10-K 1 anet20181231-10k.htm FORM 10-K Document

 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
__________________________________________________
FORM 10-K
__________________________________________________
(Mark One)
ý
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018
Or
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                     to                    
Commission file number: 001-36468
___________________________________________
ARISTA NETWORKS, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
___________________________________________
Delaware
 
20-1751121
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
5453 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, California 95054
(Address of principal executive offices)
(408) 547-5500
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
_________________________________________________________
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.0001 par value
 
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes ý    No  o 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.    Yes  o    No  ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  ý    No  o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  ý    No  o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. 
Large accelerated filer  x
 
 
 
Accelerated filer  o
Non-accelerated filer  o
 
 
 
Smaller reporting company  o
 
 
 
 
Emerging growth company  o
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  o    No  ý
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $14,715,944,627 as of June 30, 2018 based on the closing sale price of the registrant’s common stock on the New York Stock Exchange on such date. Shares held by persons who may be deemed affiliates have been excluded. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.
On February 8, 2019, 75,730,873 shares of the registrant’s common stock were outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement relating to its 2019 Annual Stockholders’ Meeting to be filed pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days after the registrant’s fiscal year end of December 31, 2018 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.



ARISTA NETWORKS, INC.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
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Item 1.
 
Item 1A.
 
Item 1B.
 
Item 2.
 
Item 3.
 
Item 4.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 5.
 
Item 6.
 
Item 7.
 
Item 7A.
 
Item 8.
 
Item 9.
 
Item 9A.
 
Item 9B.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 10.
 
Item 11.
 
Item 12.
 
Item 13.
 
Item 14.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 15.
 
Item 16.
 
 
 



SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K, including the sections entitled “Business,” “Risk Factors,” “Use of Proceeds,” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, as Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties. The words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “potentially,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “would,” “project,” “plan,” “predict,” “expect” and similar expressions that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes are intended to identify forward-looking statements.
These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the following:
our ability to maintain an adequate rate of revenue growth and our future financial performance, including our expectations regarding our revenue, cost of revenue, gross profit or gross margin and operating expenses;
our belief that the cloud networking market is rapidly evolving and has a significant potential opportunity for growth;
our ability to expand our leadership position in the network switch industry, including the areas of mobility, virtualization, cloud computing and cloud networks, and to develop new products and expand our business into new markets;
our ability to satisfy the requirements for cloud networking solutions and to successfully anticipate technological shifts and market needs, innovate new products and bring them to market in a timely manner;
our ability to integrate and realize the benefits of our recent and future acquisitions;
our business plan and our ability to effectively manage our growth, including the reporting requirements and compliance obligations of a public company;
costs associated with defending intellectual property infringement and other claims and the potential outcomes of such disputes, such as those claims discussed in “Legal Proceedings,” including the OptumSoft litigation matters;
our ability to retain and increase sales to existing customers and attract new end customers, including large end customers;
the budgeting cycles and purchasing practices of end customers, including large end customers who may receive lower pricing terms due to volume discounts;
the growth and buying patterns of our large end customers in which large bulk purchases may or may not occur in certain quarters;
our inability to fulfill our end customers’ orders due to supply chain delays, access to key commodities or technologies or events that impact our manufacturers or their suppliers;
the deferral or cancellation of orders by end customers, warranty returns or delays in acceptance of our products;
our ability to further penetrate our existing customer base and sell more complex and higher-performance configurations of our products;
our ability to displace existing products in established markets;
our belief that increasing channel leverage will extend and improve our engagement with a broad set of customers;
our ability to timely and effectively scale and adapt our existing technology;
the benefits realized by our customers in their use of our products and services including lower total cost of ownership;
our ability to expand our business domestically and internationally;
the effects of increased competition in our market and our ability to compete effectively;
the effects of seasonal and cyclical trends on our results of operations;



our expectations concerning relationships with third parties;
the attraction and retention of qualified employees and key personnel;
our ability to maintain, protect and enhance our brand and intellectual property;
economic and industry trends;
estimates and estimate methodologies used in preparing our financial statements;
future trading prices of our common stock;
our belief that we have adequately reserved for uncertain tax positions;
global economic and political conditions that introduce instability into the U.S. economy;
the impact of global and domestic tax reform, including the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017;
the impact of tariffs imposed by the U.S. on goods from other countries and tariffs imposed by other countries on U.S. goods, including the tariffs recently implemented and additional tariffs that have been proposed by the U.S. government on various imports from China;
our belief that our existing cash and cash equivalents together with cash flow from operations will be sufficient to meet our working capital requirements and our growth strategies for the foreseeable future; and
future acquisitions of or investments in complementary companies, products, services or technologies;
These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described in the section titled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment, and new risks emerge from time to time. It is not possible for our management to predict all risks, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements we may make. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K may not occur and actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events.
The forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, joint ventures or investments we may make.




PART I
Item 1. Business
We are a leading supplier of cloud networking solutions that use software innovations to address the needs of large-scale internet companies, cloud service providers and next-generation data centers and campuses for enterprise support. Our cloud networking solutions consist of our Extensible Operating System, or EOS, a set of network applications and our Ethernet switching and routing platforms. Our cloud networking solutions deliver industry-leading performance, scalability, availability, programmability, automation and visibility. At the core of our cloud networking platform is EOS, which was purpose-built to be fully programmable and highly modular. The programmability of EOS has allowed us to create a set of software applications that address the requirements of cloud networking, including workflow automation, network visibility and analytics, and has also allowed us to rapidly integrate with a wide range of third-party applications for virtualization, management, automation, orchestration and network services. Since we began shipping our products, we have grown rapidly, and, according to Crehan Research, we have achieved the second largest market share in data center 10/25/40/50/100 Gigabit Ethernet switch ports, excluding blade switching, sold in 2018. We have been profitable and cash flow positive for each year since 2010.
EOS supports leading cloud and virtualization solutions, including VMware NSX, Microsoft System Center, OpenStack and other cloud management frameworks. We have worked with industry leaders to define new open protocols for the virtualized data center. We co-authored the VXLAN protocol specification with VMware and were the first to demonstrate VXLAN integration and have now expanded VXLAN routing and integration.
We use standard Linux as our underlying operating system, providing customers with access to all Linux operating system facilities. This allows customers to extend our EOS software with off-the-shelf Linux applications and a growing number of open source management tools.
EOS has a highly modular architecture, which allows us to prevent network outages in deployments of our cloud networking solutions. This architecture also allows us to rapidly develop new features and protocols without compromising the quality of the existing code base. Because all of our platform products are powered by the same binary image of EOS, we are able to deliver these new innovations to our entire installed base with minimal disruption.
EOS+, a software platform for network programmability and automation, provides an advanced level of programmability, allowing customers to take advantage of pre-built and custom EOS applications as well as integration with a wide range of technology partner solutions.
In 2015, we introduced CloudVision, a network-wide approach for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking. We believe CloudVision’s abstraction of the physical network to this broader, network-wide perspective allows for a more efficient approach for several operational use-cases related to automation, visibility, management, security and 3rd party controller integration.
In 2018, we announced a new network architecture designed to address transitional changes as the enterprise moves to an Internet of Things (“IoT”)-ready campus. Leveraging EOS® and CloudVision®, our Cognitive Cloud Networking approach brings operational consistency and modern cloud principles to the enterprise campus. As part of the enterprise campus solution, we acquired Mojo Networks, Inc. (“Mojo”), inventor of Cognitive WiFiTM and a leader in cloud-managed wireless networking. We also acquired Metamako Holding PTY LTD. (“Metamako”), a leader in low-latency, FPGA-enabled network solutions.
We sell our products through both our direct sales force and our channel partners. Our end customers span a range of industries and include large internet companies, service providers, financial services organizations, government agencies, media and entertainment companies and others. Our customers include six of the largest cloud services providers based on annual revenue.
Industry Background
Cloud computing is fundamentally changing the way IT infrastructure is built and how applications are delivered. In cloud computing, applications are distributed across thousands of servers. These servers are connected

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with high-speed network switches that, together, form a pool of resources that allows applications to be rapidly deployed and cost-effectively updated. Cloud computing enables ubiquitous and on-demand network access to these applications from internet-connected devices including personal computers, tablets and smartphones.
Nearly all consumer applications today are delivered as cloud services. Enterprise applications are rapidly moving to the cloud as well, since cloud services are easier and more cost effective to deploy, scale and operate than traditional applications. Internet leaders like Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! pioneered the development of large-scale cloud data centers in order to meet the growing demands of their users, including business customers. Enterprises and service providers around the world are adopting cloud computing technologies in order to achieve similar performance improvements and cost reductions.
The aggregate network bandwidth in the cloud can be orders of magnitude higher than typical legacy data center networks. Therefore, the networks in such cloud environments must be architected and built in a new way. We refer to these next-generation data center networks as cloud networks. Cloud networks must deliver high capacity, high availability and predictable performance and must be programmable to allow integration with third-party applications for network, management, automation, orchestration and network services.
Limitations of Traditional Data Center Networks
In our view, cloud networks and legacy networks are fundamentally different. In a traditional data center, specific applications are installed on a small number of servers, and most network traffic is server-to-client, or “north-south” traffic, which results in perhaps a few terabits/second of aggregate network bandwidth. In the cloud, most network traffic is server-to-server, or “east-west” traffic. The aggregate network bandwidth in the cloud can exceed 1 Petabit/second, orders of magnitude higher than that of typical legacy data center networks.
The much larger scale of cloud networks requires much higher network availability since network outages in the cloud are very expensive in terms of customer impact. Traditional network switches have evolved, and the features and capabilities of their operating system have expanded over many years without addressing the structural deficiencies of their underlying software architectures, making it difficult to achieve high network switch reliability.
Some networking vendors have built products that use proprietary protocols to address the scaling needs of next-generation data centers. However, proprietary protocols are generally not acceptable to internet companies or cloud service providers because they create vendor lock-in.
Legacy networks are not programmable and, as a result, are extremely difficult to integrate with third-party applications for network management, automation, orchestration and network services. This lack of integration forces customers to continue to rely on time consuming, error-prone manual processes that may be cost-prohibitive.
Limitations of Traditional Enterprise Campus Networks
Traditional enterprise campus networks suffer from complex bottlenecks brought on by the myriad of platforms, operating systems, proprietary features and network management tools. Coupled with the explosive growth of IoT and endpoints as well as the requirement for workloads, users and devices to be connected anywhere, the operational costs of managing these complexities become prohibitive.
Arista CloudVision, built on the Cognitive Management Plane (CMP) engine, is a proven and powerful platform for turnkey orchestration, provisioning and telemetry. Born initially in the data center era, CloudVision now extends the same common operational model to the campus providing unified wired, wireless and data center management.
Today’s wired and wireless campus networks must cope with ever-increasing endpoint devices necessitating the understanding of endpoint behavior. CloudVision’s latest feature Device Analyzer provides inventory and deep flow analysis of all connected devices. Campus administrators can access device type, connectivity method, location and communication patterns. This visibility enables an administrator to identify unauthorized traffic and compromised endpoints. Since CloudVision spans the data center and the campus, customers can leverage a single platform for end-to-end troubleshooting.

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Requirements for Cloud Networking
Cloud networks differ in many aspects from legacy networks, including capacity, performance, scale, availability, programmability, automation, visibility, security and cost performance. The requirements for cloud networking include the following:
Capacity, Performance and Scalability. Cloud networks must have sufficient capacity to interconnect large numbers of servers, up to hundreds of thousands, with predictable network bandwidth.
High Availability. Cloud networks must overcome hardware and software failures for customers in order to avoid network outages that can result in lost revenue, dissatisfied customers and increased operational cost.
Open and Programmable. Cloud networks must be based on open protocols and be programmable to enable integration with leading network applications and management and data analysis tools.
Workflow Automation. Cloud networks must offer automated provisioning and configuration to enable fast service delivery and to minimize operational costs, avoiding time-consuming and error-prone manual processes for configuring, provisioning, monitoring and managing the network.
Network Visibility. Cloud networks must provide IT administrators with real-time in-depth visibility of network status to proactively monitor, detect and notify when issues arise.
Security. Cloud networks require dynamic security and services from physical-to-physical and physical-to-virtual workloads.
Cost Performance. Cloud networks must deliver high performance while lowering overall cost of ownership, including capital and operational costs.
Our Cloud Networking Solutions
We are a leading supplier of cloud networking solutions that use software innovations to address the needs of large-scale internet companies, cloud service providers and next-generation enterprise data centers and campuses. Our cloud networking platform was purpose-built to address the functional and performance requirements for cloud networks. We deliver our solutions via our industry-leading 10/25/40/50/100 Gigabit Ethernet switches and routers optimized for next-generation data center networks.
Our cloud networking solutions consist of EOS, our Extensible Operating System, a set of networking applications and our Gigabit Ethernet platforms. At the core of our cloud networking platform is EOS, which was architected to be fully programmable and highly modular.
The programmability of EOS has allowed us to create a set of software applications and application programming interfaces, or APIs, that address the requirements of cloud networking, including workflow automation, network visibility and analytics, and has further allowed us to integrate rapidly with a wide range of third-party applications for virtualization, management, automation, orchestration and network services.
The key benefits of our cloud networking solutions are as follows:
Capacity, Performance and Scalability
Our cloud networking platform enables data center networks to scale to hundreds of thousands of physical servers and millions of virtual machines with the least number of switching tiers. We achieve this by leveraging standard protocols to meet the scale requirements of cloud computing. We have used active-active Layer 2 and Layer 3 network topologies to enable customers to build extremely large and resilient networks.
High Availability
Our highly modular EOS software architecture was designed to be fault-isolating and self-healing in order to deliver higher stability compared to legacy network operating systems. In addition, our customers can non-disruptively upgrade our switches running in the network using our Smart System Upgrade, or SSU, application.

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Open and Programmable
Our EOS software was purpose-built to offer programmable interfaces throughout all levels of our software. This has allowed us to integrate our cloud networking platform with a wide range of leading third-party applications. For example, we support VMware NSX, OpenStack and Microsoft System Center for orchestration and fast provisioning, enabling true workload mobility and automatic provisioning of physical switches. We enable customers, through application programming interfaces, to write their own scripts to customize and optimize their networks. In addition, we support a wide range of software-defined network controllers via our OpenFlow and DirectFlow interfaces.
Workflow Automation
Our EOS software enables enterprises to provision networking resources in minutes with no manual intervention through our Zero Touch Provisioning. We also natively support Ansible, CFEngine, Chef, Puppet, virtual network orchestration applications and third-party management tools. CloudVision, a network-wide approach for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivers a turnkey solution for cloud networking. CloudVision extends the same EOS architectural approach across the network for state, topology, monitoring and visibility. This enables enterprises to move to cloud-class automation without needing significant internal development. Finally, EOS embraces the DevOps model, which is a software development method that combines development and operations, to provision and monitor servers, storage and network resources in a unified fashion.
Network Visibility
Our EOS software provides a set of tools and applications that proactively monitor, detect and notify network managers when network issues arise, delivering real-time data to third-party management applications including Corvil, ExtraHop, Riverbed and Splunk to provide detailed application visibility. Our telemetry applications include VM Tracer, which provides visibility down to the virtual machine level, Path Tracer, which detects errors in provisioned network paths, MapReduce Tracer, which monitors and optimizes the performance of Hadoop workloads, and Health Tracer, which monitors infrastructure resiliency. Our network visibility applications provide real-time insight into the status of the network. They include LANZ, which monitors latency, and DANZ 2017, a set of features previously only available in add-on network visibility devices, which provides advanced traffic monitoring with flow analysis and timestamps, plus the ability to perform tap aggregation for reporting and analysis.
Security
Macro-Segmentation Services (MSS™) is one of the services enabled via CloudVision. Since CloudVision maintains a network-wide database of all state within the network, as well as direct integration with hypervisor resources like VMware vSphere and NSX. It is aware of every workload that is within the network and it learns in real time about new devices or workloads that are added or removed from the network, or moved across ports or servers. Macro-segmentation extends the concept of fine-grained inter-hypervisor security to cloud networks by enabling dynamic security and services for physical to virtual workloads. Macro-segmentation security is a complement to fine-grained security delivered via micro-segmentation that is already implemented in the virtual switch of the physical host on which a VM is running.
Lower Total Cost of Ownership
Our cloud networking platform offers architectural and system advantages that provide our customers with cost-effective and highly available cloud networking solutions. Our programmable, scalable leaf-spine architectures, combined with industry-leading applications, significantly reduce networking costs when compared to legacy network designs, enabling faster time to service and improved availability. Our automation tools reduce the operational costs of provisioning, managing and monitoring a data center network and speed up service delivery. Our visibility tools provide high levels of visibility into complex network environments without the need for additional data collection equipment. As a result, fewer network engineers are needed to operate large networks.

