Network-Engineering | 3 min read
Unboxing an Arista Switch
My personal journey with Arista switches started early in 2021. I worked with virtual Arista switches to develop and test configurations. When I dealt with real physical Arista devices then, they have been racked and stacked by someone else and I just accessed them remotely.
In December 2021 I got the task to preconfigure an EVPN-VXLAN fabric for one of our customers before we ship the switches. This was the first time I had the opportunity to do an unboxing of a couple of Arista 7050SX3-48YC8 and 7050CX3-32S switches. And I must say that I liked what I’ve discovered!
The first impression after opening the box was that it was really well and safely packed.
What stands out is that switch is not only wrapped in a plastic bag as I know it from other vendors. To achieve a high level of protection against dust it is wrapped with a vacuumed and sealed bag.
Of course, if just the packaging was done well I would not be enthusiastic about it. But the positive impressions continued when I looked at the rails. The rails from the HPE DL360 G10 servers have been the best ones I’ve worked with. They allow a single person to safely rack mount a 1 HE server without a screwdriver or other tools. The rails delivered with most switches are crappy and require screwdrivers and the assistance of a second person. Sometimes rails need to be ordered separately and still are crappy. But the rails that are delivered with these Arista switches are very nice! It is very easy to mount them without any tools for a single person. And unlike with some other rails, there are no dangerous sharp edges to look out for.
Maybe just a detail for many, but I still liked it: Arista is shipping power cords with plugs that I can actually use in the data center! Many vendors ship power cords with type J plugs to customers in Switzerland. But PDUs in data centres use the C13/C14 form factor. Arista puts power cords with C13/C14 coupler in the box. Thank you, Arista!
I also would like to highlight the locator LEDs. There are LEDs for all interfaces, power supplies and fans that can be lighted on with a command on the switch. This is very useful when working with a remote technician to indicate which component needs to be serviced. The effects of the below commands are visible on the switch at the top of the stack.
Two last little details can be seen on the rear of a device. There is a small plastic plate that can be slid out. This is useful eg. for putting on a QR code pointing to the device documentation. Next to that plate, you can see the handlebar of a power supply. It is already equipped with Velcro to help you organize the cables.
I like all these little well thought out details. They show that Arista pays attention even to the small details and delivers a product of high quality.
Everyone knows that it’s the first impression that counts and as I could experience, Arista is following this ground rule!