Andy Bechtolsheim

Author Archives: Andy Bechtolsheim

Arista’s Cloud Network Solutions Validated by Market Share Gains

We are very pleased to report a major milestone for Arista Networks. According to the just released Q4’2014 Crehan Data Center Switch Market report, in the high-speed Ethernet switch market (defined as 10G Ethernet and above excluding blade switches) Arista’s port market share in 2014 rose to 9.3%, up from 6.7% in 2013. Our revenue market share for 2014 rose to 7.7% from 5.4% in 2013. All of this speaks volumes to the rapidly growing acceptance of our products by customers around the globe.

In the meantime, according to the same Crehan research report, Cisco’s port market share fell from 70.8% in 2013 to 66.1% in 2014, a loss of 4.7%. Cisco’s revenue market share declined from 74.2% in 2013 to 69.3% in 2014, a loss of 4.9% YoY. Again this speaks volumes to the decisions customers are making.

What is going on here? At the high level, it is very simple. Customers are transitioning away from legacy proprietary networking solutions and are embracing Arista’s cloud network architecture, a fully standards based solution that offer unparalleled scale, availability and open programmability.

Cloud Networking Has Arrived in Data Centers Everywhere

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The Next Generation in Cloud-Scale Networking: The Arista 7500E

Today we are announcing our new 7500E modular switch, the fastest and densest modular switching platform in the industry, enabling cloud networks to scale to over 100,000 servers and millions of virtual machines.

The Arista 7500E is a remarkable 3X better than its predecessor. It offers 3X the number of ports, 3X the fabric bandwidth, 3X the packet buffer, 3X the supervisor performance, and 3X the power-efficiency, without a chassis or power upgrade.

But the real story of the 7500E it that it enables customers to build a universal cloud networking infrastructure for the worldʼs largest data centers that can handle even the most demanding workloads with ease.

Letʼs take a look inside this remarkable new switch.

3X the Fabric Bandwidth

The 7500E has 3.84 Tbps fabric bandwidth per slot, or 30 Tbps per 8-slot chassis, three times the bandwidth of the first generation 7500.

3X the Port Density

The 7508E supports 1152 10G, 288 40G or 96 100G wire-speed ports in a 11U chassis, the highest port density in the industry and three times the number of ports of the first generation 7500.

3X the Packet Buffer

The 7500E comes with a world-record 144 GByte of packet buffer per 8-slot chassis, Continue reading

The March to Merchant Silicon in 10Gbe Cloud Networking

The inevitable march towards merchant silicon for Ethernet switching is continuing with the announcement from Intel today that it is acquiring Fulcrum Microsystems. Fulcrum of course the silicon vendor that is the core of our low-latency switch family that is the most widely used switch across the world for high-frequency trading.

I wanted to share my thoughts on what this means for the industry going forward.

10 Gigabit Ethernet – the time is right:

First, virtually every new 10 Gigabit Switch announced this year is based on merchant silicon. We at Arista, of course, have been at the forefront of bringing multiple merchant switch architectures to market, but why all of the sudden this stampede?

The simple answer is that the technology advantages of merchant silicon in terms of throughput and cost-performance are so overwhelming compared to legacy platforms based on proprietary silicon designs, that merchant silicon is where the market is going.

New data centers that are built for the cloud require vastly more network scalability than the data center of yesterday. Throughput of servers has advanced at the speed of Moore’s law. The next generation of Intel server will have more than 100 times the throughput of the Continue reading

Arista 7500: the Fastest and Greenest 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch

We are witnessing a major shift from traditional enterprise data centers to much larger warehouse-scale cloud data centers. This is driven by the economics of scale and the benefits of cloud computing, and is happening for both for public and private clouds.

These large data centers need a much higher performance networks that bears little resemblance with traditional enterprise networks. A cloud data center network needs to interconnect many thousands of servers with predictable bandwidth and low-latency.

Our original goal was a switch that could connect 10,000 servers with a simple, 2-stage network, that would deliver predictable Gigabit performance for each server, and do this at a price point that is compatible with web and cloud business models. Just to be clear, such a network requires 10 Terabits/second throughput (10,000 x 1 Gbps), active-active load-sharing redundancy to avoid any single point of failure, and the ability to run 24×7 since there are no maintenance windows in the cloud world.

I am very pleased with the product that resulted from this development, the Arista 7500 data center switch. It turned out really great, even better than we originally anticipated.

The Arista 7500 switch is the highest throughput 10G Ethernet switch in Continue reading

The Silicon Choice for Cloud Networking

These days there is much discussion whether switches or routers should be built with proprietary custom ASICs or standard “merchant silicon” chips. At one level, the question is “Why does it matter?” After all, networking vendors have been building custom silicon chips since the invention of the LAN switch in the early ’90s.

In my own career, I have led the development of several generations of very high volume network switch silicon. However, even I could not design better silicon switch chips than what is available now on the merchant market. To me this is an inflection point for the industry that is not unlike what happened in the computer industry with the adoption of industry standard architectures.

While CPU and switch silicon architectures differ in many ways, the underlying economics are very similar. In the 1980s and 1990s, CPU architectures flourished: there were MIPS, PowerPC, SPARC, ARM, and X86. Each architecture staked out their position in the market. The RISC architectures led the server market with 64-bit addressing and multi-processing capability, and also focussed on embedded applications. X86 was the standard for desktop computers. However as the years passed, most of the volume growth in the market has Continue reading