On 3 June 2010 we had the opportunity to meet with some very important figures of the Silicon Valley in Menlo Park California. We had indeed a meeting with the people from Arista, and namely Jayshree Ullal a former Cisco top executive who is leading the new company.
If we add to describe ourselves, Ullal says, we could say that “Arista means ‘the best’ in Greek!”. This is raisin the bar rather high but Ullal and team are seasoned and well respected specialists in the area, and therefore one understands quickly that this is not yet another start-up. The foundation of the company is based on the principle that cloud networking is different from enterprise networking. The company was founded in 2004 and took 4 years to develop the software, in essence an extensive operating system called IOS which is, according to its authors “the first time purpose-built software developer data centres”.
The closest competitor of EOS is NSOS from Cisco which is fact not really similar. Products started shipping on the second half of 2008; throughout the following 6 quarters, the company has amassed a vast number of customers. Arista representatives are saying that “[they] are adding a customer a day except weekends!” At the moment, the customer base is made of 300 customers who “came in even before a marketing plan was in place”.
Not a “rocky start-up”
This, Arista, is above all an experienced start-up versus a “rocky start-up” to put it in the words of Jayshree Ullal. Here, we mean serious business. It already has over 100 employees and most of its customers are coming to them rather than the other way round. Arista is basing its strategy on the fact that it can deliver innovation more swiftly than behemoths like Cisco, HP and the like. This is what made it possible for the company to receive Interop awards in 2010. “Arista is only focusing on the data centre, and is not doing enterprise networking” adds Ullal. This is why she pursues, they are “ahead of anyone else”.
In a nutshell, Arista is proposing better performance, (up to 5 times better) for 1/10th of the power and half of the footprint in the data centre. In essence, the company is proposing to improve data centres not just from a performance point of view but also from the Green-IT point of view and this is their main selling point.
Interview of Jayshree Ullal
In the following interview, Jayshree Ullal describes what the company is doing, its main selling points and its particular track record with regard to the investment finance industry for which she will give examples and facts and figures