Industry News Desk
Sun Co-Founder Goes to Cloud Computing Start-Up Full-Time
Sun will be seeing the back of its co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim for a second time
Oct. 29, 2008 06:45 AM
Sun will be seeing the back of its co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim for a second time.
He's easing out as the company's chief architect to work full-time at Arista Network (née Arastra), a start-up he bankrolled that's built a cheap, high-performance network switch meant to bedevil Cisco. The 10 gigabit Ethernet widgetry is supposed to be a natural for cloud wannabes like Google with a large infrastructure and heavy traffic.
He'll be its chairman and chief development officer. Arista has hired the ex-head of Cisco's switch unit Jayshree Ullal as CEO and Bechtolsheim's partner and fellow investor, Stanford professor David Cheriton, will be chief scientist.
Cheriton developed Arista's upgradeable-on-the-fly Extensible Operating System.
Andy's disengaging from Sun as it appears to be setting, with parts of its business reduced to below their carrying value, but promises to carry on in a part-time advisory capacity.
Bechtolsheim, who made his bones inventing Sun's first workstations, came back to Sun four years ago when things were also looking bleak to design Sparc-replacing x86 machines and its Thumper storage server. Sun bought his year-old server company, Kealia in exchange.
Andy has a certain knack with start-ups. Sun also bought a German company that he had money in. It became Star Office and OpenOffice. He was also Google's first investor and he sold another of his start-ups, Granite Systems - the networking outfit he originally left Sun for in 1995 - to Cisco in 1996 for $220 million.
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