Arista, a cloud-networking company in Santa Clara, Calif., might be seen as the quintessential David taking on a Goliath of the industry, Cisco. Led by CEO Jayshree Ullal, a onetime protégé of former Cisco CEO John Chambers, Arista’s networking products have won huge clients, such as Microsoft, Netflix, and Facebook, and revenues in 2016 grew to $1.1 billion, a 35% jump over the prior year. Morgan Stanley predicts that Arista will double its market share by 2020. With that success, however, comes a challenge—Cisco and Arista are embroiled in a fierce legal battle, with Arista’s products facing an import ban over claims that Arista copied Cisco patents.
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