Arista Networks (formerly Arastra) is an American computer networking company headquartered in Santa Clara, California. The company designs and sells multilayer network switches to deliver software-defined networking (SDN) for large datacenter, cloud computing, high-performance computing, and high-frequency trading environments. These products include 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-500 nanosecond (ns) latency, and the 7500 series, Arista's modular 10G/40G/100Gbit/s switch. Arista's own Linux-based network operating system, Extensible Operating System (EOS), runs on all Arista products.
|Revenue||US$2.32 billion (2020)|
|US$699.7 million (2020)|
|US$634.6 million (2020)|
|Total assets||US$4.739 billion (2020)|
|Total equity||US$3.320 billion (2020)|
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references|
In 1982, Andy Bechtolsheim cofounded Sun Microsystems, and was its chief hardware designer. In 1995, David Cheriton cofounded 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 firm, and was appointed CEO of Arista in October 2008.
In December 2014, Cisco filed two lawsuits against Arista alleging intellectual property infringement., and 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. In 2016, on appeal, the ban was reversed following product changes and two overturned Cisco patents, 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 SystemEdit
|Written in||C, Assembly|
|OS family||Network operating system|
|Source model||Open source and closed-source|
|Marketing target||Computer networks|
|Platforms||IA-32, x86-64, Itanium|
|License||Open source and Proprietary|
EOS is Arista's network operating system, and comes as one image that runs across all Arista devices or in a virtual machine (VM). 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 application-specific integrated circuit (ASICs), the command-line interface (CLI), Simple Network Management Protocol (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, any damage is limited to one 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 configuration management systems. EOS provides extensive application programming interfaces (APIs) to communicate with and control all aspects of the switch. To showcase EOS' extensibility, Arista developed a module named CloudVision that extends the CLI to use Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) as a shared message bus to manage and configure 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 abilities 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 medium access control (MAC), Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), and routing table in a local SQLite database for later querying using standard Structured Query Language (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 virtual output queueing (VOQ) fabric supporting from 4 to 16 store and forward line cards delivering line-rate non-blocking 10GbE, 40GbE, and 100GbE performance in a 150 Tbit/s fabric supporting a maximum of 576 100GbE ports with 384 GB 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 10 GbE, 25 GbE and 100 GbE with the support for AlgoMatch technology and a software upgradeable packet processor
- 7150S series: 1U ultra-low latency cut-through line-rate 10 Gb 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 Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) or network address translation (NAT/PAT).
- 7130 series (7130, 7130L, 7130E): 1U and 2U ultra-low latency Layer 1 switch and programmable switches. Layer 1 switching enables mirroring and software-defined port routing with port-to-port latency starting from 4ns, depending on physical distance. The E and L variants allow running custom FPGA applications directly on the switch with a port-to-FPGA latency as low as 3ns. This series comes from the original Metamako product line acquired by Arista Networks in 2018 and runs a combination of MOS and Arista EOS operating systems.
- 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, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), IS-IS, and OpenFlow. The switches are also capable of layer 3 or layer 4 equal-cost multi-path routing (ECMP), and applying per-port L3/L4 access-control lists (ACLs) entirely in hardware.
All of Arista's switches are built using merchant silicon instead of custom switching application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). This strategy enables Arista to leverage latest advances in processor manufacturing technology at a lower price, due to the prohibitive costs associated with developing and producing custom chips. Other major competitors such as Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks have also started using 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 medium access control (MAC), physical layer (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 operating costs.
In September 2015, Arista introduced the series 7060X, 7260X, and 7320X, refreshing then extant series 7050X, 7250X, and 7300X, with new, higher performance 100 GbE options.
- 2020 Proxy statement
- "Arista Networks 2019 Annual Report Form (10-K)". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 14 February 2020. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
- "Arastra Starts with a Name Changer, Aims for a Game Changer". HPCwire. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "Arista Advances Race to Zero with Sub 500 Nanosecond Latency Switch" (Press release). Arista Networks. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "Arista, Blade win top spot in data center switch test". Network World. 18 January 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "Cisco looks to one-up Arista, Juniper with Nexus 3548". InformationWeek. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Cisco buys Granite Systems". CNET News. 3 September 1996. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "Cisco's Brain Drain Continues". CNET News. 16 December 2003. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "Management Team". Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "10 start-ups to watch in '09". Network World. 5 January 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
Funding: Undisclosed amount from Bechtolsheim and David Cheriton
- "Arista Networks Names Jayshree Ullal President and CEO, Andreas Bechtolsheim CDO and Chairman" (Press release). Arista Networks. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "Arista Networks crushes IPO targets, soars after raising $226M". Silicon Valley Business Journal. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- "Cisco Sues Arista, a Rival Run by Former Cisco Employees". Business Insider. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "ITC Issues Split Determination in Arista/Cisco Patent Dispute". The Wall Street Journal. 24 June 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
- "U.S. Trade Rep Approves Import Ban on Arista Devices, Says Rival Cisco". Fortune. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
- "Jury rejects Cisco's damages claim against Arista". 14 December 2016.