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Our Market Opportunity
We compete primarily in the data center switching market for 10 Gigabit Ethernet and above, excluding blade switches. We also compete in the enterprise campus market for 1 Gigabit Ethernet switching and above and cloud-managed wireless networking.
We believe that cloud computing represents a fundamental shift from traditional legacy data centers and that cloud networking is the fastest growing segment within the data center switching market. As organizations of all sizes are adopting cloud architectures, spending on cloud and next-generation data centers has increased rapidly over the last several years, while traditional legacy IT spending has been growing more slowly. Our 7150, 7050, 7250, 7300 and 7500 Series platforms are now listed on the U. S. Department of Defense Approved Products Lists Integrated Tracking System by the Defense Information Systems Agency.
Our Customers
As of December 31, 2018, we had delivered our cloud networking solutions to over 5,500 end customers worldwide in approximately 86 countries. Our end customers span a range of industries and include large internet companies, service providers, financial services organizations, government agencies, media and entertainment companies and others. For each of the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017, and 2016, Microsoft purchases, through our channel partner World Wide Technology, Inc., accounted for more than 10% of our total revenue.
Our Competitive Strengths
We believe the following strengths will allow us to maintain and extend our technology leadership position in cloud networking and next-generation data center Ethernet products:
Purpose-Built Cloud Networking Platform. We have developed a highly scalable cloud networking platform that uses software to address the needs of large-scale internet companies, cloud service providers, financial services organizations, government agencies and media and entertainment companies, including virtualization, big data and low-latency applications. As a result, our cloud networking platform does not have the inherent limitations of legacy network architectures.
Broad and Differentiated Portfolio. Using multiple silicon architectures, we deliver switches and routers with industry-leading capacity, low latency, port density and power efficiency and have innovated in areas such as deep packet buffers, embedded optics and reversible cooling. Our broad portfolio has allowed us to offer customers products that best match their specific requirements.
Single Binary Image Software. The single binary image of EOS software allows us to maintain feature consistency across our entire product portfolio and enables us to introduce new software innovations into the market that become available to our entire installed base without a “forklift upgrade” (i.e., a broad upgrade of the data center infrastructure).
Rapid Development of New Features and Applications. Our highly modular EOS software has allowed us to rapidly deliver new features and applications while preserving the structural integrity and quality of our network operating system. We believe our ability to deliver new features and capabilities more quickly than legacy switch/router operators, provides us with a strategic advantage given that the requirements in cloud and next-generation data center networking continue to evolve rapidly.
Deep Understanding of Customer Requirements. We have developed close working relationships with many of our largest customers that provide us with insights about their needs and future requirements. This has allowed us to develop and deliver products to market that meet customer demands and expectations as well as to rapidly grow sales to existing customers.
Strong Management and Engineering Team with Significant Data Center Networking Expertise. Our management and engineering team consists of networking veterans with extensive data center networking expertise. Our President and Chief Executive Officer, Jayshree Ullal, with 30+ years of networking expertise from silicon to systems companies. Andy Bechtolsheim, our Founder and Chief Development Officer, was previously a Founder and chief system architect at Sun Microsystems. Kenneth Duda, our Founder and Chief Technology Officer, led the software development effort of EOS.

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Significant Technology Lead. We believe that our networking technology represents a fundamental advance in networking software. Our EOS software is state-driven and the result of more than 1,000 man-years of research and development investment over a ten-year period with 10+ million lines of code as a key cloud networking software stack.
Our Products and Technology
We offer one of the broadest product lines of data center 10/25/40/50/100 Gigabit Ethernet switches and routers in the industry, comprising our 7010/7020 Series, 7050X Series, 7060X Series, 7130 Series, 7160 Series, 7150 Series, 7170 Series, 7250X Series, 7260 Series, 7280R Series Universal Leaf products, 7300X Series Spline products, and our 7500R Series Universal Spine products.
We deliver routing and switching platforms with industry-leading capacity, low latency, port density and power efficiency. We have also innovated in areas such as deep packet buffers, embedded optics and reversible cooling. An overview of our switching/routing portfolio is shown in the figure below.
aristaswitchingroutingportfo.jpg
We use multiple silicon architectures across our products, which allows us to build a broader range of products optimized for different functions in the network than competitors that utilize fewer silicon architectures. While we use multiple silicon architectures, all of our platforms are powered with the same binary EOS image, which significantly simplifies deployment and ensures the same rich feature set and consistent operation across all our products.
Our Extensible Operating System
The core of our cloud networking platform is our Extensible Operating System, or EOS, which runs on top of standard Linux and offers programmability at all layers of the stack. All of our 10/25/40/50/100 Gigabit Ethernet platforms run our EOS software.
EOS is based on a new and innovative architecture that is highly modular and consists of more than 100 separate processes that we call agents, each one handling specific protocol processing, device driver or system management functions. Each agent runs in user space as a separate Linux process and is completely protected and isolated from all other agents.
We are constantly investing in our core infrastructure to provide the capabilities required for building modern cloud networks and enhancing scalability. New requirements for use in cloud and service provider networks and hybrid cloud deployments in enterprises require on-going upgrades and extensions to our state oriented architecture.
EOS Attributes
The modular and programmable architecture of EOS enables us to offer a set of attributes, capabilities and features that are essential for cloud networking and next-generation data centers.

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High Availability
EOS is self-healing in the sense that individual processes can be restarted without impacting application traffic. This architectural design principle supports self-healing resiliency in our software, easier software maintenance and module independence, higher software quality overall, and faster time-to-market for new features that customers require.
Programmable at All Layers
EOS is programmable at all layers from the Linux kernel to switch configuration, provisioning, automation and detailed monitoring of the network. Public cloud providers have leveraged tools such as the EOS Software Development Kit (“SDK”) and eAPI to implement fully customized infrastructure automation solutions.
Workflow Visibility
Through EOS, we have developed a wide range of applications available to our customers for purchase as additional licenses that enable enhanced network monitoring and visibility without requiring additional external monitoring devices. This includes (i) DataANalyZer (DANZ), which provides access to raw network data for analysis by security, troubleshooting and performance management tools, (ii) Latency/loss ANalyZer (LANZ), which provides access to internal network performance loads and packet loss and latency occurring at the microsecond level, (iii) Network Telemetry, which provides network state information including correlations with dynamic state of the systems operating on the network such as Hypervisors, distributed job controls and (iv) Network Tracers, which provide active integration and diagnostics for various workload conditions dependent upon network performance.
Network Automation
EOS supports Puppet, Chef and Ansible, which enables automatic network configuration in the same manner as servers and storage. In addition, EOS provides tools that greatly reduce network operational costs. Another major component of network automation is Cloud Vision.
CloudVision
CloudVision’s abstraction of the physical network to a broader, network-wide perspective allows for a more efficient approach for several operational use-cases, including the following highlights:
Centralized representation of distributed network state, allowing for a single point of integration and network-wide visibility and analytics;
Controller agnostic support for physical and virtual workload orchestration through open APIs such as OVSDB, JSON and Openstack plugins;
Turn-key automation for zero touch provisioning, configuration management and network-wide upgrades and rollback;
Compliance Dashboard for Security, Audit and patch management;
Real-time Streaming for Telemetry and Network Analytics, a modern approach to replace legacy polling per device;
Provides visibility and troubleshooting for underlay and overlay networks; and
Enables Macro-Segmentation Services which provides a dynamic and scalable network service to logically insert security devices into the path of traffic, regardless of whether the security device or workload is physical or virtual and with complete flexibility on placement of security devices and workloads.
Containerized EOS
Arista cEOS™ is a containerized packaging of EOS software and its agents for deployment in cloud infrastructure with the same proven EOS software image that runs on all of our products. These flexible deployment options empower cloud network operators that are customizing their operating environments to provide a uniform workflow for development, testing and deployment of differentiated services. It enables the provisioning of a robust and proven network operating system across production and development platforms with a uniform EOS

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distribution and single-image consistency. Our customers can also utilize cEOS in tandem with industry standard white box hardware and enable a wide array of tools and applications from the container ecosystem. 
Arista vEOS Router
The Arista vEOS Router is a core component of Arista Any Cloud Platform. The vEOS Router is our same, proven single EOS software image, offered as a multi-cloud and multi-hypervisor virtual router. This cloud-grade and feature-rich software platform empowers enterprises and service providers to build consistent, highly secure and scalable cloud networks. The Arista vEOS router is designed to support any public or hybrid cloud environment, including Amazon Web Services (“AWS”), Microsoft Azure Cloud, Microsoft Azure Stack, Google Cloud Platform, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
Leaf-Spine Network Designs
Our customers typically deploy leaf-spine network topologies consisting of leaf switches or top-of-rack switches, located in the server rack connected with uplinks to multiple load-sharing spine switches and routers that provide the backbone. Our leaf-spine network designs scale up to more than 300,000 physical servers and millions of virtual machines using Equal Cost Multiple Path, or ECMP, to load balance Layer 3 network traffic across multiple spine switches and routers. With Multi-Chassis Link Aggregation, or MLAG, we can build an active-active Layer 2 network that can connect more than 25,000 physical servers. Our leaf-spine network designs have been widely deployed and provide predictable network bandwidth and latency. A key advantage of predictable network performance is that it eliminates the need to optimize the network for specific applications, which means a single network design works equally well for all applications.
Enterprise resources commonly span multiple data centers or Performance Optimized Datacenters (“PODs”) within a data center, including the public cloud. The drive to deliver resources quickly, affordably, and reliably also drives the need for a flexible, cost-effective, scale-out design at the data center core, which we refer to as the “spine of spines” or Universal Spine. The Universal Spine is non-blocking, supports large scale ECMP, IP routing and routing convergence. The Universal Spine enables architects to build the network around the spine and collapse legacy networking layers into the Universal Spine.
Examples of our leaf-spine and universal leaf-spine architectures are illustrated below.
leafspine2a03.jpg

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Any Cloud Platform for Hybrid Cloud Networking
The Arista Any Cloud software platform is intended to reduce operational costs and complexity for enterprises by simplifying integration and management of hybrid clouds across private cloud data centers and public cloud providers. The new virtualized offering and Arista vEOS™ Router, combined with CloudVision® and Cloud Tracer™ functionality, provides consistent operations, orchestration, security and telemetry across multi-cloud environments.
The Arista Any Cloud platform is designed to support any public or hybrid cloud environment, including AWS, the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, Microsoft Azure Stack, an extension of Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Support in each environment is coupled with validation and registration of these solutions in the cloud marketplace infrastructure provided by each cloud provider, thus making deployment simple for the enterprise customer.
This platform will be further enhanced by integration with the Equinix Cloud Exchange™, which provides direct high-performance connections to 70+ cloud providers.
Cloud Principles Migrate Enterprise from PINs to PICs
With the Arista Any Cloud solution, enterprise customers can now deploy a reliable and secure multi-cloud experience with a common Universal Cloud Network approach across all of the places-in-the-cloud (“PICs”) as opposed to siloed Places-In-the-Network (“PINs”) of the legacy enterprise. This enables IT organizations to harness dispersed cloud resources anywhere for better availability of services and applications across any cloud, any workload and any location.
Cognitive WiFi
With the acquisition of Mojo, we now integrate the wireless edge via the CloudVision platform. The Cognitive WiFi architecture is tailored to enable an Arista access point portfolio in a controller-less wireless network. These access point (“AP”) solutions are available in disaggregated options harnessing the power of cloud, machine learning and cognitive computing to deliver great experiences to WiFi users. Our Cognitive WiFi delivers massive scalability, and a linear pay-as-you-go pricing model, providing a predictable total cost of ownership path. CloudVision WiFi is based on a similar CMP model for cognitive analytics unifying the operational experience across wired and wireless. CloudVision WiFi enhances real-time insight into the experience of WiFi clients to connect and utilize the network. Client Journey is a set of dashboards that help operators diagnose client connectivity, track availability of network services and identify the root cause of WiFi issues with live and historical telemetry data for the proactive assessment of client to application performance.
Arista Cognitive Campus includes a suite of WiFi Tracer tools for wireless security, reachability and network health diagnostics. The Integrated Wireless Intrusion Protection System (“WIPS”) protects networks against rogue APs, honeypots and implements device classification to determine authorized client devices connecting to unauthorized APs. Additional WIPS scanning is accomplished via a dedicated third radio which can also perform various network performance and health diagnostics. The AP can simulate a client device—association and authentication instrumenting identity and access (AAA and DHCP/DNS) latencies, connectivity to the upstream network and voice calls to calculate MOS score and network throughput. These automated tests can be pre-scheduled without administrator intervention ensuring business ready WiFi. CloudVision WiFi applications fuses Arista access points with cloud networking spines and splines for a seamless topology view.
Cognitive Cloud Networking for the Campus
Our Cognitive Cloud Networking for the Campus is based on three principles:
Universal Cloud Network - Offered as an alternative to brittle, proprietary solutions from legacy vendors, our Universal Cloud Network is an open, standards-based design focusing on software-driven control principles. Our collapsed Spline™ approach consolidates traditional campus core and aggregation layers into a simple single tier with high availability.
Cognitive Management Plane - There is a dire void in management plane consistency and a need for data-driven analytics in the campus, as in the data center. We believe that a common model can be applied across both, saving

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customers operational costs. The Cognitive Management Plane, based on Arista CloudVision, is a data-driven repository for the automated actions across network analytics.
Securing The Campus - Securing the Campus spline requires a holistic approach to network segmentation, device compliance and auditing, as well as service integration with our security partners. We deliver these capabilities through EOS and CloudVision.
Examples of our Cognitive Cloud Networking architectures are illustrated below.
cognitivecloudnetworking1231.jpg
Customer Support and Services
We have designed our customer support offerings to provide our customers with high levels of support. Our global team of support engineers engages directly with client IT teams and is available at all times over e-mail, by phone or through our website.
We offer multiple service options that allow our customers to select the product replacement service level that best meets their needs. We stock spare parts in over 125 locations around the world through our third-party logistics suppliers. All of our service options include unlimited access to bug-fixes, new feature-releases, online case management and our community forums.
Sales and Marketing
We market and sell our products through our direct sales force and in partnership with our channel partners, including distributors, value-added resellers, systems integrators and OEM partners. We also sell in conjunction with various technology partners. To facilitate channel coordination and increase productivity, we have created a partner program, the Arista Partner Program, to engage partners who provide value-added services and extend our reach into the marketplace. Authorized training partners perform technical training of our channel partners and end customers. Our partners commonly receive an order from an end customer prior to placing an order with us, and we confirm the identification of the end customer prior to accepting such orders. Our partners generally do not stock inventory received from us.
Our sales organization is supported by systems engineers with deep technical expertise and responsibility for pre-sales technical support and solutions engineering for our end customers, systems integrators, original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, and channel partners. A pool of shared channel sales and marketing representatives also supports these teams. Each sales team is responsible for a geographical territory, has responsibility for a number of major direct end-customer accounts or has assigned accounts in a specific vertical market. We have field sales teams operating in approximately 86 countries.

