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Arista CEO Sees an Oasis in the Enterprise Networking Landscape

Arista is slowly, but surely gaining ground in the enterprise market, even as 400G deployments loom in the near future.

 By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Aug 19, 2019
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Arista Networks isn't perhaps as well known as an enterprise networking vendor as it is a data center and cloud networking vendors - but that could soon change if CEO Jayshree Ullal is right.

During Arista's second quarter fiscal 2019 earnings call, Ullal was asked multiple times by financial analysts about her outlook for the enteprise space, which also includes campus switching gear.

"Our enterprise segment is healthy with growing interest in our campus and multi-cloud migrations," Ullal said.

She noted that during the quarter Arista introduced its' first entry into the cognitive campus edge with the 720XP Power over Ethernet switches as well as new WiFi6 offerings. The new products support Arista's CloudVision for the campus, flow based telemetry and security segmentation services.

"With this Arista establishes an exciting and formal complete cognitive portfolio addressing the transitional changes in the campus security and IoT era," Ullal said. "We are in early field trials now and we expect more results in the second half 2019."

Also during the quarter, Arista announced Microsoft Azure cloud integration capabilities in an event co-hosted by Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella. Ullal commented that the two companies share a synergistic vision in cloud area networking.

The Enterprise 'Oasis'

Ullal commented that it took five years after Arista first started shipping products before the company truly became successful in the data center. She noted that in the early years of the company, cloud was the key focus.

"I'm pretty sure we won't take five years to enter the campus market," she said.

Ullal expects traction in the enterprise from early adopters, who already love the company's EOS networking operating system. She also sees the company's CloudVision direction as being attractive to enterprises, providing a single point of management and single pane of glass for cloud., and then to your point, the third one will be new channels, new partners, new systems integrators.

So, if you look at those three segments, we can start playing in two out of the three already. And so my response would be that the campus technology in many ways is no different than the data center.

"There is an awful lot of enterprise fatigue with the existing dominance of one vendor and lack of quality and all of that," she said. " I think despite the macro (economic situation, we're enjoying a little oasis in the desert, if you will."

400G

The biggest shift in networking coming in the next few years is likely to be the adoption and deployment of 400 Gbps networking, though it could take a few years.

Andy Bechtolsheim, Chief Development Officer, and Chairman of Arista commented that optics for 400G are not yet available in large supply and likely won't be until 2020. That said he noted that there is still significant growth opportunity for 100G networking. "The reason why a cloud company would deploy 400 gig is because it's more cost effective than 100 gig on a per-bit basis," Bechtolsheim said. "Keep in mind, 100 gig is deploying in the cloud at the rate of, call it 10 million ports a year, and it takes a long time to get to those kind of volumes on the optics. So this is why we've been saying all along that it's a 2020 story to even get to meaningful revenue in 400 gig."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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