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Sun, Cisco Veterans Team on Arista Networks

Silicon Valley veterans Andy Bechtolsheim, David Cheriton and Jayshree Ullal are teaming on Arist Networks (formerly Arastra), an emerging player in the market for 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches.

Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim is leaving the company to become chairman of Arista Networks, a maker of 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches, which has also recruited former Cisco Systems data center executive Jayshree Ullal as CEO. Arista, previously known as Arastra, announce their hiring today. Already on the story are Om Malik at GigaOm and Ashlee Vance at The New York Times, who reports that Stanford's David Cheriton will also join Arista as chief scientist.

Ullal headed Cisco's Data Center 3.0 initiative, while Cheriton teamed with Bechtolsheim on early investments in Google (GOOG) and VMware (VMW).

"While a number of companies sell competing gear, the pedigree of Arista’s management and its modular, easy-to-update software have given the four-year-old firm instant credibility in Silicon Valley," The Times writes. Arista's early customers include content delivery network BitGravity and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University (iCAIR).

“The new era of cloud computing requires fundamental improvements in capacity, latency, and cost-performance over existing enterprise network solutions,” said Bechtolsheim. “Arista is developing highly scalable, reliable and cost-effective cloud networking solutions for large-scale web and enterprise datacenters to address these requirements.”

Ullal discussed her hiring on a new blog:

After corporate life and managing multibillion dollars of business at Cisco Systems, you might ask why I chose Arista Networks? Three things really drew me here:

1. A top-notch and talented team, with focus on best of breed products and innovative EOS (Extensible Operating System) technology.
2. Working with Andy Bechtolsheim, and our long-standing 20+ year professional kinship.
3. A truly unique opportunity in our industry to build and grow into a great company!

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