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Our marketing activities consist primarily of technology conferences, web marketing, trade shows, product demonstrations, seminars and events, public relations, analyst relations, demand generation and direct marketing to build our brand, increase end-customer awareness, communicate our product advantages and generate qualified leads for our field sales force and channel partners.
Research and Development
We believe our future success depends on our ability to develop new products and features that address the needs of our end customers. Our in-house engineering personnel are responsible for the development, quality, documentation, support and release of our products. We plan to continue to invest significantly in resources to conduct our research and development efforts.
Manufacturing
We subcontract the manufacturing of all of our products to various contract manufacturers. Our primary manufacturing partners are Jabil Circuit, Sanmina Corporation and Foxconn. This approach allows us to reduce our costs, manufacturing overhead and inventory position and allows us to adjust more quickly to changing end-customer demand. We require all of our manufacturing locations to be ISO-9001 certified. Our EOS software is installed on our products at one of three direct fulfillment facilities.
Our contract manufacturing partners procure the majority of the components needed to build our products and assemble our products according to our design specifications. This allows us to leverage the purchasing power of our contract manufacturing partners. We retain complete control over the bill of material, test procedures and quality assurance programs. Our on-site personnel work closely with our partners and review on an ongoing basis forecasts, inventory levels, processes, capacity, yields and overall quality. Our contract manufacturing partners procure components and assemble our products based on our demand forecasts. These forecasts represent our estimates of future demand for our products based upon historical trends and analyses from our sales and product management functions as adjusted for overall market conditions. We update these forecasts monthly.
Our products rely on key components, including merchant silicon, integrated circuit components and power supplies purchased from a limited number of suppliers, including certain sole source providers. Generally, neither our contract manufacturers nor we have a written agreement with these component providers to guarantee the supply of the key components used in our products nor do we have exclusive rights to such key components. Our product development efforts also depend upon continued collaboration with our key suppliers, including our merchant silicon vendors such as Broadcom and Intel. As we develop our product roadmap and continue to expand our relationships with these and other merchant silicon vendors, it is critical that we work in tandem with our key merchant silicon vendors to ensure that their silicon includes improved features and that our products take advantage of such improved features. This enables us to focus our research and development resources on software core competencies and to leverage the investments made by merchant silicon vendors to achieve cost-effective solutions.
Once the completed products are manufactured and tested, our contract manufacturing partners ship them to various theatre direct fulfillment facilities in the United States, the Netherlands and Singapore for final configuration, quality control inspection and shipment to our distribution partners and end customers. After the products are shipped to our end customers, our products are installed by the end customers or by third-party service providers such as system integrators or value added resellers on their behalf.
Backlog
We do not have any long-term purchase commitments from customers. Customers generally order products on an as-needed basis with short lead and delivery times on a per-purchase-order basis. We maintain sufficient finished goods inventory to ensure that products can generally be shipped shortly after receipt of an order. A significant portion of our customer shipments in any fiscal year relate to orders received and shipped in that fiscal year. Our customers utilize purchase orders containing non-binding purchase commitments and we allow customers to cancel, change or reschedule orders without penalty at any time prior to shipment, and as a result we do not believe backlog is firm. Due to the foregoing factors, backlog is not a meaningful indicator in any given period of our ability to achieve any particular level of overall revenue or financial performance.

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Competition
The markets in which we compete are highly competitive and characterized by rapidly changing technology, changing end-customer needs, evolving industry standards, frequent introductions of new products and services and industry consolidation. We expect competition to intensify in the future as the market for cloud networking expands and existing competitors and new market entrants introduce new products or enhance existing products.
The data center and campus networking markets have been historically dominated by Cisco Systems (“Cisco”), with competition also coming from other large network equipment and system vendors, including Extreme Networks, Dell/EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Juniper Networks and Mist Systems. Most of our competitors and some strategic alliance partners have made acquisitions and/or have entered into or extended partnerships or other strategic relationships to offer more comprehensive product lines, including cloud networking solutions. For example, in the last few years alone, Broadcom acquired Brocade Communications Systems, Extreme Networks purchased certain data center networking assets from Broadcom/Brocade and Avaya, Dell acquired Force10 and EMC, IBM acquired Blade Network Technology, Hewlett Packard Enterprise acquired Aruba Networks, Juniper Networks acquired Contrail Systems, and Cisco acquired Insieme Networks. We also face competition from other companies and new market entrants, including “whitebox” switch vendors as well as current technology partners and end customers who may acquire or develop network switches and cloud service solutions for internal use and/or to broaden their portfolio of products to market and sell to customers. Furthermore, our relationships with our strategic alliance partners may shift as industry dynamics changes. If strategic alliance partners acquire or develop competitive products or services, our relationship with those partners may be adversely impacted, which could lead to more variability to our results of operations and impact the pricing of our solutions.
The principal competitive factors applicable to our products include:
breadth of product offerings and features;
reliability and product quality;
ease of use;
pricing;
total cost of ownership, including automation, monitoring and integration costs;
performance and scale;
programmability and extensibility;
interoperability with other products;
ability to be bundled with other vendor offerings; and
quality of service, support and fulfillment.
We believe our products compete favorably with respect to these factors. Our EOS software offers high reliability, integrates with existing network protocols and is open and programmable. We believe the combination of EOS, a set of network applications and our 10/25/40/50/100 Gigabit Ethernet platforms make our offering highly competitive for both cloud and enterprise data centers. However, many of our competitors have greater name recognition, longer operating histories, larger sales and marketing budgets and resources, broader distribution and established relationships with channel partners and end customers, greater access to larger end-customer bases, greater end-customer support resources, greater manufacturing resources, the ability to leverage their sales efforts across a broader portfolio of products, the ability to leverage purchasing power when purchasing subcomponents, the ability to bundle competitive offerings with other products and services, the ability to develop their own silicon chips, the ability to set more aggressive pricing policies, lower labor and development costs, greater resources to make acquisitions, larger intellectual property portfolios and substantially greater financial, technical, research and development or other resources.
Intellectual Property
Our success and ability to compete depend substantially upon our core technology and intellectual property. We rely on patent, trademark and copyright laws, trade secret protection and confidentiality agreements with our employees, end customers, resellers, systems integrators and others to protect our intellectual property rights. We

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file U.S and foreign patent applications to protect our intellectual property and believe that the duration of our issued patents is adequate relative to the expected lives of our products.
We cannot assure you that any of our patent applications will result in the issuance of a patent or whether the examination process will result in patents of valuable breadth or applicability. In addition, any patents that may be issued may be contested, circumvented, found unenforceable or invalidated, and we may not be able to prevent third parties from infringing them. We also license software from third parties for integration into our products, including open source software and other software available on commercially reasonable terms. We also own a number of trademarks in the U.S. and other jurisdictions, including Arista, EOS, CloudVision, CloudStream, CVP, CVX, Health Tracer, MapReduce Tracer, Path Tracer, MXP, MSS, RAIL, Score, SPLINE, SuperSpine, SSU, FlexRoute, NetRollBack, NetDB, OSFP, AlgoMatch, Macro-Segmentation and Macro-Segmentation Service.
We control access to and use of our software, technology and other proprietary information through internal and external controls, including contractual protections with employees, contractors, end customers and partners. Our software is protected by U.S. and international copyright, patent and trade secret laws. Despite our efforts to protect our software, technology and other proprietary information, unauthorized parties may still copy or otherwise obtain and use our software, technology and other proprietary information. In addition, we intend to expand our international operations, and effective patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret protection may not be available or may be limited in foreign countries.
Our industry is characterized by the existence of a large number of patents and frequent claims and related litigation regarding patent and other intellectual property rights. If we become more successful, we believe that competitors will be more likely to try to develop products that are similar to ours and that may infringe our proprietary rights. It may also be more likely that competitors or other third parties will claim that our products infringe their proprietary rights. In particular, large and established companies in our industry have extensive patent portfolios and are regularly involved in both offensive and defensive litigation. From time to time, third parties, including certain of these large companies and non-practicing entities, may assert patent, copyright, trademark and other intellectual property rights against us, our channel partners or our end customers, whom our standard license and other agreements obligate us to indemnify against such claims. Please see “Legal Proceedings” included in Part I, Item 3 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, for a description of this litigation.
Furthermore, in order to comply with the United States International Trade Commission (“USITC”) exclusion and cease and desist orders previously issued in relation to the Cisco legal matter, we made certain design changes to our products for sale in the United States. See Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for details. Following the expiration and invalidation of related patent claims, effective July 1, 2018, certain features previously covered by the orders could be re-incorporated into our products. We are working with customers to complete any remaining re-qualification procedures related to the reintroduction of these features, the timing of which could result in an impact to our revenue and our deferred revenue balances.
Successful claims of infringement by a third party, if any, could prevent us from distributing certain products or performing certain services, require us to expend time and money to develop non-infringing solutions or force us to pay substantial damages, royalties or other fees. We cannot assure you that we do not currently infringe, or that we will not in the future infringe, upon any third-party patents or other proprietary rights.
Employees
As of December 31, 2018, we employed approximately 2,300 full-time employees. None of our employees are represented by unions. We consider our relationship with our employees to be good and have not experienced significant interruptions of operations due to labor disagreements.
Corporate Information
We were incorporated in the State of California as Arastra, Inc. in October 2004. We reincorporated in the State of Nevada in March 2008, and we changed our name to Arista Networks, Inc. in October 2008. We reincorporated in the State of Delaware in March 2014.

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Available Information
Our website is located at www.arista.com and our investor relations website is located at investors.arista.com. Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to reports filed or furnished pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), are available free of charge on the Investors portion of our web site as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Webcasts of our earnings calls and certain events we participate in or host with members of the investment community are on our investor relations website. Additionally, we announce investor information, including news and commentary about our business and financial performance, SEC filings, notices of investor events, and our press and earnings releases, on our investor relations website. Investors and others can receive notifications of new information posted on our investor relations website in real time by signing up for email alerts and RSS feeds. Further corporate governance information, including our corporate governance guidelines, board committee charters, and code of conduct, is also available on our investor relations website under the heading “Governance.” The contents of our websites, or information that can be accessed through our websites, are not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other report or document we file with the SEC, and any references to our websites are intended to be inactive textual references only.

Item 1A. Risk Factors
You should consider carefully the risks and uncertainties described below, together with all of the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which could materially affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. The risks described below are not the only risks facing us. Risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial also may materially affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Risks Related to Our Business and Our Industry
Our business and operations have experienced rapid growth, and if we do not appropriately manage any future growth or are unable to improve our systems and processes, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects will be adversely affected.
We have experienced rapid growth and increased demand for our products over the last several years, which has placed a strain on our management, administrative, operational and financial infrastructure. Our employee headcount and number of end customers have increased, and we expect both to continue to grow over the next year. For example, between December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2018, our headcount grew from approximately 1,200 employees to approximately 2,300 employees, and our cumulative number of end customers grew from approximately 3,700 to over 5,500. As we have grown, we have had to manage an increasingly large and more complex array of internal systems and processes to scale with all aspects of our business, including our hardware and software development, contract manufacturing, purchasing, logistics, fulfillment and maintenance and support. Our success will depend in part upon our ability to manage our growth effectively. To do so, we must continue to increase the productivity of our existing employees and continue to hire, train and manage new employees as needed. To manage domestic and international growth of our operations and personnel, we will need to continue to improve our operational, financial and management controls and our reporting processes and procedures and implement more extensive and integrated financial and business information systems. We may not be able to successfully implement these or other improvements to our systems and processes in an efficient or timely manner, and we may discover deficiencies in their capabilities or effectiveness. We may experience difficulties in managing improvements to our systems and processes or in connection with third-party technology. In addition, our systems and processes may not prevent or detect all errors, omissions or fraud. Our failure to improve our systems and processes, or their failure to operate effectively and in the intended manner, may result in disruption of our current operations and end-customer relationships, our inability to manage the growth of our business and our inability to accurately forecast our revenue, expenses and earnings and prevent certain losses.

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The cloud networking market is rapidly evolving. If this market does not evolve as we anticipate or our target end customers do not adopt our cloud networking solutions, we may not be able to compete effectively, and our ability to generate revenue will suffer.
A substantial portion of our business and revenue depends on the growth and evolution of the cloud networking market. The market demand for cloud networking solutions has increased in recent years as end customers have deployed larger, more sophisticated networks and have increased the use of virtualization and cloud computing. The continued growth of this market will be dependent upon many factors including but not limited to the adoption of and demand for our end customers’ products and services, the expansion, evolution and build out of our end customers’ networks, the capacity utilization of existing network infrastructures, changes in the technological requirements for the products and services to be deployed in these networks, the amount and mix of capital spending by our end customers, the development of network switches and cloud service solutions by our large end customers for internal use, the financial performance and prospects of our end customers, the availability of capital resources to our end customers, changes in government regulation that could impact cloud networking business models including those regulations related to cyber security, privacy, data protection and net neutrality, our ability to provide cloud networking solutions that address the needs of end customers more effectively and economically than those of other competitors or existing technologies and general economic conditions.
If the cloud networking solutions market does not develop in the way we anticipate or otherwise experiences a slow-down, if our solutions do not offer benefits compared to competing networking products or if end customers do not recognize the benefits that our solutions provide, then our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially adversely affected.
Our limited operating history makes it difficult to evaluate our current business and future prospects and may increase the risk associated with your investment.
We shipped our first products in 2008 and the majority of our revenue growth has occurred since the beginning of 2010. Our limited operating history makes it difficult to evaluate our current business and our future prospects, including our ability to plan for and model future growth. We have encountered and will continue to encounter risks and difficulties frequently experienced by rapidly growing companies in constantly evolving industries, including the risks described elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. If we do not address these risks successfully, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects will be adversely affected, and the market price of our common stock could decline. Further, we have limited historical financial data, and we operate in a rapidly evolving market. As such, any predictions about our future revenue and expenses may not be as accurate as they would be if we had a longer operating history or operated in a more predictable market.
We pursue new product offerings and technology initiatives from time to time, and if we fail to successfully carry out these initiatives, our business, financial condition, or results of operations could be adversely impacted.
As part of the evolution of our business, we have made substantial investments to develop new products and enhancements to existing products through our acquisitions and research and development efforts. If we are unable to anticipate technological changes in our industry by introducing new or enhanced products in a timely and cost-effective manner, or if we fail to introduce products that meet market demand, we may lose our competitive position, our products may become obsolete, and our business, financial condition or results of operations could be adversely affected.
Additionally, from time to time, we invest in expansion into adjacent markets, including the campus switching and WiFi networking markets. Although we believe these solutions are complementary to our current offerings, we have less experience and a more limited operating history in these markets, and our efforts in this area may not be successful. Expanding our services in existing and new markets and increasing the depth and breadth of our presence imposes significant burdens on our marketing, compliance, and other administrative and managerial resources. Our plan to expand and deepen our market share in our existing markets and possibly expand into additional markets is subject to a variety of risks and challenges. Our success in these new markets depends on a variety of factors, including the following:
Our ability to develop new products and services that address the customer requirements for these markets;

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Our ability to attract a customer base in markets in which we have less experience;
Our successful development of new sales and marketing strategies to meet customer requirements;
Our ability to compete with new and existing competitors in these adjacent markets, many of which may have more financial resources, market experience, brand recognition, relevant intellectual property rights, or established customer relationships than we currently do;
Our ability to skillfully balance our investment in adjacent markets with investment in our existing products and services;
Additionally, future market share gains may take longer than planned and cause us to incur significant costs. Difficulties in any of our new product development efforts or our efforts to enter adjacent markets could adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.
If we do not successfully anticipate technological shifts, market needs and opportunities, and develop products and product enhancements that meet those technological shifts, needs and opportunities, or if those products are not made available in a timely manner or do not gain market acceptance, we may not be able to compete effectively, and our ability to generate revenue will suffer.
We must continue to enhance our existing products and develop new technologies and products that address emerging technological trends, evolving industry standards and changing end-customer needs. The process of enhancing our existing products and developing new technology is complex and uncertain, and new offerings requires significant upfront investment that may not result in material design improvements to existing products or result in marketable new products or costs savings or revenue for an extended period of time, if at all.
In addition, new technologies could render our existing products obsolete or less attractive to end customers, and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially adversely affected if such technologies are widely adopted. For example, end customers may prefer to address their network switch requirements by licensing software operating systems separately and placing them on industry-standard servers or develop their own networking products rather than purchasing integrated hardware products as has occurred in the server industry.
In the past several years, we have announced a number of new products and enhancements to our products and services. The success of our new products depends on several factors including, but not limited to, appropriate new product definition, the development of product features that sufficiently meet end-user requirements, component costs, timely completion and introduction of these products, prompt solution of any defects or bugs in these products, our ability to support these products, differentiation of new products from those of our competitors and market acceptance of these products.
Our product releases introduced new software products that include the capability for disaggregation of our software operating systems from our hardware. The success of our strategy to expand our software business is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including the additional development efforts and costs to create these new products or make them compatible with other technologies, the potential for our strategy to negatively impact revenues and gross margins and additional costs associated with regulatory compliance.
We may not be able to successfully anticipate or adapt to changing technology or end-customer requirements on a timely basis, or at all. If we fail to keep up with technology changes or to convince our end customers and potential end customers of the value of our solutions even in light of new technologies, we may lose customers, decrease or delay market acceptance and sales of our present and future products and services and materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
To remain competitive, we must successfully manage product introductions and transitions.
Our ability to continue to compete effectively in a rapidly evolving market requires that we successfully release new products that meet the increasingly sophisticated networking requirements of our end customers. The success of new product introductions will depend on a number of factors including, but not limited to, timely and successful product development, market acceptance of our new products, our ability to penetrate new markets, our ability to manage the risks associated with new product production ramp-up issues, the timely development and availability of new merchant silicon chips from our suppliers, the effective management of purchase commitments