- "PTAB overturns two Cisco patents, clearing way for Arista to overturn ITC exclusion order". 5 June 2017.
- "Arista Networks, Inc. SEC Filing" (PDF).
- "Arista Acquires Mojo Networks". Arista Networks. 4 February 2019.
- "Arista Acquires Metamako".
- "Blackstone's Stephen Schwarzman and Other Visionary Founders on Our List of the World's Best CEOs". Barron's. Dow Jones & Company.
- "Arista EOS: Key Features". Retrieved 12 June 2014.
EOS provides a single binary image across all Arista networking platforms
- "vEOS – Running EOS in a VM". Arista Networks. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "Using tcpdump for troubleshooting". 16 June 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
Linux Fedora 12 as the foundation upon which the Arista EOS is built
- "The Joy of an Open Switch Operating System". 1 May 2011. Archived from the original on 12 November 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
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.
- "CloudVision Multi-Switch CLI – Network Management over XMPP". 23 August 2011. Archived from the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "Advanced Event Management (AEM)". Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Donahue, Gary (24 October 2012). "Chapter 27: Event Monitor". Arista Warrior. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 978-1-4493-1453-8. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "eAPI: Learning the basics". Archived from the original on 10 April 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Arista 7500R Series". Retrieved 12 June 2014.
Line Rate 10GbE/40GbE/100GbE interfaces
- Kerravala, Zeus. "Arista's new solutions sets the standard for cloud scale". Retrieved 19 June 2017.
- "Arista Introduces The Industry's Fastest Data Center Switch" (Press release). Arista Networks. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
triple-speed 10/40/100G line card with integrated MXP (multi-speed-port) optics that can be software configured on a per port basis
- "Arista 7300 Technical Architecture". Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "7280R Switch Architecture" (PDF).
- Prickett Morgan, Timothy (10 June 2016). "Leaving Fixed Function Switches Behind For Universal Leafs".
- "Arista 7280R Series Universal Leaf and IP Storage Networks". Arista Networks.
- "Arista 7200 Series". Archived from the original on 13 June 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "Arista 7260X Series Datasheet" (PDF). Arista Networks.
- "Arista 7060X and 7260X Performance" (PDF).
- Networks, Arista. "Arista 7170 Series". Arista Networks. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
- "Barefoot Networks: An Intel Company". Barefoot Networks. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
- "Tofino: World's fastest P4-programmable Ethernet switch ASICs". Barefoot Networks. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
- Kerravala, Zeus (5 December 2016). "Arista brings network flexibility to the network switch".
- "7150 Series 1/10 GbE SFP Ultra-Low Latency Switch". Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "Arista 7150S Series: Q&A" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 June 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
a flexible programmable pipeline that enables new features like VXLAN to be rapidly released
- "Arista 7130 Hardware".
- "Arista expands its portfolio with 25, 50, and 100-Gig data center switches".
- "Arista 7020R Series". 18 March 2019.
- "High Performance and Power Efficient Data Center Gigabit Ethernet Switch". Retrieved 8 August 2015.
- "Arista Networks Celebrates 1000 Customers Worldwide" (Press release). Arista Networks. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "Names You Need To Know: Arista Networks". Forbes. 5 February 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
Lehman brothers its first customer
- "RBC Capital Markets bets on Solace and Arista". 14 December 2010. Archived from the original on 26 October 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "Gunning for an Elephant in Silicon Valley". Bloomberg. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
A third of its customers are big Wall Street firms looking for faster computing systems and speedier execution of trades.
- "Supported Features in EOS". Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "Cisco's 'Jawbreaker' seen as response to competitive pressure". Network World. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
But basing any product on merchant silicon is a "huge departure" for Cisco
- "Merchant Silicon and Vendor Software – The Hype in 2012". EtherealMind: Greg Ferro. 6 January 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
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
- Official website
- Business data for Arista Networks: