operations, and enables business agility. Moreover, 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 plane built on cloud networking principles for telemetry, analytics and automation.

“Amongst its many capabilities, CloudVision is very much the automation tool that facilitates zero-touch provisioning,” Wallis adds. “It allows for the automation of traditional changes, moves and additions, while providing realtime monitoring and telemetry … all heavily influenced by machine learning.”

Designed for use in datacentre, wired and wireless campus, multi-cloud, and routing use-cases, CloudVision provides a consistent operational model across domains, helping enterprises to simplify network operations by breaking down traditional network management silos.

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

“The Arista solutions also offer an AI/ML-driven Autonomous Virtual Assist (AVA™) that leverages AI and machine learning to constantly analyse and improve performance in the modern data-driven network.”

First Distribution will offer Arista through its partners in South Africa and SADC. It is currently recruiting, enabling, onboarding and skilling up new and existing partners to offer the Arista solutions.

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

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

“Arista likes our business and our go-to-market model,” he says. “And reciprocally, we are extremely excited about adding the Arista brand to our data-driven networking business.”


About First Distribution

First Distribution is the leading value-added distributor in Africa. Our offering includes a product portfolio of global leading Datacentre, Cloud, Networking and Security products and services. This embraces hybrid solutions with access to any combination of on premise, private cloud and public cloud end-to-end solutions from multiple vendors. The portfolio, together with highly skilled staff to support and manage vendors with an unrivalled level of expertise, ensures that our partners have the key elements required for success. First Distribution additionally hosts one of the largest technology partner-to-partner networks in Africa allowing partners to extend the reach of their solutions across the continent.

Learn more about First Distribution here.