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and inventory in line with anticipated product demand, the availability of products in appropriate quantities and costs to meet anticipated demand, and the risk that new products may have quality or other defects or deficiencies in the early stages of introduction. For example, our new product releases will require strong execution from our third party merchant silicon chip suppliers to develop and release new merchant silicon chips that satisfy end-customer requirements, to meet expected release schedules and to provide sufficient quantities of these components. In addition, we recently introduced Arista Cognitive Cloud Networking for the Campus as well as Mojo Cognitive Wifi and Metamako low latency switches. If we are unable to successfully manage our product introductions or transitions, or if we fail to penetrate new markets, as a result of any of these or other factors, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be adversely affected.
Our revenue growth rate in recent periods may not be indicative of our future performance.
Our revenue growth rate in recent periods may not be indicative of our future performance. We experienced annual revenue growth rates of 30.7%, 45.8%, and 34.8% in 2018, 2017, and 2016, respectively. In the future, we expect our revenue growth rates to decline as the size of our customer base increases, we achieve higher market penetration in our current target market and we continue to enter and expand into new target markets. Other factors may also contribute to declines in our growth rates, including changes in demand for our products and services, increased competition, our ability to successfully manage our expansion or continue to capitalize on growth opportunities, the maturation of our business and general economic and international trade conditions. You should not rely on our revenue for any prior quarterly or annual period as an indication of our future revenue or revenue growth. If we are unable to maintain consistent revenue or revenue growth, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially adversely affected and our stock price could be volatile.
Our results of operations are likely to vary significantly from period to period and be unpredictable and if we fail to meet the expectations of analysts or investors or our previously issued financial guidance, or if any forward-looking financial guidance does not meet the expectation of analysts or investors, the market price of our common stock could decline substantially.
Our results of operations have historically varied from period to period, and we expect that this trend will continue. As a result, you should not rely upon our past financial results for any period as indicators of future performance. Our results of operations in any given period can be influenced by a number of factors, many of which are outside of our control and may be difficult to predict, including:    
our ability to increase sales to existing customers and attract new end customers, including large end customers;
the budgeting cycles, purchasing practices and buying patterns of end customers, including large end customers who may receive lower pricing terms due to volume discounts and who may or may not make large bulk purchases in certain quarters;
changes in end-customer, geographic or product mix;
changes in growth rates of the networking market;
the cost and potential outcomes of existing and future litigation, including the OptumSoft litigation matters;
increased expenses resulting from the tariffs imposed by the U.S. on goods from other countries and tariffs imposed by other countries on U.S. goods, including the tariffs recently implemented and additional tariffs that have been proposed by the U.S. government on various imports from China;
changes in the sales and implementation cycles for our products including the qualification and testing of our products by our customers and any delays or cancellations of purchases caused by such activities;
the rate of expansion and productivity of our sales force including any expansion into new markets;
changes in our pricing policies, whether initiated by us or as a result of competition;
our inability to fulfill our end customers’ orders due to the availability of inventory, supply chain delays, access to key commodities or technologies or events that impact our manufacturers or their suppliers;
the amount and timing of operating costs and capital expenditures related to the operation and expansion of our business;
changes in end-customer, distributor or reseller requirements or market needs;

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difficulty forecasting, budgeting and planning due to limited visibility beyond the first two quarters into the spending plans of current or prospective customers;
deferral, reduction or cancellation of orders from end customers, including in anticipation of new products or product enhancements announced by us or our competitors, or warranty returns;
the inclusion of any acceptance provisions in our customer contracts or any delays in acceptance of those products;
the actual or rumored timing and success of new product and service introductions by us or our competitors or any other change in the competitive landscape of our industry, including consolidation among our competitors or end customers;
our ability to successfully expand our business domestically and internationally;
our ability to increase the size of our sales or distribution channel, any disruption in our sales or distribution channels, and/or termination of our relationship with important channel partners;
decisions by potential end customers to purchase our networking solutions from larger, more established vendors, white box vendors or their primary network equipment vendors;
price competition;
insolvency or credit difficulties confronting our end customers, which could adversely affect their ability to purchase or pay for our products and services, or confronting our key suppliers, including our sole source suppliers, which could disrupt our supply chain;
seasonality or cyclical fluctuations in our markets;
future accounting pronouncements or changes in our accounting policies;
stock-based compensation expense;
our overall effective tax rate, including impacts caused by any reorganization in our corporate structure, any changes in our valuation allowance for domestic deferred tax assets and any new legislation or regulatory developments, including the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “Tax Act”);
increases or decreases in our expenses caused by fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, as an increasing portion of our expenses are incurred and paid in currencies other than the U.S. dollar;
general economic conditions, both domestically and in foreign markets; and
other risk factors described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Any one of the factors above or the cumulative effect of several of the factors described above may result in significant fluctuations in our financial and other results of operations. This variability and unpredictability could result in our failure to meet our revenue, gross margins, results of operations or other expectations contained in any forward looking financial guidance we have issued or the expectations of securities analysts or investors for a particular period. If we fail to meet or exceed such guidance or expectations for these or any other reasons, the market price of our common stock could decline substantially, and we could face costly lawsuits, including securities class action suits.
If we are unable to attract new large end customers or to sell additional products to our existing end customers, our revenue growth will be adversely affected and our revenue could decrease.
To increase our revenue, we must add new end customers and large end customers and sell additional products to existing end customers. For example, one of our sales strategies is to target specific projects at our current end customers because they are familiar with the operational and economic benefits of our solutions, thereby reducing the sales cycle into these customers. We believe this opportunity with current end customers to be significant given their existing infrastructure and expected future spend. Another one of our sales strategies is focused on increasing penetration in the enterprise and campus markets. Enterprise and campus end customers typically start with small purchases, and there is often a long testing period. If we fail to attract new large end customers, including enterprise and campus end customers, or fail to reduce the sales cycle and sell additional products to our existing end customers, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects will be harmed.

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We expect large purchases by a limited number of end customers to continue to represent a substantial portion of our revenue, and any loss, delay, decline or other change in expected purchases could result in material quarter-to-quarter fluctuations of our revenue or otherwise adversely affect our results of operations.
Historically, large purchases by a relatively limited number of end customers have accounted for a significant portion of our revenue, particularly in the cloud networking market. Many of these end customers make large purchases to complete or upgrade specific data center installations and are typically made on a purchase-order basis rather than pursuant to long-term contracts. For example, revenue from sales to Microsoft, through our channel partner, World Wide Technology, Inc., accounted for 27%, 16% and 16% of our revenue for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively. Our sales to Microsoft as an end-user in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018 benefited from certain factors that may not repeat in fiscal 2019 or future years and the percentage of our revenue from Microsoft in fiscal 2019 may decline.
As a consequence of the concentrated nature of our customer base and their purchasing behavior, our quarterly revenue and results of operations may fluctuate from quarter to quarter and are difficult to estimate. Changes in the business requirements or focus, vendor selection, project prioritization, financial prospects, capital resources and expenditures or purchasing behavior of our key end customers could significantly decrease our sales to such end customers or could lead to delays, reductions or cancellations of planned purchases of our products or services. Moreover, because our sales will be based primarily on purchase orders, our customers may cancel, delay, reduce or otherwise modify their purchase commitments with little or no notice to us. This limited visibility regarding our end customers’ product needs, the timing and quantity of which could vary significantly, requires us to rely on estimated demand forecasts to determine how much material to purchase and product to manufacture.  Our failure to accurately forecast demand can lead to product shortages that can impede production by our customers and harm our customer relationships. And, in the event of a cancellation or reduction of an order, we may not have enough time to reduce operating expenses to mitigate the effect of the lost revenue on our business, which could materially affect our operating results.
We may be unable to sustain or increase our revenue from our large end customers, grow revenues with new or other existing end customers at the rate we anticipate or at all, or offset the discontinuation of concentrated purchases by our larger end customers with purchases by new or existing end customers. These customers can drive the growth in revenue for particular products and services based on factors such as: trends in the networking market, business mergers and acquisitions, trends in economic conditions and the overall fast growth of a customer's underlying business. These customers could choose to divert all or a portion of their business with us to one of our competitors, demand pricing concessions for our services, or require us to provide enhanced services that increase our costs. If these factors drove some of our large customers to cancel all or a portion of their business relationships with us, the growth in our business and the ability to meet our current and long-term financial forecasts may be materially impacted. We expect that such concentrated purchases will continue to contribute materially to our revenue for the foreseeable future and that our results of operations may fluctuate materially as a result of such larger end customers’ buying patterns. In addition, we may see consolidation of our customer base, such as among internet companies and cloud service providers, which could result in loss of end customers. The loss of such end customers, or a significant delay or reduction in their purchases, including reductions or delays due to customer departures from recent buying patterns, or an unfavorable change in competitive conditions could materially harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Some of our large end customers require more favorable terms and conditions from their vendors and may request price concessions. As we seek to sell more products to these end customers, we may be required to agree to terms and conditions that may have an adverse effect on our business or ability to recognize revenue.
Our large end customers have significant purchasing power and, as a result, may receive more favorable terms and conditions than we typically provide to other end customers, including lower prices, bundled upgrades, extended warranties, acceptance terms, indemnification terms and extended return policies and other contractual rights. As we seek to sell more products to these large end customers, an increased mix of our shipments may be subject to such terms and conditions, which may reduce our margins or affect the timing of our revenue recognition and thus may have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

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We face intense competition, especially from larger, well-established companies, and we may lack sufficient financial or other resources to maintain or improve our competitive position.
The markets in which we compete, including the markets for data center and campus networking, are intensely competitive, and we expect competition to increase in the future from established competitors and new market entrants. This competition could result in increased pricing pressure, reduced profit margins, increased sales and marketing expenses and our failure to increase, or the loss of, market share, any of which would likely seriously harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
The data center and campus networking markets have been historically dominated by Cisco Systems (“Cisco”), with competition also coming from other large network equipment and system vendors, including Extreme Networks, Dell/EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Juniper Networks and Mist Systems. Most of our competitors and some strategic alliance partners have made acquisitions and/or have entered into or extended partnerships or other strategic relationships to offer more comprehensive product lines, including cloud networking solutions. For example, in the last few years alone, Broadcom acquired Brocade Communications Systems, Extreme Networks purchased certain data center networking assets from Broadcom/Brocade and Avaya, Dell acquired Force10 and EMC, IBM acquired Blade Network Technology, Hewlett Packard Enterprise acquired Aruba Networks, Juniper Networks acquired Contrail Systems, and Cisco acquired Insieme Networks. We also face competition from other companies and new market entrants, including “white box” switch vendors as well as current technology partners, suppliers and end customers or other cloud service providers who mayacquire or develop network switches and cloud service solutions for internal use and/or to broaden their portfolio of products to market and sell to customers. Furthermore, our relationships with our strategic alliance partners may shift as industry dynamics changes. If strategic alliance partners acquire or develop competitive products or services, our relationship with those partners may be adversely impacted, which could lead to more variability to our results of operations and impact the pricing of our solutions.
Many of our existing and potential competitors enjoy substantial competitive advantages, such as:
greater name recognition and longer operating histories;
larger sales and marketing budgets and resources;
broader distribution and established relationships with channel partners and end customers;
greater access to larger end-customer bases;
greater end-customer support resources;
greater manufacturing resources;
the ability to leverage their sales efforts across a broader portfolio of products;
the ability to leverage purchasing power with vendor subcomponents;
the ability to bundle competitive offerings with other products and services;
the ability to develop their own silicon chips;
the ability to set more aggressive pricing policies including bundling of products that are competitive with ours with other products that we do not sell or with support service contracts;
lower labor and development costs;
greater resources to make acquisitions;
larger intellectual property portfolios; and
substantially greater financial, technical, research and development or other resources.
Our competitors also may be able to provide end customers with capabilities or benefits different from or greater than those we can provide in areas such as technical qualifications or geographic presence or may be able to provide end customers a broader range of products, services and prices. In addition, large competitors may have more extensive relationships with and within existing and potential end customers that provide them with an advantage in competing for business with those end customers. For example, certain large competitors encourage end customers of their other products and services to adopt their data networking solutions through discounted bundled product packages. Our ability to compete will depend upon our ability to provide a better solution than

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our competitors at a more competitive price. We may be required to make substantial additional investments in research, development, marketing and sales in order to respond to competition, and we cannot assure you that these investments will achieve any returns for us or that we will be able to compete successfully in the future.
We also expect increased competition if our market continues to expand. As we continue to expand globally, we may see new competition in different geographic regions. In particular, we may experience price-focused competition from competitors in Asia, especially from China. As we expand into new markets, we will face competition not only from our existing competitors but also from other competitors, including existing companies with strong technological, marketing, and sales positions in those markets, as well as those with greater resources, including technical and engineering resources, than we do. Conditions in our market could change rapidly and significantly as a result of technological advancements or other factors. Current or potential competitors may be acquired by third parties that have greater resources available than we do. Our current or potential competitors might take advantage of the greater resources of the larger organization resulting from these acquisitions to compete more vigorously or broadly with us. In addition, continued industry consolidation might adversely affect end customers’ perceptions of the viability of smaller and even medium-sized networking companies and, consequently, end customers’ willingness to purchase from those companies. Further, certain large end customers may develop network switches and cloud service solutions for internal use and/or to broaden their portfolio of products, which could allow these end customers to become new competitors in the market.
Industry consolidation may lead to increased competition and may harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Most of our competitors and some strategic alliance partners have made acquisitions and/or have entered into or extended partnerships or other strategic relationships to offer more comprehensive product lines, including cloud networking solutions. For example, in the last few years alone, Broadcom acquired Brocade Communications Systems, Extreme Networks purchased certain data center networking assets from Broadcom/Brocade and Avaya, Dell acquired Force10 and EMC, IBM acquired Blade Network Technology, Hewlett Packard Enterprise acquired Aruba Networks, Juniper Networks acquired Contrail Systems, and Cisco acquired Insieme Networks.
Moreover, large system vendors are increasingly seeking to deliver top-to-bottom cloud networking solutions to end customers that combine cloud-focused hardware and software solutions to provide an alternative to our products.
We expect this trend to continue as companies attempt to strengthen their market positions in an evolving industry and as companies are acquired or are unable to continue operations. Our relationship with our strategic alliance partners may shift as industry dynamics change. For example, companies that are strategic alliance partners in some areas of our business may acquire or form alliances with our competitors and could combine competitor product portfolios into unified offerings optimized for their platforms. Such changes could result in a reduction of business with us, a change in the terms upon which they offer us their products and services or even a termination of our strategic partnerships entirely. Industry consolidation may result in stronger competitors that are better able to compete with us, including any competitors that seek to become sole source vendors for end customers. This could lead to more variability in our results of operations and could have a material adverse effect on our business, the pricing of our solutions, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Managing the supply of our products and product components is complex. Insufficient supply and inventory may result in lost sales opportunities or delayed revenue, while excess inventory may harm our gross margins.
Managing the supply of our products and product components is complex, and our inventory management systems and related supply-chain visibility tools may not enable us to forecast accurately and manage effectively the supply of our products and product components.
Insufficient supply and inventory may result in increased lead times for our products, lost sales opportunities or delayed revenue, while excess inventory may harm our gross margins. In order to reduce manufacturing lead times and plan for adequate component supply, from time to time we may issue purchase orders for components and products that are non-cancelable and non-returnable. We establish a liability for non-cancelable, non-returnable purchase commitments with our component inventory suppliers for quantities in excess of our demand forecasts, or for products that are considered obsolete. In addition, we establish a liability and reimburse

