Ex-Cisco exec Ullal lands at data center start-up

Arista Networks taps Jayshree Ullal as CEO

Former Cisco executive Jayshree Ullal has landed at a data-center switching start-up founded by Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim.

Ullal has been named president and CEO of Arista Networks, formerly known as Arastra, a developer of inexpensive, 10Gbps top-of-rack data center switches. Bechtolsheim, meanwhile, has been named chief development officer and chairman of the company (though he plans to continue working part-time for Sun's Systems group, according to Sun officials).

In an interview with Network World, Ullal says what drew her to Arista is its modular software architecture, called Extensible Operation System (EOS). "What was unique about [Arista's] EOS is separation of state from different processes," she says. "We have a transactional database where all of the state of networking variables is stored. Now you can do live patching, fault containment, live repair -- real-time, in-service software upgrades."

At Cisco, Ullal most recently was a senior vice president, responsible for the company's $10 billion Datacenter, Switching and Services group. She left Cisco in May after 15 years.

A 25-year industry veteran, Ullal was named one of the "50 Most Powerful People" in 2005 by Network World and was nominated as one of the 20 most powerful "Women to Watch in 2001" by Newsweek.

Bechtolsheim a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur, was senior vice president and chief architect for Sun's Systems Group. From 1996 to 2003, he was vice president and general manager of the Gigabit Systems Business Unit at Cisco.

Arista has been shipping products since May. The company offers a 48-port 10Gbps switch for $400 per port. Customers include Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Northwestern University.

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