Arista Networks today announced a family of leaf and spine systems based on the Barefoot Tofino series of programmable Ethernet switch chips. The new Arista 7170 Series 100G systems run Arista’s Extensible Operating System (EOS).

“We’re expanding our set of switches based on silicon from Barefoot Networks,” said Martin Hull, Arista’s area vice president for cloud. “The key aspect is that unlike a lot of high-end switches and routers today, the packet processor is programmable. It’s more like a CPU. It opens up a whole set of use cases.”

Arista already offers Ethernet switches with varying degrees of programmability. Its 7050X Series uses Broadcom’s Trident-3 silicon, and its 7160 Series uses Cavium’s XP80 silicon with flexibility through EOS software upgrades.

The new 7170 Series provides a new level of programmability for customers who want that choice.

The 7170 Series is “squarely designed for being inside the data center; they are leaf and spine,” said Hull. “A lot of the systems we produce can be used as a leaf or spine. One guy’s leaf is another guy’s spine. Customers search around looking for products that can meet their needs. This 7170 gives a new set of choices.”

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