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our contract manufacturer for component inventory purchased on our behalf that has been rendered excess or obsolete due to manufacturing and engineering change orders, or in cases where inventory levels greatly exceed our demand forecasts.
Supply management remains an increased area of focus as we balance the need to maintain sufficient supply levels to ensure competitive lead times against the risk of obsolescence or the end of life of certain products. If we ultimately determine that we have excess supply, we may have to reduce our prices and write down inventory, which in turn could result in lower gross margins. We record a provision when inventory is determined to be in excess of anticipated demand or obsolete to adjust inventory to its estimated realizable value.
Alternatively, insufficient supply levels may lead to shortages that result in delayed revenue or loss of sales opportunities altogether as potential end customers turn to competitors’ products that are readily available. Additionally, any increases in the time required to manufacture our products or ship products could result in supply shortfalls. If we are unable to effectively manage our supply and inventory, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be adversely affected.
Because some of the key components in our products come from sole or limited sources of supply, we are susceptible to supply shortages or supply changes, which could disrupt or delay our scheduled product deliveries to our end customers and may result in the loss of sales and end customers.
Our products rely on key components, including merchant silicon chips, integrated circuit components, printed circuit boards, connectors, custom-tooled sheet metal and power supplies that we purchase or our contract manufacturers purchase on our behalf from a limited number of suppliers, including certain sole source providers. Generally, we do not have guaranteed supply contracts with our component suppliers, and our suppliers could suffer shortages, delay shipments, prioritize shipments to other vendors, increase prices or cease manufacturing such products or selling them to us at any time. For example, in the past we have experienced shortages in inventory for dynamic random access memory integrated circuits and delayed releases of the next generation of chipset, which delayed our production and/or the release of our new products. The development of alternate sources for those components is time-consuming, difficult and costly. If we are unable to obtain sufficient quantities of these components on commercially reasonable terms or in a timely manner, or if we are unable to obtain alternative sources for these components, sales of our products could be delayed or halted entirely or we may be required to redesign our products. Any of these events could result in lost sales, reduced gross margins or damage to our end customer relationships, which would adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our reliance on component suppliers also yields the potential for their infringement or misappropriation of third party intellectual property rights with respect to components which may be incorporated into our products. We may not be indemnified by such component suppliers for such infringement or misappropriation claims. Any litigation for which we do not receive indemnification could require us to incur significant legal expenses in defending against such claims or require us to pay substantial royalty payments or settlement amounts that would not be reimbursed by our component suppliers. 
Our product development efforts are also dependent upon our continued collaboration with our key merchant silicon vendors such as Broadcom and Intel. As we develop our product roadmap, we select specific merchant silicon from these vendors for each new product, and it is critical that we work in tandem with these vendors to ensure that their silicon includes improved features, that our products take advantage of such improved features, and that such vendors are able to supply us with sufficient quantities on commercially reasonable term to meet customer demand. Our relationship with these merchant silicon vendors enables us to focus our research and development resources on our software core competencies and to leverage the investments made by merchant silicon vendors to achieve cost-effective solutions. However, merchant silicon vendors may not continue to collaborate with us or may become competitive with us by selling merchant silicon for “white boxes” or other products to our customers.
If our key merchant silicon vendors no longer collaborate in such a fashion, if they do not continue to innovate, if there are delays in the release of their products or supply shortages or if such merchant silicon is not offered to us on commercially reasonable terms, our products may become less competitive, own product launches could be delayed or we may be required to redesign our products to incorporate alternative merchant silicon, which

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could result in lost sales, reduce gross margins, damage to our customer relationships or otherwise have a material effect on revenue and business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
In the event of a shortage or supply interruption from our component suppliers, we may not be able to develop alternate or second sources in a timely manner. Further, long-term supply and maintenance obligations to end customers increase the duration for which specific components are required, which may increase the risk of component shortages or the cost of carrying inventory. In addition, our component suppliers change their selling prices frequently in response to market trends, including industry-wide increases in demand, and because we do not have contracts with these suppliers or guaranteed pricing, we are susceptible to availability or price fluctuations related to raw materials and components. If we are unable to pass component price increases along to our end customers or maintain stable pricing, our gross margins could be adversely affected and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could suffer.
Because we depend on third-party manufacturers to build our products, we are susceptible to manufacturing delays and pricing fluctuations that could prevent us from shipping end-customer orders on time, if at all, or on a cost-effective basis, which may result in the loss of sales and end customers.
We depend on third-party contract manufacturers to manufacture our product lines. A significant portion of our cost of revenue consists of payments to these third-party contract manufacturers. Our reliance on these third-party contract manufacturers reduces our control over the manufacturing process, quality assurance, product costs and product supply and timing, which exposes us to risk. To the extent that our products are manufactured at facilities in foreign countries, we may be subject to additional risks associated with complying with local rules and regulations in those jurisdictions. Our reliance on contract manufacturers also yields the potential for their infringement of third party intellectual property rights in the manufacturing of our products or misappropriation of our intellectual property rights in the manufacturing of other customers’ products. If we are unable to manage our relationships with our third-party contract manufacturers effectively, or if these third-party manufacturers suffer delays or disruptions or quality control problems in their operations, experience increased manufacturing lead times, capacity constraints or quality control problems in their manufacturing operations or fail to meet our future requirements for timely delivery, our ability to ship products to our end customers would be severely impaired, and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects would be seriously harmed.
Our contract manufacturers typically fulfill our supply requirements on the basis of individual orders. We do not have long-term contracts with our third-party manufacturers that guarantee capacity, the continuation of particular pricing terms or the extension of credit limits. Accordingly, they are not obligated to continue to fulfill our supply requirements, which could result in supply shortages, and the prices we are charged for manufacturing services could be increased on short notice. For example, a competitor could place large orders with the third-party manufacturer, thereby utilizing all or substantially all of such third-party manufacturer’s capacity and leaving the manufacturer little or no capacity to fulfill our individual orders without price increases or delays, or at all. Our contract with one of our contract manufacturers permits it to terminate the agreement for convenience, subject to prior notice requirements. We may not be able to develop alternate or second contract manufacturers in a timely manner.
If we add or change contract manufacturers, or change any manufacturing plant locations within a contract manufacturer network, we would add additional complexity and risk to our supply chain management and may increase our working capital requirements. Ensuring a new contract manufacturer or new plant location is qualified to manufacture our products to our standards and industry requirements could take significant effort and be time consuming and expensive. Any addition or change in manufacturers may be extremely costly, time consuming and we may not be able to do so successfully.
In addition, we may be subject to additional significant challenges in ensuring that quality, processes and costs, among other issues, are consistent with our expectations and those of our customers. A new contract manufacturer or manufacturing location may not be able to scale its production of our products at the volumes or quality we require. This could also adversely affect our ability to meet our scheduled product deliveries to our end customers, which could damage our customer relationships and cause the loss of sales to existing or potential end customers, late delivery penalties, delayed revenue or an increase in our costs which could adversely affect our

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gross margins. This could also result in increased levels of inventory subjecting us to increased excess and obsolete charges that could have a negative impact on our operating results.
Any production interruptions or disruptions for any reason, including those noted above, as well as a natural disaster, epidemic, capacity shortages, adverse results from intellectual property litigation or quality problems, at one of our manufacturing partners would adversely affect sales of our product lines manufactured by that manufacturing partner and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Product quality problems, defects, errors or vulnerabilities in our products or services could harm our reputation and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We produce highly complex products that incorporate advanced technologies, including both hardware and software technologies. Despite testing prior to their release, our products may contain undetected defects or errors, especially when first introduced or when new versions are released. Product defects or errors could affect the performance of our products and could delay the development or release of new products or new versions of products. Allegations of unsatisfactory performance could cause us to lose revenue or market share, increase our service costs, cause us to incur substantial costs in analyzing, correcting or redesigning the products, cause us to lose significant end customers, subject us to liability for damages and divert our resources from other tasks, any one of which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
From time to time, we have had to replace certain components of products that we had shipped and provide remediation in response to the discovery of defects or bugs, including failures in software protocols or defective component batches resulting in reliability issues, in such products, and we may be required to do so in the future. We may also be required to provide full replacements or refunds for such defective products. We cannot assure you that such remediation would not have a material effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. See “—Our business is subject to the risks of warranty claims, product returns, product liability and product defects.”
Interruptions or delays in shipments could cause our revenue for the applicable period to fall below expected levels.
We may be subject to supply chain delays, or end-customer buying patterns in which a substantial portion of sales orders and shipments may occur in the second half of each quarter. This places significant pressure on order review and processing, supply chain management, manufacturing, inventory and quality control management, shipping and trade compliance to ensure that we have properly forecasted supply purchasing, manufacturing capacity, inventory and quality compliance and logistics. A significant interruption in these critical functions, it could result in delayed order fulfillment, adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects and result in a decline in the market price of our common stock.
We base our inventory requirements on our forecasts of future sales. If these forecasts are materially inaccurate, we may procure inventory that we may be unable to use in a timely manner or at all.
We and our contract manufacturers procure components and build our products based on our forecasts. These forecasts are based on estimates of future demand for our products, which are in turn based on historical trends and analyses from our sales and marketing organizations, adjusted for overall market conditions and other factors. To the extent our forecasts are materially inaccurate or if we otherwise do not need such inventory, we may under- or over-procure inventory, and such inaccuracies in our forecasts could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are currently involved in a license dispute with OptumSoft, Inc.
On April 4, 2014, OptumSoft filed a lawsuit against us in the Superior Court of California, Santa Clara County titled OptumSoft, Inc. v. Arista Networks, Inc., in which it asserts (i) ownership of certain components of our EOS network operating system pursuant to the terms of a 2004 agreement between the companies and (ii) breaches of certain confidentiality and use restrictions in that agreement. Under the terms of the 2004 agreement, OptumSoft provided us with a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to software delivered by OptumSoft comprising a software tool used to develop certain components of EOS and a runtime library that is incorporated

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into EOS. The 2004 agreement places certain restrictions on our use and disclosure of the OptumSoft software and gives OptumSoft ownership of improvements, modifications and corrections to, and derivative works of, the OptumSoft software that we develop.
In its lawsuit, OptumSoft has asked the Court to order us to (i) give OptumSoft access to our software for evaluation by OptumSoft; (ii) cease all conduct constituting the alleged confidentiality and use restriction breaches; (iii) secure the return or deletion of OptumSoft’s alleged intellectual property provided to third parties, including our customers; (iv) assign ownership to OptumSoft of OptumSoft’s alleged intellectual property currently owned by us; and (v) pay OptumSoft’s alleged damages, attorney’s fees, and costs of the lawsuit. David Cheriton, one of our founders and a former member of our board of directors, who resigned from our board of directors on March 1, 2014 and has no continuing role with us, is a founder and, we believe, the largest stockholder and director of OptumSoft. The 2010 David R. Cheriton Irrevocable Trust dated July 28, 2010, a trust for the benefit of the minor children of Mr. Cheriton, is one of our largest stockholders.
On April 14, 2014, we filed a cross-complaint against OptumSoft, in which we asserted our ownership of the software components at issue and our interpretation of the 2004 agreement. Among other things, we asserted that the language of the 2004 agreement and the parties’ long course of conduct support our ownership of the disputed software components. We asked the Court to declare our ownership of those software components, all similarly-situated software components developed in the future and all related intellectual property. We also asserted that, even if we are found not to own certain components, such components are licensed to us under the terms of the 2004 agreement. However, there can be no assurance that our assertions will ultimately prevail in litigation. On the same day, we also filed an answer to OptumSoft’s claims, as well as affirmative defenses based in part on OptumSoft’s failure to maintain the confidentiality of its claimed trade secrets, its authorization of the disclosures it asserts and its delay in claiming ownership of the software components at issue. We have also taken additional steps to respond to OptumSoft’s allegations that we improperly used and/or disclosed OptumSoft confidential information. While we believe we have meritorious defenses to these allegations, we believe we have (i) revised our software to remove the elements we understand to be the subject of the claims relating to improper use and disclosure of OptumSoft confidential information and made the revised software available to our customers and (ii) removed information from our website that OptumSoft asserted disclosed OptumSoft confidential information.
The parties tried Phase I of the case, relating to contract interpretation and application of the contract to certain claimed source code, in September 2015. On March 23, 2016, the Court issued a Final Statement of Decision Following Phase I Trial, in which it agreed with and adopted our interpretation of the 2004 agreement and held that we, and not OptumSoft, own all the software at issue in Phase I. The remaining issues that were not addressed in the Phase I trial are set to be tried in Phase II, including the application of the Court’s interpretation of the 2004 agreement to any other source code that OptumSoft claims to own following a review and the trade secret misappropriation and confidentiality claims. The Phase II Trial is set for September 23, 2019 by the judge.
We intend to vigorously defend against any claims brought against us by OptumSoft.  However, we cannot be certain that, if litigated, any claims by OptumSoft would be resolved in our favor.  For example, if it were determined that OptumSoft owned components of our EOS network operating system, we would be required to transfer ownership of those components and any related intellectual property to OptumSoft.  If OptumSoft were the owner of those components, it could make them available to our competitors, such as through a sale or license.  An adverse litigation ruling could result in a significant damages award against us and injunctive relief. In addition, OptumSoft could assert additional or different claims against us, including claims that our license from OptumSoft is invalid.
The sales prices of our products and services may decrease, which may reduce our gross profits and adversely affect our results of operations.
The sales prices for our products and services may decline for a variety of reasons, including competitive pricing pressures, discounts, a change in our mix of products and services, the introduction of new products and services by us or by our competitors including the adoption of “white box” solutions, promotional programs, product and related warranty costs or broader macroeconomic factors. In addition, we have provided, and may in the future provide, pricing discounts to large end customers, which may result in lower margins for the period in

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which such sales occur. Our gross margins may also fluctuate as a result of the timing of such sales to large end customers.
We have experienced declines in sales prices for our products. Competition continues to increase in the market segments in which we participate, and we expect competition to further increase in the future, thereby leading to increased pricing pressures. Larger competitors with more diverse product and service offerings may reduce the price of products and services that compete with ours or may bundle them with other products and services. Additionally, although we generally price our products worldwide in U.S. dollars, currency fluctuations in certain countries and regions may adversely affect actual prices that partners and end customers are willing to pay in those countries and regions. Furthermore, we anticipate that the sales prices and gross profits for our products will decrease over product life cycles. Decreased sales prices for any reason may reduce our gross profits and adversely affect our result of operations.
Our ability to sell our products is highly dependent on the quality of our support and services offerings, and our failure to offer high-quality support and services could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Once our products are deployed within our end customers’ networks, our end customers depend on our support organization and our channel partners to resolve any issues relating to our products. High-quality support is critical for the successful marketing and sale of our products. If we or our channel partners do not assist our end customers in deploying our products effectively, do not succeed in helping our end customers resolve post-deployment issues quickly or do not provide adequate ongoing support, it could adversely affect our ability to sell our products to existing end customers and could harm our reputation with potential end customers. In addition, as we expand our operations internationally, our support organization will face additional challenges, including those associated with delivering support, training and documentation in languages other than English. Our failure or the failure of our channel partners to maintain high-quality support and services could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our business depends on end customers renewing their maintenance and support contracts. Any decline in maintenance renewals could harm our future business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We typically sell our products with maintenance and support as part of the initial purchase, and a portion of our annual revenue comes from renewals of maintenance and support contracts. Our end customers have no obligation to renew their maintenance and support contracts after the expiration of the initial period, and they may elect not to renew their maintenance and support contracts, to renew their maintenance and support contracts at lower prices through alternative channel partners or to reduce the product quantity under their maintenance and support contracts, thereby reducing our future revenue from maintenance and support contracts. If our end customers, especially our large end customers, do not renew their maintenance and support contracts or if they renew them on terms that are less favorable to us, our revenue may decline and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects will suffer.
If we are unable to increase market awareness of our company and our products, our revenue may not continue to grow or may decline.
We have not yet established broad market awareness of our products and services. Market awareness of our value proposition and products and services will be essential to our continued growth and our success, particularly for the service provider and large enterprise markets. If our marketing efforts are unsuccessful in creating market awareness of our company and our products and services, then our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects will be adversely affected, and we will not be able to achieve sustained growth.
If we are unable to hire, retain, train and motivate qualified personnel and senior management, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could suffer.
Our future success depends, in part, on our ability to continue to attract and retain highly skilled personnel, particularly software engineering and sales personnel. Competition for highly skilled personnel is often intense, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area where we have a substantial presence and need for highly skilled personnel. Many of the companies with which we compete for experienced personnel have greater resources than we have

