|Headquarters||Santa Clara, California, U.S.|
|Revenue||US$1,646.2 million (2017)|
|US$470.3 million (2017)|
|US$423.2 million (2017)|
|Total assets||US$2,460.9 million (2017)|
|Total equity||US$1,661.9 million (2017)|
Number of employees
Footnotes / references|
Arista Networks (previously Arastra) is a computer networking company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, USA. The company designs and sells multilayer network switches to deliver software-defined networking (SDN) solutions for large datacenter, cloud computing, high-performance computing and high-frequency trading environments. Arista's products include an array of 10/25/40/50/100 Gigabit Ethernet low-latency cut-through switches, including the 7124SX, which remained the fastest switch using SFP+ optics through September 2012, with its sub-500ns latency, as well as the 7500 series, Arista’s award-winning modular 10G/40G/100Gbit/s switch. Arista's own Linux-based network operating system, EOS (Extensible Operating System), runs on all Arista products.
Andy Bechtolsheim co-founded Sun Microsystems in 1982 and was its chief hardware designer. In 1995, David Cheriton co-founded Granite Systems with Bechtolsheim, a company that developed Gigabit Ethernet products, which was acquired by Cisco Systems in 1996. In 2001, Cheriton and Bechtolsheim founded another start up, Kealia, which was acquired by Sun in 2004. From 1996 to 2003, Bechtolsheim and Cheriton occupied executive positions at Cisco, leading the development of the Catalyst product line, along with Kenneth Duda who had been Granite Systems' first employee.
In 2004, the three then went on to found Arastra (later renamed Arista). Bechtolsheim and Cheriton were able to fund the company themselves. In May 2008, Jayshree Ullal left Cisco after 15 years at the company, and was appointed CEO of Arista in October 2008.
In December 2014, Cisco filed two lawsuits against Arista alleging extensive intellectual property infringement. As a result of the first lawsuit, the United States International Trade Commission issued limited exclusion and cease-and-desist orders concerning two of the features patented by Cisco  and upheld an import ban on infringing products. The decision is being appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In 2016 the ban was reversed following product changes, two Cisco patents were overturned, and Cisco's claim of damages was ruled against. In August 2018, Arista agreed to pay Cisco US$ 400 million as part of a settlement that included a release for all claims of infringement by Cisco, dismissal of Arista's antitrust claims against Cisco, and a 5-year stand-down between the companies.
Extensible Operating System
EOS is Arista's network operating system, and comes as a single image that runs across all Arista devices or in a virtual machine. EOS runs on an unmodified Linux kernel under a Fedora-based userland. There are more than 100 independent regular processes, called agents, responsible for different aspects and features of the switch, including drivers that manage the switching ASICs, the CLI, SNMP, Spanning Tree Protocol, and various routing protocols. All the state of the switch and its various protocols is centralized in another process, called Sysdb. Separating processing (carried by the agents) from the state (in Sysdb) gives EOS two important properties. The first is software fault containment, which means that if a software fault occurs, the damage is limited to a single agent. The second is stateful restarts, since the state is stored in Sysdb, when an agent restarts it picks up where it left off. Since agents are independent processes, they can also be upgraded while the switch is running (a feature called ISSU – In-Service Software Upgrade).
The fact that EOS runs on Linux allows the usage of common Linux tools on the switch itself, such as tcpdump or usual configuration management systems. EOS provides extensive APIs to communicate with and control all aspects of the switch. To showcase EOS' extensibility, Arista developed a module dubbed CloudVision that extends the CLI to use XMPP as a shared message bus for managing and configuring switches. This was implemented simply by integrating an existing open-source XMPP Python library with the CLI.
In addition to all the standard programming and scripting capabilities traditionally available in a Linux environment, EOS can be programmed using different mechanisms:
- Advanced Event Management can be used to react to various events and automatically trigger CLI commands, execute arbitrary scripts or send alerts when state changes occur in the switch, such as an interface going down or a virtual machine migrating to another host.
- Event Monitor tracks changes made to the MAC, ARP, and routing table in a local SQLite database for later querying using standard SQL queries.
- eAPI (External API) offers a versioned JSON-RPC interface to execute CLI commands and retrieve their output in structured JSON objects.
Arista's product line can be separated into different product families:
- 7500R series: Modular chassis with a VOQ fabric supporting from 4 to 16 store and forward line cards delivering line-rate non-blocking 10GbE, 40GbE, and 100GbE performance in a 150Tbit/s fabric supporting a maximum of 576 100GbE ports with 384GB of packet buffer. Each 100GbE ports can also operate as 40GbE or 4x10GbE ports, thus effectively providing 2304 line-rate 10GbE ports with large routing tables.
