What is our primary use case?
We are manufacturers for certain storage platforms and we have our own storage software for enabling GPU clustering. We work more in the video segment. We have our own solutions that we put on that particular cluster which enable a remote workspace management portal for people who are into content. We don't generally provide solutions for micro-level storage customers that are dealing with your retail data or the like. We specialize in macro-computing, video analytics, audio/video editing solutions, editing over the cloud, and remote editing of spaces. It's a very specialized platform.
We set up a private cloud architecture for customers. There are certain customers who are large-scale photo editors, video editors — companies like BBC — that are in the content business. They don't want their content to be on multi-user platforms. They want to have control of their platforms. We have a solution where they can have a YouTube-like experience, but it's totally private. We have very bespoke solutions for media-related mining.
What is most valuable?
Arista is a nice platform. It's an extremely reliable platform for the network switches we use.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We have never seen a project where people have complained that it's not working. Never.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have found their networks to be very high-end, low-latency, and we have never had a problem scaling up.
How are customer service and technical support?
Generally, Arista's technical support is prompt. There can be delays but they're not bad. When we go back to them, they get the job done. They are very good at support.
Overall, Arista is a good team to work with. They are very straightforward.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Arista is very expensive. Not everybody is in a position to spend $70,000 to $80,000 for one switch.
For our customers that have a budget of $4,000 to $5,000 for one switch fabric, we generally recommend NETGEAR. That is also a very good switch. If somebody wants something cheaper than that, we recommend they go for something else.
For a market like India, Africa, and Asia, people always think twice because Arista is expensive compared to the competition. Of course, it's not an apples-to-apples comparison. There are no other products that you can directly compare with Arista. It's the difference between getting a V12 engine and a generic engine. You need to be able to afford a V12. Arista is not for everybody.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We have deployed many enterprise platform switches, depending on the customer's capacity to buy a given platform. We have tested the Huawei switches. For certain protocols and traffic, and especially for video transmissions, Huawei has a good platform. But it's not like Arista, which has the highest one. Cisco has a bit of delay and a lag. From a robustness perspective, you pay a premium for Arista but you get the most from it.
We don't recommend Cisco because Cisco is a very different ballgame altogether. It's more into infrastructure networking data management. Cisco is made for something very different. When you are talking about IoT, Cisco meets expectations.
What other advice do I have?
I would recommend Arista for certain applications, for microbiological and molecular calculations; for supercomputing. If you are looking for an ultra-low latency network, this is the only solution. There is nothing else that is similar.
It has low-latency, stability, and scalability because it is modular. If you have the budget, go for it.