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to provide more attractive compensation packages and other amenities. Research and development personnel are aggressively recruited by startup and growth companies, which are especially active in many of the technical areas and geographic regions in which we conduct product development. In addition, in making employment decisions, particularly in the high-technology industry, job candidates often consider the value of the stock-based compensation they are to receive in connection with their employment. Declines in the market price of our stock could adversely affect our ability to attract, motivate or retain key employees. If we are unable to attract or retain qualified personnel, or if there are delays in hiring required personnel, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may be seriously harmed.
Also, to the extent we hire personnel from competitors, we may be subject to allegations that such personnel has been improperly solicited, that such personnel has divulged proprietary or other confidential information or that former employers own certain inventions or other work product. Such claims could result in litigation. Please see “We may become involved in litigation that may materially adversely affect us.”
We employ a number of foreign nationals who are required to obtain visas and entry permits in order to legally work in the United States and other countries. The United States has recently increased the level of scrutiny in granting H-1(B), L-1 and other business visas, and the current administration has indicated that immigration reform is a priority. Our compliance with United States immigration and labor laws could require us to incur additional unexpected labor costs and expenses or could restrain our ability to retain skilled professionals.
Our future performance also depends on the continued services and continuing contributions of our senior management to execute our business plan and to identify and pursue new opportunities and product innovations. Our employment arrangements with our employees do not require that they continue to work for us for any specified period, and therefore, they could terminate their employment with us at any time. The loss of our key personnel, including Jayshree Ullal, our Chief Executive Officer, Andy Bechtolsheim, our Founder and Chief Development Officer, Kenneth Duda, our Founder, Chief Technology Officer and SVP of Software Engineering, Anshul Sadana, our Chief Customer Officer or other members of our senior management team, sales and marketing team or engineering team, or any difficulty attracting or retaining other highly qualified personnel in the future, could significantly delay or prevent the achievement of our development and strategic objectives, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
If we do not effectively expand and train our direct sales force, we may be unable to add new end customers or increase sales to our existing end customers, and our business will be adversely affected.
We depend on our direct sales force to obtain new end customers and increase sales with existing end customers. As such, we have invested and will continue to invest in our sales organization. In recent periods, we have been adding personnel and other resources to our sales function as we focus on growing our business, entering new markets and increasing our market share, and we expect to incur additional expenses in expanding our sales personnel in order to achieve revenue growth. There is significant competition for sales personnel with the skills and technical knowledge that we require. Our ability to achieve significant revenue growth will depend, in large part, on our success in recruiting, training, retaining and integrating sufficient numbers of sales personnel to support our growth, particularly in international markets. New hires require significant training and may take significant time before they achieve full productivity. Our recent hires and planned hires may not become productive as quickly as we expect, and we may be unable to hire, retain or integrate into our corporate culture sufficient numbers of qualified individuals in the markets where we do business or plan to do business. In addition, because we continue to grow rapidly, a large percentage of our sales force is new to our company. If we are unable to hire, integrate and train a sufficient number of effective sales personnel, or the sales personnel we hire are not successful in obtaining new end customers or increasing sales to our existing end-customer base, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects will be adversely affected.
We are subject to a number of risks associated with the expansion of our international sales and operations.
Our ability to grow our business and our future success will depend to a significant extent on our ability to expand our operations and customer base worldwide. We have a limited history of marketing, selling and supporting our products and services internationally. Operating in a global marketplace, we are subject to risks associated with having an international reach and requirements such as compliance with applicable anti-corruption laws.

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One such applicable anti-corruption law is the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, which generally prohibits U.S. companies and its employees and intermediaries from making corrupt payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business, securing an advantage and directing business to another, and requires companies to maintain accurate books and records and a system of internal accounting controls. Under the FCPA, U.S. companies may be held liable for the corrupt actions taken by directors, officers, employees, agents, or other strategic or local partners or representatives. As such, if we or our intermediaries fail to comply with the requirements of the FCPA or similar legislation, governmental authorities in the U.S. and elsewhere could seek to impose civil and/or criminal fines and penalties which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial conditions. Failure to comply with anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws, such as the FCPA and the United Kingdom Bribery Act of 2010, or the U.K. Bribery Act, and similar laws associated with our activities outside the U.S., could subject us to penalties and other adverse consequences. We intend to increase our international sales and business and, as such, the risk of violating laws such as the FCPA and U.K. Bribery Act increases.
Additionally, the U.S. government has adopted broader sanctions and embargoes that generally forbid supplying many items to or involving certain countries, territories, governments, legal entities and individuals, including restrictions imposed by the U.S. and EU on exports to Russia and Ukraine. We have implemented systems to detect and prevent sales into these countries or to prohibit entities or individuals, but we are necessarily dependent in part on our third-party suppliers and distributors to implement these systems. We cannot assure you that these systems will always be effective, or that our suppliers and distributors effectively implement our systems to detect and prevent such sales without our prior knowledge, and we may incur additional unexpected costs or expenses to comply with applicable trade restrictions.
As a result of our international reach, we must hire and train experienced personnel to staff and manage our foreign operations. To the extent that we experience difficulties in recruiting, training, managing and retaining an international staff, and specifically staff related to sales management and sales personnel, we may experience difficulties in sales productivity in foreign markets. We also enter into strategic distributor and reseller relationships with companies in certain international markets where we do not have a local presence. If we are not able to maintain successful strategic distributor relationships internationally or to recruit additional companies to enter into strategic distributor relationships, our future success in these international markets could be limited. Business practices in the international markets that we serve may differ from those in the U.S. and may require us in the future to include terms other than our standard terms in end-customer contracts, although to date we generally have not done so. To the extent that we may enter into end-customer contracts in the future that include non-standard terms related to payment, warranties or performance obligations, our results of operations may be adversely affected.
Additionally, our international sales and operations are subject to a number of risks, including the following:
greater difficulty in enforcing contracts and accounts receivable collection and longer collection periods;
increased expenses incurred in establishing and maintaining our international operations;
fluctuations in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and foreign currencies where we do business;
greater difficulty and costs in recruiting local experienced personnel;
wage inflation in certain growing economies;
general economic and political conditions in these foreign markets;
economic uncertainty around the world as a result of sovereign debt issues;
communication and integration problems resulting from cultural and geographic dispersion;
limitations on our ability to access cash resources in our international operations;
ability to establish necessary business relationships and to comply with local business requirements;
risks associated with foreign legal requirements, including the importation, certification and localization of our products required in foreign countries;
risks associated with U.S. government trade restrictions, including those which may impose restrictions, including prohibitions, on the exportation, reexportation, sale, shipment or other transfer of programming, technology, components, and/or services to foreign persons;

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greater risk of unexpected changes in regulatory practices, tariffs and tax laws and treaties, including the Tax Act;
greater risk of unexpected changes in tariffs imposed by the U.S. on goods from other countries and tariffs imposed by other countries on U.S. goods, including the tariffs recently implemented and additional tariffs that have been proposed by the U.S. government on various imports from China, Canada, Mexico and the EU, and by the governments of these jurisdictions on certain U.S. goods, and any other possible tariffs that may be imposed on services such as ours, the scope and duration of which, if implemented, remain uncertain;
deterioration of political relations between the U.S. and Canada, the U.K., the EU and China, which could have a material adverse effect on our sales and operations in these countries;
greater risk of changes in diplomatic and trade relationships, including new tariffs, trade protection measures, import or export licensing requirements, trade embargoes and other trade barriers;
the uncertainty of protection for intellectual property rights in some countries;
greater risk of a failure of foreign employees to comply with both U.S. and foreign laws, including antitrust regulations, the FCPA and any trade regulations ensuring fair trade practices; and
heightened risk of unfair or corrupt business practices in certain geographies and of improper or fraudulent sales arrangements that may impact financial results and result in restatements of, or irregularities in, financial statements.
These and other factors could harm our ability to gain future international revenue and, consequently, materially affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Expanding our existing international operations and entering into additional international markets will require significant management attention and financial commitments. Our failure to successfully manage our international operations and the associated risks effectively could limit our future growth or materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Moreover, our business is also impacted by the negotiation and implementation of free trade agreements between the United States and other countries. Such agreements can reduce barriers to international trade and thus the cost of conducting business overseas. For instance, the United States recently reached a new trilateral trade agreement with the governments of Canada and Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”). If the United States withdraws from NAFTA and the three countries fail to approve the new agreements, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, our cost of doing business within the three countries could increase.
The United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union will have uncertain effects and could adversely affect us.
On June 23, 2016, the electorate in the United Kingdom, or UK, voted in favor of leaving the European Union, or EU, (commonly referred to as the “Brexit”). Thereafter, on March 29, 2017, the country formally notified the EU of its intention to withdraw pursuant to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, triggering the two-year negotiation period for exiting the EU. The withdrawal of the UK from the EU is scheduled to take effect on March 29, 2019 either on the effective date of the withdrawal agreement or, in the absence of agreement, two years after the UK provides a notice of withdrawal pursuant to the EU Treaty and transitional provisions may or may not be put in place to ease the process.
The effects of Brexit will depend on agreements the UK makes to retain access to EU markets either during a transitional period or more permanently. Brexit creates an uncertain political and economic environment in the UK and potentially across other EU member states for the foreseeable future, including during any period while the terms of Brexit are being negotiated and such uncertainties could impair or limit our ability to transact business in the member EU states.
Further, Brexit could adversely affect European and worldwide economic or market conditions and could contribute to instability in global financial markets, and the value of the Pound Sterling currency or other currencies, including the Euro. We are exposed to the economic, market and fiscal conditions in the UK and the EU and to

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changes in any of these conditions. Depending on the terms reached regarding Brexit, it is possible that there may be adverse practical and/or operational implications on our business.
A significant amount of the regulatory regime that applies to us in the UK is derived from EU directives and regulations. For so long as the UK remains a member of the EU, those sources of legislation will (unless otherwise repealed or amended) remain in effect. However, Brexit could change the legal and regulatory framework within the UK where we operate and is likely to lead to legal uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the UK determines which EU laws to replace or replicate. Consequently, no assurance can be given as to the impact of Brexit and, in particular, no assurance can be given that our operating results, financial condition and prospects would not be adversely impacted by the result.
Enhanced United States tax, tariff, import/export restrictions, Chinese regulations or other trade barriers may have a negative effect on global economic conditions, financial markets and our business.
There is currently significant uncertainty about the future relationship between the United States and various other countries, most significantly China, with respect trade policies, treaties, tariffs and taxes, including trade policies and tariffs regarding China. The current U.S. Administration has called for substantial changes to U.S. foreign trade policy with respect to China and other countries, including the possibility of imposing greater restrictions on international trade and significant increases in tariffs on goods imported into the United States. In 2018, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (the “USTR”) enacted tariffs on imports into the U.S. from China, including communications equipment products and components manufactured and imported from China. The tariff became effective on September 24, 2018, with an initial rate of 10% and was scheduled to increase from 10% to 25% on January 1, 2019; however, that increase has been delayed for 90 days pending trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. In addition, the tariffs may be increased in the future. It is expected that these tariffs will cause our costs to increase, which could narrow the profits we earn from sales of products requiring such materials.  Furthermore, if tariffs, trade restrictions, or trade barriers are placed on products such as ours by foreign governments, especially China, the prices for our products may increase, which may result in the loss of customers and our business, financial condition and results of operations may be harmed.  We believe we can adjust our supply chain and manufacturing practices to minimize the impact of the tariffs, but our efforts may not be successful, there can be no assurance that we will not experience a disruption in our business related to these or other changes in trade practices and the process of changing suppliers in order to mitigate any such tariff costs could be complicated, time-consuming, and costly.
Furthermore, the U.S. tariffs may cause customers to delay orders as they evaluate where to take delivery of our products in connection with their efforts to mitigate their own tariff exposure. Such delays create forecasting difficulties for us and increase the risk that orders might be canceled or might never be placed. Current or future tariffs imposed by the U.S. may also negatively impact our customers' sales, thereby causing an indirect negative impact on our own sales. Any reduction in our customers' sales, and/or any apprehension among distributors and customers of a possible reduction in such sales, would likely cause an indirect negative impact on our own sales. Even in the absence of further tariffs, the related uncertainty and the market's fear of an escalating trade war might cause our distributors and customers to place fewer orders for our products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, liquidity, financial condition, and/or results of operations.
Additionally, the current U.S. Administration continues to signal that it may alter trade agreements and terms between China and the United States, including limiting trade with China, and may impose additional tariffs on imports from China.  Therefore, it is possible further tariffs may be imposed that could cover imports of communications equipment products and components used in our products, or our business may be adversely impacted by retaliatory trade measures taken by China or other countries, including restricted access to suppliers, communications equipment products and components used in our products, causing us to raise prices or make changes to our products, which could materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.  The current administration, along with Congress, has created significant uncertainty about the future relationship between the United States and other countries with respect to the trade policies, treaties, taxes, government regulations and tariffs that would be applicable. It is unclear what changes might be considered or implemented and what response to any such changes may be by the governments of other countries. These changes have created significant uncertainty about the future relationship between the United States and China, as well as other countries, including with respect to the trade policies, treaties, government regulations and tariffs that could apply to trade

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between the United States and other nations. These developments, or the perception that any of them could occur, may have a material adverse effect on global economic conditions and the stability of global financial markets, and may significantly reduce global trade and, in particular, trade between these nations and the United States. Any of these factors could depress economic activity and restrict our access to suppliers or customers and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and affect our strategy in China and elsewhere around the world. Given the relatively fluid regulatory environment in China and the United States and uncertainty how the U.S. Administration or foreign governments will act with respect to tariffs, international trade agreements and policies, a trade war, further governmental action related to tariffs or international trade policies, or additional tax or other regulatory changes in the future could directly and adversely impact our financial results and results of operations.
Sales of our 7000 Series of switches generate most of our product revenue, and if we are unable to continue to grow sales of these products, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects will suffer.
Historically, we have derived substantially all of our product revenue from sales of our 7000 Series of switches, and we expect to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. We have experienced declines in sales prices for our products, including our 10 Gigabit Ethernet modular and fixed switches. A decline in the price of our 7000 Series of switches and related services, or our inability to increase sales of these products, would harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects more seriously than if we derived significant revenue from a larger variety of product lines and services. Our future financial performance will also depend upon successfully developing and selling next-generation versions of our 7000 Series of switches. If we fail to deliver new products, new features, or new releases that end customers want and that allow us to maintain leadership in what will continue to be a competitive market environment, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects will be harmed.
Seasonality may cause fluctuations in our revenue and results of operations.
We operate on a December 31st year end and believe that there are significant seasonal factors which may cause sequential product revenue growth to be greater for the second and fourth quarters of our year than our first and third quarters. We believe that this seasonality results from a number of factors, including the procurement, budgeting and deployment cycles of many of our end customers. Our rapid historical growth may have reduced the impact of seasonal or cyclical factors that might have influenced our business to date. As our increasing size causes our growth rate to slow, seasonal or cyclical variations in our operations may become more pronounced over time and may materially affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
If we fail to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting in the future, the accuracy and timing of our financial reporting may be adversely affected.
Assessing our processes, procedures and staffing in order to improve our internal control over financial reporting is an ongoing process. Preparing our financial statements involves a number of complex processes, many of which are done manually and are dependent upon individual data input or review. These processes include, but are not limited to, calculating revenue, inventory costs and the preparation of our statement of cash flows.  While we continue to automate our processes and enhance our review controls to reduce the likelihood for errors, we expect that for the foreseeable future many of our processes will remain manually intensive and thus subject to human error.
In the past, we have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting and we cannot give assurance that additional material weaknesses will not be identified in the future. The existence of one or more material weaknesses could preclude a conclusion by management that we maintained effective internal control over financial reporting. The existence or disclosure of any such material weakness could adversely affect our stock price.
Adverse economic conditions or reduced information technology and network infrastructure spending may adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our business depends on the overall demand for information technology, network connectivity and access to data and applications. Weak domestic or global economic conditions, fear or anticipation of such conditions or

