Market Insight

Arista sets its sights on the campus

May 08, 2018  | Subscribers Only

Matthias Machowinski Matthias Machowinski Directing Analyst, Enterprise Networks and Video

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A few months ago, I was asked by a client whether I thought it possible that Arista will enter the campus networking market. Everything’s a possibility, I thought, but this one seems far-fetched. Arista’s current switching products aren’t geared toward the campus (lack of 1G and PoE offerings), and more importantly, Arista doesn’t have a wireless networking portfolio, arguably the single most important capability in campus networks today. Fast forward to this week, and Arista has announced Cognitive Cloud Networking for the Campus. So much for predicting the future. However, when you pull back the curtain on the announcement, Arista isn’t making a full-fledged entry into the campus networking market and isn’t even launching any new products. Rather, Arista is expanding its current, data center–only, target market to bring the principles of cloud networking—scalability, merchant-silicon, and software control—to campus networks. More specifically, Arista has its sights set on the inefficiency of the three-tier network architecture (access, aggregation, and core) that is still prevalent in campus networks and on replacing the aggregation and core layer with a single spine architecture that is now standard in modern data center (DC) network designs.

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