Andreas von Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, is leaving the hardware company to focus on a four-year-old start-up called Arista Networks.
According to Reuters, Arista will challenge Cisco with "an ultra-fast network switch that costs one-tenth the price of similar products from Cisco." The switch has already been purchased in small quantities by government labs, universities and Internet start-ups.
The New York Times reports that the switches are aimed at laboratories with large numbers of servers or companies with heavy Web traffic like Google. One thing that differentiates this switch from Cisco's is the software that manages it.
Arista breaks all of the major and minor tasks into their own modules that can be updated individually and uses more powerful chips to run it all.
Bechtolsheim will serve as chairman and chief development officer of Arista, and former Cisco exec Jayshree Ullal is expected to be named CEO.