Arista Networks Files $200M IPO

Emerging switch vendor and Cisco Systems competitor Arista Networks on Monday filed an initial public offering (IPO) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, seeking up to $200 million.

According to its S-1 form, Arista is looking to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "ANET." The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company, however, did not list the expected price of its shares or how many it expects to sell.

Founded in 2004, Arista specializes in what it calls "software-defined cloud networking," melding the principles of cloud, such as automation and self-service provisioning, with those of network virtualization. In addition to its EOS software, Arista offers a line of low-latency switches, or switches designed to pass data between servers at the highest available speed.

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Arista is led by former Cisco executive Jayshree Ullal. Before joining Arista as president and CEO in 2008, Ullal was senior vice president of Cisco's $10 billion data center, switching and services group.

Arista, which until 2008 operated under the name Arastra, has other tech heavyweights on its team, including founder and chief development officer Andy Bechtolsheim. Bechtolsheim previously was the founder and chief system architect at Sun Microsystems and, before that, founder and president of Granite Systems, a networking startup acquired by Cisco in 1996.

Arista also was founded by David Cheriton, an engineering professor at Stanford University.

In its S-1 form, Arista said it has "experienced rapid revenue growth" over the last several years. According to the form, Arista's revenue in 2013 grew 87 percent year-over-year, totaling $361.2 million. Meanwhile, the company's profits nearly doubled, growing from $21.3 million in 2012 to $42.5 million in 2013.

Arista said its customer footprint also is growing quickly, having increased from 570 end customers in December 2010 to roughly 2,340 in December 2013. Among these customers, Arista said, are service providers, financial services organizations and large cloud services players, including Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo!.

Arista in the filing said it would use the money it raises through an IPO to increase its financial flexibility and visibility in the marketplace. Among its chief competitors, Arista said, are large network equipment vendors including Cisco, Juniper and Hewlett-Packard.

Arista in November announced a new series of low-latency switches it dubbed a "compelling alternative" to Cisco's Catalyst 6500 Series switches, with the ability to deliver more than 10 times the scale, throughput and latency. The move came just two days before Cisco's highly anticipated launch of its Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI) SDN platform.