- 7300X, 7300X3 and 7320X series: Modular chassis with 4 or 8 line cards in a choice of 10G, 40G and 100G options with 6.4Tbit/s of capacity per line card, for a fabric totaling up to 50Tbit/s of capacity for up to 1024 10GbE ports. Unlike the 7500 series, 10GBASE-T is available on 7300 series line cards.
- 7280R series: 1U and 2U systems with a common architecture to the 7500R Series, deep buffer VOQ and large routing tables. Many different speed and port combinations from 10GbE to 100GbE.
- 7200X series: 2U low-latency high-density line-rate 100GbE and 40GbE switches, with up to 12.8Tbit/s of forwarding capacity.
- 7170 Series: High Performance Multi-function Programmable Platforms, a set of fixed 100G platforms based on Barefoot Tofino packet processor enabling the data plane to be customized using EOS and P4 profiles.
- 7160 series: 1U programmable high performance range of 10GbE, 25GbE and 100GbE with the support for AlgoMatch technology and a software upgradeable packet processor
- 7150S series: 1U ultra-low latency cut-through line-rate 10Gb switches. Port-to-port latency is sub-380ns, regardless of the frame size. Unlike the earlier 7100 series, the switch silicon can be re-programmed to add new features that work at wire-speed, such as VXLAN or NAT/PAT.
- 7050X and 7060X series: 1U and 2U low-latency cut-through line-rate 10GbE/25GbE, 40GbE and 100GbE switches. This product line offers higher port density than the 7150 series, in a wider choice of port options and interface speeds at the expense of slightly increased latency (1µs or less). The 7050X and 7060X Series are based on Broadcom Trident and Tomahawk merchant silicon.
- 7020R series: 1U store and forward line-rate with a choice of either a 1Gb top-of-rack switch, with 6x10Gb uplinks or a 10G with 100G uplinks. These switches use a Deep Buffer architecture, with 3GB of packet memory.
- 7010 series: 1U low power (52W) line-rate 1Gb top-of-rack switch, with 4x10Gb uplinks.
The low-latency of Arista switches has made the platform prevalent in high-frequency trading environments, such as the Chicago Board Options Exchange (largest U.S. options exchange), Lehman Brothers or RBC Capital Markets. As of October 2009, one third of its customers were big Wall Street firms.
Arista's devices are multilayer switches, which support a range of layer 3 protocols, including IGMP, VRRP, RIP, BGP, OSPF, IS-IS, as well as OpenFlow. The switches are also capable of layer 3 or layer 4 ECMP, and applying per-port L3/L4 ACLs entirely in hardware.
All of Arista's switches are built using merchant silicon instead of custom switching ASICs. This strategy enables Arista to leverage latest advances in processor manufacturing technology at a lower price point, due to the prohibitive costs associated with the development and production of custom chips. Other major competitors such as Cisco and Juniper have also started following the same strategy, which led to multiple competing products built on top of the same chips. For instance Broadcom's Trident chip is used in some Cisco Nexus switches, Juniper QFX switches, Force10, IBM and HP switches. The integration of the chips with the rest of the system (including integration with the MAC, PHY, and device drivers on the control plane) and software are what differentiate the competing products.
In November 2013, Arista Networks introduced the Spline network, combining leaf and spine architectures into a single-tier network, which aims to cut operational costs.
In September 2015, Arista introduced the 7060X, 7260X and 7320X Series, refreshing the existing 7050X, 7250X and 7300X with new higher performance 100GbE options.
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Funding: Undisclosed amount from Bechtolsheim and David Cheriton
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EOS provides a single binary image across all Arista networking platforms
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Linux Fedora 12 as the foundation upon which the Arista EOS is built
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Kill agents and watch them restart to see if EOS is as resilient as we say it is.
- "Extensible Modular Operating System". Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "CloudVision™ – Topology Agnostic Management for Cloud Data Centers". Retrieved 12 June 2014.
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- Donahue, Gary (24 October 2012). "Chapter 27: Event Monitor". Arista Warrior. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 978-1-4493-1453-8. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
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Line Rate 10GbE/40GbE/100GbE interfaces
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triple-speed 10/40/100G line card with integrated MXP (multi-speed-port) optics that can be software configured on a per port basis
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- "7280R Switch Architecture" (PDF).
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- "7150 Series 1/10 GbE SFP Ultra-Low Latency Switch". Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "Arista 7150S Series: Q&A" (PDF). Retrieved 12 June 2014.
a flexible programmable pipeline that enables new features like VXLAN to be rapidly released
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Lehman brothers its first customer
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A third of its customers are big Wall Street firms looking for faster computing systems and speedier execution of trades.
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But basing any product on merchant silicon is a "huge departure" for Cisco
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Even Cisco [...] has a Broadcom Trident chipset in their Cisco Nexus 3000 product
- "Arista Unveils Single-Tier Ethernet Switches". Network Computing. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
Arista calls the new devices "spline" switches, meaning they can be deployed in a single-tier network of up to 2,000 servers