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a reduction in information technology and network infrastructure spending even if economic conditions improve, could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects in a number of ways, including longer sales cycles, lower prices for our products and services, higher default rates among our distributors, reduced unit sales and lower or no growth. For example, the global macroeconomic environment could be negatively affected by, among other things, instability in global economic markets resulting from increased U.S. trade tariffs on steel and other products and trade disputes between the U.S. and other countries, instability in the global credit markets, the impact and uncertainty regarding global central bank monetary policy, rising interest rates and increased inflation, including the recent rise in U.S. interest rates, the instability in the geopolitical environment as a result of the United Kingdom “Brexit” decision to withdraw from the European Union, economic challenges in China and ongoing U.S. and foreign governmental debt concerns. Such challenges have caused, and are likely to continue to cause, uncertainty and instability in local economies and in global financial markets, particularly if any future sovereign debt defaults or significant bank failures or defaults occur. Market uncertainty and instability in Europe or Asia could intensify or spread further, particularly if ongoing stabilization efforts prove insufficient. Continuing or worsening economic instability could adversely affect spending for IT, network infrastructure, systems and tools. Continued turmoil in the geopolitical environment in many parts of the world may also affect the overall demand for our products. Although we do not believe that our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects have been significantly adversely affected by economic and political uncertainty in Europe, Asia or other countries to date, deterioration of such conditions may harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects in the future. A prolonged period of economic uncertainty or a downturn may also significantly affect financing markets, the availability of capital and the terms and conditions of financing arrangements, including the overall cost of financing as well as the financial health or creditworthiness of our end customers. Circumstances may arise in which we need, or desire, to raise additional capital, and such capital may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, or at all.
We may become involved in litigation that may materially adversely affect us.
From time to time, in addition to the litigation involving OptumSoft described elsewhere in these risk factors, we may become involved in various legal proceedings relating to matters incidental to the ordinary course of our business, including patent, copyright, commercial, product liability, employment, class action, whistleblower and other litigation and claims, in addition to governmental and other regulatory investigations and proceedings. Such matters can be time-consuming, divert management’s attention and resources, cause us to incur significant expenses or liability and/or require us to change our business practices. For example, we were previously involved in litigation with Cisco. Because of the potential risks, expenses and uncertainties of litigation, we may, from time to time, settle disputes, even where we have meritorious claims or defenses, by agreeing to settlement agreements. Because litigation is inherently unpredictable, we cannot assure you that the results of any of these actions will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
For more information regarding the litigation in which we are currently involved, see the “Legal Proceedings” subheading in in Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K incorporated herein by reference.
Assertions by third parties of infringement or other violations by us of their intellectual property rights, or other lawsuits asserted against us, could result in significant costs and substantially harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Patent and other intellectual property disputes are common in the network infrastructure industry and have resulted in protracted and expensive litigation for many companies. Many companies in the network infrastructure industry, including our competitors and other third parties, as well as non-practicing entities, own large numbers of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, which they may use to assert claims of patent infringement, misappropriation, or other violations of intellectual property rights against us. From time to time, they have or may in the future also assert such claims against us, our end customers or channel partners whom we typically indemnify against claims that our products infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate the intellectual property rights of third parties. For example, we are currently a party to litigation involving OptumSoft described elsewhere in these risk factors and we have previously been involved in litigation with Cisco.

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As the number of products and competitors in our market increases and overlaps occur or if we enter into new markets, claims of infringement, misappropriation and other violations of intellectual property rights may increase. Any claim of infringement, misappropriation or other violations of intellectual property rights by a third party, even those without merit, could cause us to incur substantial costs defending against the claim, distract our management from our business and require us to cease use of such intellectual property. In addition, some claims for patent infringement may relate to subcomponents that we purchase from third parties. If these third parties are unable or unwilling to indemnify us for these claims, we could be substantially harmed.
The patent portfolios of most of our competitors are larger than ours. This disparity may increase the risk that our competitors may sue us for patent infringement and may limit our ability to counterclaim for patent infringement or settle through patent cross-licenses. In addition, future assertions of patent rights by third parties, and any resulting litigation, may involve patent holding companies or other adverse patent owners who have no relevant product revenue and against whom our own patents may therefore provide little or no deterrence or protection. We cannot assure you that we are not infringing or otherwise violating any third-party intellectual property rights.
The third-party asserters of intellectual property claims may be unreasonable in their demands, or may simply refuse to settle, which could lead to expensive settlement payments, prolonged periods of litigation and related expenses, additional burdens on employees or other resources, distraction from our business, supply stoppages and lost sales.
An adverse outcome of a dispute (including those lawsuits described under the “Legal Proceedings” subheading in Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies and the settlement with Cisco described in Note 14. Legal Settlement of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K) may require us to pay substantial damages or penalties including treble damages if we are found to have willfully infringed a third party’s patents; cease making, licensing, using or importing into the U.S. products or services that are alleged to infringe or misappropriate the intellectual property of others; expend additional development resources to attempt to redesign our products or services or otherwise to develop non-infringing technology, which may not be successful; enter into potentially unfavorable royalty or license agreements in order to obtain the right to use necessary technologies or intellectual property rights; and indemnify our partners and other third parties. Any damages, penalties or royalty obligations we may become subject to as a result of an adverse outcome, and any third-party indemnity we may need to provide, could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Royalty or licensing agreements, if required or desirable, may be unavailable on terms acceptable to us, or at all, and may require significant royalty payments and other expenditures. Further, there is little or no information publicly available concerning market or fair values for license fees, which can lead to overpayment of license or settlement fees. In addition, some licenses may be non-exclusive, and therefore our competitors may have access to the same technology licensed to us. Suppliers subject to third-party intellectual property claims also may choose or be forced to discontinue or alter their arrangements with us, with little or no advance notice to us. Any of these events could seriously harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
In the event that we are found to infringe any third party intellectual property, we could be enjoined, or subject to other remedial orders that would prohibit us, from making, licensing, using or importing into the U.S. such products or services. In order to resume such activities with respect to any affected products or services, we (or our component suppliers) would be required to develop technical redesigns to this third party intellectual property that no longer infringe the third party intellectual property. In any efforts to develop technical redesigns for these products or services, we (or our component suppliers) may be unable to do so in a manner that does not continue to infringe the third party intellectual property or that is acceptable to our customers. These redesign efforts could be extremely costly and time consuming as well as disruptive to our other development activities and distracting to management. Moreover, such redesigns could require us to obtain approvals from the court or administrative body to resume the activities with respect to these affected solutions. We may not be successful in our efforts to obtain such approvals in a timely manner, or at all. Any failure to effectively redesign our solutions or to obtain timely approval of those redesigns by a court or administrative body may cause a disruption to our product shipments and materially and adversely affect our business, prospects, reputation, results of operations, and financial condition. For example, in two prior investigations brought by Cisco in the International Trade

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Commission (“ITC”), we were subjected to remedial orders that prohibited us from importing and selling after importation any products the ITC found to infringe Cisco’s patents. As a result, we were required to redesign certain aspects of our products and obtain Customs approval of those redesigns before we could continue to import those products into the United States.
Our standard sales contracts contain indemnification provisions requiring us to defend our end customers against third-party claims, including against infringement of certain intellectual property rights that could expose us to losses which could seriously harm our business, financial conditions, results of operations and prospects.
Under the indemnification provisions of our standard sales contracts, we agree to defend our end customers and channel partners against third-party claims asserting infringement of certain intellectual property rights, which may include patents, copyrights, trademarks or trade secrets, and to pay judgments entered on such claims. An adverse ruling in such litigation may potentially expose us to claims in the event that claims are brought against our customers based on the ruling and we are required to indemnify such customers.
Our exposure under these indemnification provisions is frequently limited to the total amount paid by our end customer under the agreement. However, certain agreements include indemnification provisions that could potentially expose us to losses in excess of the amount received under the agreement. Any of these events, including claims for indemnification, could seriously harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
If we are unable to protect our intellectual property rights, our competitive position could be harmed or we could be required to incur significant expenses to enforce our rights.
We depend on our ability to protect our proprietary technology. We rely on trade secret, patent, copyright and trademark laws and confidentiality agreements with employees and third parties, all of which offer only limited protection.
The process of obtaining patent protection is expensive and time-consuming, and we may not be able to prosecute all necessary or desirable patent applications at a reasonable cost or in a timely manner. We may choose not to seek patent protection for certain innovations and may choose not to pursue patent protection in certain jurisdictions. Further, we do not know whether any of our pending patent applications will result in the issuance of patents or whether the examination process will require us to narrow our claims. To the extent that additional patents are issued from our patent applications, which is not certain, they may be contested, circumvented or invalidated in the future. Moreover, the rights granted under any issued patents may not provide us with proprietary protection or competitive advantages, and, as with any technology, competitors may be able to develop similar or superior technologies to our own now or in the future. In addition, we rely on confidentiality or license agreements with third parties in connection with their use of our products and technology. There is no guarantee that such parties will abide by the terms of such agreements or that we will be able to adequately enforce our rights, in part because we rely on “shrink-wrap” licenses in some instances.
We have not registered our trademarks in all geographic markets. Failure to secure those registrations could adversely affect our ability to enforce and defend our trademark rights and result in indemnification claims. Further, any claim of infringement by a third party, even those claims without merit, could cause us to incur substantial costs defending against such claim, could divert management attention from our business and could require us to cease use of such intellectual property in certain geographic markets.
Despite our efforts, the steps we have taken to protect our proprietary rights may not be adequate to preclude misappropriation of our proprietary information or infringement of our intellectual property rights, and our ability to police such misappropriation or infringement is uncertain, particularly in countries outside of the United States.
Detecting and protecting against the unauthorized use of our products, technology and proprietary rights is expensive, difficult and, in some cases, impossible. Litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce or defend our intellectual property rights, to protect our trade secrets or to determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others. Such litigation could result in substantial costs and diversion of management resources, either of which could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects, and there is no guarantee

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that we would be successful. Furthermore, many of our current and potential competitors have the ability to dedicate substantially greater resources to protecting their technology or intellectual property rights than we do. Accordingly, despite our efforts, we may not be able to prevent third parties from infringing upon or misappropriating our intellectual property, which could result in a substantial loss of our market share.
We rely on the availability of licenses to third-party software and other intellectual property.
Many of our products and services include software or other intellectual property licensed from third parties, and we otherwise use software and other intellectual property licensed from third parties in our business. This exposes us to risks over which we may have little or no control. For example, a licensor may have difficulties keeping up with technological changes or may stop supporting the software or other intellectual property that it licenses to us. Also, it will be necessary in the future to renew licenses, expand the scope of existing licenses or seek new licenses, relating to various aspects of these products and services or otherwise relating to our business, which may result in increased license fees. These licenses may not be available on acceptable terms, if at all. In addition, a third party may assert that we or our end customers are in breach of the terms of a license, which could, among other things, give such third party the right to terminate a license or seek damages from us, or both. The inability to obtain or maintain certain licenses or other rights or to obtain or maintain such licenses or rights on favorable terms, or the need to engage in litigation regarding these matters, could result in delays in releases of products and services and could otherwise disrupt our business, until equivalent technology can be identified, licensed or developed, if at all, and integrated into our products and services or otherwise in the conduct of our business. Moreover, the inclusion in our products and services of software or other intellectual property licensed from third parties on a nonexclusive basis may limit our ability to differentiate our products from those of our competitors. Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our products contain third-party open source software components, and failure to comply with the terms of the underlying open source software licenses could restrict our ability to sell our products.
Our products contain software modules licensed to us by third-party authors under “open source” licenses. Use and distribution of open source software may entail greater risks than use of third-party commercial software, as open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or other contractual protections regarding infringement claims or the quality of the code. Some open source licenses contain requirements that we make available source code for modifications or derivative works we create based upon the type of open source software that we use. If we combine our software with open source software in a certain manner, we could, under certain open source licenses, be required to release portions of the source code of our software to the public. This would allow our competitors to create similar products with lower development effort and time and ultimately could result in a loss of product sales for us.
Although we monitor our use of open source software to avoid subjecting our products to conditions we do not intend, the terms of many open source licenses have not been interpreted by U.S. courts, and these licenses could be construed in a way that could impose unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to commercialize our products. Moreover, we cannot assure you that our processes for controlling our use of open source software in our products will be effective. If we are held to have breached the terms of an open source software license, we could be required to seek licenses from third parties to continue offering our products on terms that are not economically feasible, to re-engineer our products, to discontinue the sale of our products if re-engineering could not be accomplished on a timely basis or to make generally available, in source code form, our proprietary code, any of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our products must interoperate with operating systems, software applications and hardware that is developed by others, and if we are unable to devote the necessary resources to ensure that our products interoperate with such software and hardware, we may lose or fail to increase market share and experience a weakening demand for our products.
Generally, our products comprise only a part of the data center and must interoperate with our end customers’ existing infrastructure, specifically their networks, servers, software and operating systems, which may be manufactured by a wide variety of vendors and original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs. Our products must

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comply with established industry standards in order to interoperate with the servers, storage, software and other networking equipment in the data center such that all systems function efficiently together. We depend on the vendors of servers and systems in a data center to support prevailing industry standards. Often, these vendors are significantly larger and more influential in driving industry standards than we are. Also, some industry standards may not be widely adopted or implemented uniformly, and competing standards may emerge that may be preferred by our end customers.
In addition, when new or updated versions of these software operating systems or applications are introduced, we must sometimes develop updated versions of our software so that our products will interoperate properly. We may not accomplish these development efforts quickly, cost-effectively or at all. These development efforts require capital investment and the devotion of engineering resources. If we fail to maintain compatibility with these systems and applications, our end customers may not be able to adequately utilize our products, and we may lose or fail to increase market share and experience a weakening in demand for our products, among other consequences, which would adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We provide access to our software and other selected source code to certain partners, which creates additional risk that our competitors could develop products that are similar to or better than ours.
Our success and ability to compete depend substantially upon our internally developed technology, which is incorporated in the source code for our products. We seek to protect the source code, design code, documentation and other information relating to our software, under trade secret, patent and copyright laws. However, we have chosen to provide access to selected source code of our software to several of our partners for co-development, as well as for open application programming interfaces, or APIs, formats and protocols. Though we generally control access to our source code and other intellectual property and enter into confidentiality or license agreements with such partners as well as with our employees and consultants, this combination of procedural and contractual safeguards may be insufficient to protect our trade secrets and other rights to our technology. Our protective measures may be inadequate, especially because we may not be able to prevent our partners, employees or consultants from violating any agreements or licenses we may have in place or abusing their access granted to our source code. Improper disclosure or use of our source code could help competitors develop products similar to or better than ours.
We expect our gross margins to vary over time and to be adversely affected by numerous factors.
We expect our gross margins to vary over time and the gross margins we have achieved in recent years may not be sustainable and may be adversely affected in the future by numerous factors, including:
changes in end-customer, geographic or product mix, including mix of configurations within each product group;
increased price competition and changes in the actions of our competitors or their pricing strategies;
introduction of new products, including products with price-performance advantages and new business models including the sale and delivery of more software and subscription solutions;
increases in material or component costs including such increases caused by any restriction from sourcing components and manufacturing products internationally;
our ability to reduce production costs;
entry into new markets or growth in lower margin markets, including markets with different pricing and cost structures, through acquisitions or internal development;
entry in markets with different pricing and cost structures;
pricing discounts;
increases in material costs in the event we are restricted from sourcing components and manufacturing products internationally.
costs associated with defending intellectual property infringement and other claims and the potential outcomes of such disputes, such as those claims discussed in “Legal Proceedings,” including the OptumSoft litigation matters;
excess inventory and inventory holding charges;

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obsolescence charges;
changes in shipment volume;
the timing of revenue recognition and revenue deferrals;
increased cost, loss of cost savings or dilution of savings due to changes in component pricing or charges incurred due to inventory holding periods if parts ordering does not correctly anticipate product demand or if the financial health of either contract manufacturers or suppliers deteriorates;
increased costs arising from the tariffs imposed by the U.S. on goods from other countries and tariffs imposed by other countries on U.S. goods, including the tariffs recently implemented and additional tariffs that have been proposed by the U.S. government on various imports from China, Canada, Mexico and the E.U. and by the governments of these jurisdictions on certain U.S. goods;
lower than expected benefits from value engineering;
changes in distribution channels;
increased warranty costs; and
our ability to execute our strategy and operating plans.
We determine our operating expenses largely on the basis of anticipated revenues and a high percentage of our expenses are fixed in the short and medium term. As a result, a failure or delay in generating or recognizing revenue could cause significant variations in our operating results and operating margin from quarter to quarter. Failure to sustain or improve our gross margins reduces our profitability and may have a material adverse effect on our business and stock price.
Our sales cycles can be long and unpredictable, and our sales efforts require considerable time and expense. As a result, our sales and revenue are difficult to predict and may vary substantially from period to period, which may cause our results of operations to fluctuate significantly.
The timing of our sales and revenue recognition is difficult to predict because of the length and unpredictability of our products’ sales cycles. A sales cycle is the period between initial contact with a prospective end customer and any sale of our products. End-customer orders often involve the purchase of multiple products. These orders are complex and difficult to complete because prospective end customers generally consider a number of factors over an extended period of time before committing to purchase the products and solutions we sell. End customers, especially in the case of our large end customers, often view the purchase of our products as a significant and strategic decision and require considerable time to evaluate, test and qualify our products prior to making a purchase decision and placing an order. The length of time that end customers devote to their evaluation, contract negotiation and budgeting processes varies significantly. Our products’ sales cycles can be lengthy in certain cases, especially with respect to our prospective large end customers. During the sales cycle, we expend significant time and money on sales and marketing activities and make investments in evaluation equipment, all of which lower our operating margins, particularly if no sale occurs. Even if an end customer decides to purchase our products, there are many factors affecting the timing of our recognition of revenue, which makes our revenue difficult to forecast. For example, there may be unexpected delays in an end customer’s internal procurement processes, particularly for some of our larger end customers for which our products represent a very small percentage of their total procurement activity. There are many other factors specific to end customers that contribute to the timing of their purchases and the variability of our revenue recognition, including the strategic importance of a particular project to an end customer, budgetary constraints and changes in their personnel.
Even after an end customer makes a purchase, there may be circumstances or terms relating to the purchase that delay our ability to recognize revenue from that purchase. In addition, the significance and timing of our product enhancements, and the introduction of new products by our competitors, may also affect end customers’ purchases. For all of these reasons, it is difficult to predict whether a sale will be completed, the particular period in which a sale will be completed or the period in which revenue from a sale will be recognized. If our sales cycles lengthen, our revenue could be lower than expected, which would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

