back to article Arista wants Cisco Catalyst 6500 scalp. Price on head? $35bn

This month has been a biggie for data networking launches, with Cisco uncloaking Application Centric Infrastructure - its answer to the software defined network (SDN) - along with the new Nexus 9000 switch series. (My colleague Jack Clark has penned a fine analysis of Cisco’s ACI strategy here.) Also in November, Arista …


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  1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    second biggest?

    More like probably 6th or 7th? Where do you get this second biggest from? Networking is cut throat, you have to fight tooth and nails to get market share. Arista from a tech standpoint may look good compared to Cisco - I mean shit, how hard is it NOT to look good against a 10+ year old switching platform.

    Obviously the people that are using the 6500 1) don't care about costs 2) don't care about performance(they'll just buy more) 3) don't care about power efficiency/usability/etc 4) don't want to invest in anything new(e.g. change) - they are happy with the old way of doing things.

    I remember reading up on marketing stuff way back in 2004 on chassis switching platforms that destroyed the 6500 in almost every way (except sales of course). I'm sure there was stuff earlier but that was about the time I started getting more involved in networking.

    Just looking at when Arista was founded- Oct 2004, these PDFs I have came out before Arista was even founded(and obviously years before they shipped any product)

    Maybe those previously mentioned cloud players(another article) that are "shunning Cisco" were dumb enough to do wide scale deployments of 6500 and that's why their costs are so high.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby

      Re: second biggest?

      Its not just the switch...

      Arista is doing well as a ToR switch.

      But the reason Cisco is still king is that they not only have all of the fabric in the DS, but the software tools to control and tie them together into a simple easy to manage network.

      So you can drop in some guy, train him up on the software and he can manage your DS's network. Hire two more 'junior' guys as his backup... and you're covered. Try doing that with a heterogeneous network and its a bit more difficult.

      Now I'm neutral on this and I do like Arista ToR switches. Much cheaper than Cisco, however, I'm not the guy who's making the purchase decision... that guy isn't going to bet his job on someone other than Cisco.

      Just saying...

  2. M. B.


    ...the author seems to have missed out on the fact that the new Cisco 6807-XL replaces the 6500E-series as Cisco's "core switch" and has massively improved thermals/power consumption and back plane performance.

    That doesn't mean the 6807 is the king of all switches, but it wouldn't hurt to factor it in to the article since it's intended to replace the 6500 chassis (it even supports the currently available line cards intended for the 6500).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Umm...

      Fair comment - in my background notes, did not make it into the article.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not sure why you think the new Arista kit is aimed at the Cat6k, as it's clearly a order of magnitude faster than the Cat6k.

    If you bothered to dig in to data sheets, you'll notice that the 7300X is - spec wise - almost akin to the Nexus 9K. That's because they're both Trident II based boxes. The difference is that Cisco are trying to do their VXLAN stuff in hardware(Their custom ASIC in the N9K boxes), but Arista use an external controller for this.

    This reads like a really bad puff piece for Cisco.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Misreading this?

      There is lots of cat 6K equipment out there - customers will upgrade to faster platforms in due. Arista is, among other things, directly positioning 7300 at this replacement market - Doug Gourlay told me this. The company is prepping a trade-in program for Cat 6000x - as is Cisco. I don't get how that translates into Cisco puff piece.

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