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Our business is subject to the risks of warranty claims, product returns, product liability and product defects.
Our products are very complex and despite testing prior to their release, they have contained and may contain undetected defects or errors, especially when first introduced or when new versions are released. Product defects or errors could affect the performance of our products and could delay the development or release of new products or new versions of products, adversely affect our reputation and our end customers’ willingness to buy products from us and adversely affect market acceptance or perception of our products. Real or perceived errors, failures or bugs in our products could cause us to lose revenue or market share, increase our service costs, cause us to incur substantial costs in redesigning the products, cause us to lose significant end-customers, subject us to liability for damages and divert our resources from other tasks, any one of which could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Additionally, real or perceived errors, failures or bugs in our products could result in claims by end customers for losses that they sustain. If end customers make these types of claims, we may be required, or may choose, for end-customer relations or other reasons, to expend additional resources in order to address the problem. We may also be required to repair or replace such products or provide a refund for the purchase price for such products. Liability provisions in our standard terms and conditions of sale, and those of our resellers and distributors, may not be enforceable under some circumstances or may not fully or effectively protect us from end-customer claims and related liabilities and costs, including indemnification obligations under our agreements with end customers, resellers and distributors. The sale and support of our products also entail the risk of product liability claims. Even claims that ultimately are unsuccessful could result in expenditures of funds in connection with litigation and divert management’s time and other resources.
Levels or types of insurance coverage purchased may not adequately cover claims or liabilities.
We maintain insurance to protect against certain types of claims associated with the use of our products, operations, property damage, casualty and other risks, but our insurance coverage may not adequately cover all claims or penalties. Depending on our assumptions regarding level of risk, availability, cost and other considerations, we purchase differing amounts of insurance from time to time and in various locations. Our insurance coverage is subject to deductibles, exclusions and policy limits that may require us to self-insure certain types of claims or claims in certain countries. If our level of insurance is inadequate or a loss isn’t covered by insurance, we could be required to pay unpredictable and substantial amounts that could have a substantial negative impact on our financial results or operations.
In addition to our own direct sales force, we rely on distributors, systems integrators and value-added resellers to sell our products, and our failure to effectively develop, manage or prevent disruptions to our distribution channels and the processes and procedures that support them could cause a reduction in the number of end customers of our products.
Our future success is highly dependent upon maintaining our relationships with distributors, systems integrators and value-added resellers and establishing additional sales channel relationships. We anticipate that sales of our products to a limited number of channel partners will continue to account for a material portion of our total product revenue for the foreseeable future. We provide our channel partners with specific training and programs to assist them in selling our products, but these steps may not be effective. In addition, our channel partners may be unsuccessful in marketing, selling and supporting our products and services. If we are unable to develop and maintain effective sales incentive programs for our channel partners, we may not be able to incentivize these partners to sell our products to end customers. These partners may have incentives to promote our competitors’ products to the detriment of our own or may cease selling our products altogether. One of our channel partners could elect to consolidate or enter into a strategic partnership with one of our competitors, which could reduce or eliminate our future opportunities with that channel partner. Our agreements with our channel partners may generally be terminated for any reason by either party with advance notice. We may be unable to retain these channel partners or secure additional or replacement channel partners. The loss of one or more of our significant channel partners requires extensive training, and any new or expanded relationship with a channel partner may take several months or more to achieve productivity.
Where we rely on the channel partners for sales of our products, we may have little or no contact with the ultimate users of our products that purchase through such channel partners, thereby making it more difficult

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for us to establish brand awareness, ensure proper delivery and installation of our products, service ongoing end-customer requirements, estimate end-customer demand and respond to evolving end-customer needs. In addition, our channel partner sales structure could subject us to lawsuits, potential liability and reputational harm if, for example, any of our channel partners misrepresent the functionality of our products or services to end customers, fail to comply with their contractual obligations or violate laws or our corporate policies. If we fail to effectively manage our existing sales channels, or if our channel partners are unsuccessful in fulfilling the orders for our products, if we are unable to enter into arrangements with, and retain a sufficient number of, high-quality channel partners in each of the regions in which we sell products and keep them motivated to sell our products, our ability to sell our products and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects will be harmed.
A portion of our revenue is generated by sales to government entities, which are subject to a number of challenges and risks.
We anticipate increasing our sales efforts to U.S. and foreign, federal, state and local governmental end customers in the future. Sales to government entities are subject to a number of risks. Selling to government entities can be highly competitive, expensive and time consuming, often requiring significant upfront time and expense without any assurance that these efforts will generate a sale. The substantial majority of our sales to date to government entities have been made indirectly through our channel partners. Government certification requirements for products like ours may change and, in doing so, restrict our ability to sell into the government sector until we have attained revised certifications. Government demand and payment for our products and services may be affected by public sector budgetary cycles and funding authorizations, with funding reductions or delays adversely affecting public sector demand for our products and services. Government entities may have statutory, contractual or other legal rights to terminate contracts with our distributors and resellers for convenience or due to a default, and any such termination may adversely impact our future business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Selling to government entities may also require us to comply with various regulations that are not applicable to sales to non-government entities, including regulations that may relate to pricing, classified material and other matters. Complying with such regulations may also require us to put in place controls and procedures to monitor compliance with the applicable regulations that may be costly or not possible. We are not currently certified to perform work under classified contracts with government entities. Failure to comply with any such regulations could adversely affect our business, prospects, results of operations and financial condition. Governments routinely investigate and audit government contractors’ administrative processes, and any unfavorable audit could result in the government ceasing to buy our products and services, a reduction of revenue, fines or civil or criminal liability if the audit uncovers improper or illegal activities, any of which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. The U.S. government may require certain products that it purchases to be manufactured in the U.S. and other relatively high-cost manufacturing locations, and we may not manufacture all products in locations that meet these requirements. Any of these and other circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may invest in or acquire other businesses which could require significant management attention, disrupt our business, dilute stockholder value and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
As part of our business strategy, we may make investments in complementary companies, products or technologies which could involve licenses, additional channels of distribution, discount pricing or investments in or acquisitions of other companies. For example, we completed the acquisition of Mojo Networks, Inc. (“Mojo”) in August 2018 and the acquisition of Metamako Holding PTY LTD. (“Metamako”) in September 2018. However, we do not have significant experience in making investments in other companies nor had we made any acquisitions prior to those of Mojo and Metamako, and as a result, our ability as an organization to evaluate and/or complete investments or acquire and integrate other companies, products or technologies in a successful manner is unproven. We may not be able to find suitable investment or acquisition candidates, and we may not be able to complete such investments or acquisitions on favorable terms, if at all. If we do complete investments or acquisitions, we may not ultimately strengthen our competitive position or achieve our goals, and any investments or acquisitions we complete could be viewed negatively by our end customers, investors and securities analysts.

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In addition, investments and acquisitions may result in unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures. For example, if we are unsuccessful at integrating any acquisitions or retaining key talent from those acquisitions, or the technologies associated with such acquisitions, into our company, the business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects of the combined company could be adversely affected. We may have difficulty retaining the customers of any acquired business or the acquired technologies or research and development expectations may prove unsuccessful. Any integration process may require significant time and resources, and we may not be able to manage the process successfully. Acquisitions may also disrupt our ongoing business, divert our resources and require significant management attention that would otherwise be available for development of our business. We may not successfully evaluate or utilize the acquired technology or personnel or accurately forecast the financial effects of an acquisition transaction, including accounting charges. Any acquisition or investment could expose us to unknown liabilities. Moreover, we cannot assure you that the anticipated benefits of any acquisition or investment would be realized or that we would not be exposed to unknown liabilities. We may have to pay cash, incur debt or issue equity securities to pay for any such investment or acquisition, each of which could adversely affect our financial condition or the market price of our common stock. The sale of equity or issuance of debt to finance any such acquisitions could result in dilution to our stockholders. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in increased fixed obligations and could also include covenants or other restrictions that would impede our ability to manage our operations. Moreover, if the investment or acquisition becomes impaired, we may be required to take an impairment charge, which could adversely affect our financial condition or the market price of our common stock.
Furthermore, through acquisitions, we continue to expand into new markets and new market segments and we may experience challenges in entering into new market segments for which we have not previously manufactured and sold products, including facing exposure to new market risks, difficulty achieving expected business results due to a lack of experience in new markets, products or technologies or the initial dependence on unfamiliar distribution partners or vendors.
If we needed to raise additional capital to expand our operations, invest in new products or for other corporate purposes, our failure to do so on favorable terms could reduce our ability to compete and could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We expect that our existing cash and cash equivalents, will be sufficient to meet our anticipated cash needs for the foreseeable future. If we did need to raise additional funds to expand our operations, invest in new products or for other corporate purposes, we may not be able to obtain additional debt or equity financing on favorable terms, if at all. If we raise additional equity financing, our stockholders may experience significant dilution of their ownership interests, and the market price of our common stock could decline. Furthermore, if we engage in debt financing, the holders of such debt would have priority over the holders of common stock, and we may be required to accept terms that restrict our ability to incur additional indebtedness or impose other restrictions on our business. We may also be required to take other actions that would otherwise be in the interests of the debt holders, including maintaining specified liquidity or other ratios, any of which could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. If we need additional capital and cannot raise it on acceptable terms, if at all, we may not be able to, among other things:
evolve or enhance our products and services;
continue to expand our sales and marketing and research and development organizations;
acquire complementary technologies, products or businesses;
expand operations in the U.S. or internationally;
hire, train and retain employees; or
respond to competitive pressures or unanticipated working capital requirements.
Our failure to do any of these things could seriously harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

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If our estimates or judgments relating to our critical accounting policies are based on assumptions that change or prove to be incorrect, our results of operations could fall below expectations of securities analysts and investors, resulting in a decline in the market price of our common stock.
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, as described in Part II Item 7 of “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets, liabilities, equity, revenue and expenses that are not readily apparent from other sources. Significant assumptions and estimates used in preparing our consolidated financial statements include those related to revenue recognition, inventory valuation and contract manufacturer/supplier liabilities, income taxes and loss contingencies. If our assumptions change or if actual circumstances differ from those in our assumptions, our results of operations may be adversely affected and may fall below the expectations of securities analysts and investors, resulting in a decline in the market price of our common stock.
We are exposed to the credit risk of our channel partners and some of our end customers, which could result in material losses.    
Most of our sales are on an open credit basis, with standard payment terms of 30 days in the United States and, because of local customs or conditions, longer in some markets outside the U.S. We monitor individual end-customer payment capability in granting such open credit arrangements, seek to limit such open credit to amounts we believe the end customers can pay and maintain reserves we believe are adequate to cover exposure for doubtful accounts. We are unable to recognize revenue from shipments until the collection of those amounts becomes reasonably assured. Any significant delay or default in the collection of significant accounts receivable could result in an increased need for us to obtain working capital from other sources, possibly on worse terms than we could have negotiated if we had established such working capital resources prior to such delays or defaults. Any significant default could adversely affect our results of operations and delay our ability to recognize revenue.
A material portion of our sales is derived through our distributors, systems integrators and value-added resellers. Some of our distributors, systems integrators and value-added resellers may experience financial difficulties, which could adversely affect our collection of accounts receivable. Distributors tend to have more limited financial resources than other systems integrators, value-added resellers and end customers. Distributors represent potential sources of increased credit risk because they may be less likely to have the reserve resources required to meet payment obligations. Our exposure to credit risks of our channel partners may increase if our channel partners and their end customers are adversely affected by global or regional economic conditions. One or more of these channel partners could delay payments or default on credit extended to them, either of which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We are exposed to fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our sales contracts are primarily denominated in U.S. dollars, and therefore substantially all of our revenue is not subject to foreign currency risk. However, a strengthening U.S. dollar could increase the real cost of our products to our end customers outside of the U.S., which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. In addition, a decrease in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to foreign currencies could increase our product and operating costs in foreign locations. Further, an increasing portion of our operating expenses is incurred outside the U.S., is denominated in foreign currencies and is subject to fluctuations due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates. If we are not able to successfully hedge against the risks associated with the currency fluctuations, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be adversely affected.

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Our business is subject to the risks of earthquakes, fire, power outages, floods and other catastrophic events and to interruption by manmade problems such as terrorism.
Our corporate headquarters and the operations of our key manufacturing vendors, logistics providers and partners, as well as many of our customers, are located in areas exposed to risks of natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Japan and Taiwan. A significant natural disaster, such as an earthquake, tsunami, fire or a flood, or other catastrophic event such as a disease outbreak, could have a material adverse effect on our or their business, which could in turn materially affect our financial condition, results of operations and prospects. For example, in the event our service providers’ information technology systems or manufacturing or logistics abilities are hindered by any of the events discussed above, shipments could be delayed, which could result in missed financial targets, such as revenue and shipment targets, for a particular quarter. Further, if a natural disaster occurs in a region from which we derive a significant portion of our revenue, end customers in that region may delay or forego purchases of our products, which may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. In addition, acts of terrorism could cause disruptions in our business or the business of our manufacturers, logistics providers, partners or end customers or the economy as a whole. Given our typical concentration of sales at each quarter end, any disruption in the business of our manufacturers, logistics providers, partners or end customers that affects sales at the end of our quarter could have a particularly significant adverse effect on our quarterly results. All of the aforementioned risks may be augmented if our disaster recovery plans and those of our manufacturers, logistics providers or partners prove to be inadequate. To the extent that any of the above results in delays or cancellations of end-customer orders, or delays in the manufacture, deployment or shipment of our products, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects would be adversely affected.
Breaches of our cybersecurity systems could degrade our ability to conduct our business operations and deliver products and services to our customers, delay our ability to recognize revenue, compromise the integrity of our software products, result in significant data losses and the theft of our intellectual property, damage our reputation, expose us to liability to third parties and require us to incur significant additional costs to maintain the security of our networks and data.
We increasingly depend upon our IT systems to conduct virtually all of our business operations, ranging from our internal operations and product development activities to our marketing and sales efforts and communications with our customers and business partners. Computer programmers may attempt to penetrate our network security, or that of our website, and misappropriate our proprietary information or cause interruptions of our service. Because the techniques used by such computer programmers to access or sabotage networks change frequently and may not be recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques. In addition, sophisticated hardware and operating system software and applications that we produce or procure from third parties may contain defects in design or manufacture, including “bugs” and other problems that could unexpectedly interfere with the operation of the system. We have also outsourced a number of our business functions to third-parties, including our manufacturers, logistics providers, and cloud service providers, and our business operations also depend, in part, on the success of these third parties' own cybersecurity measures. Similarly, we rely upon distributors, resellers and system integrators to sell our products and our sales operations depend, in part, on the reliability of their cybersecurity measures. Additionally, we depend upon our employees to appropriately handle confidential data and deploy our IT resources in safe and secure fashion that does not expose our network systems to security breaches and the loss of data. Accordingly, if our cybersecurity systems and those of our contractors fail to protect against unauthorized access, sophisticated cyber attacks and the mishandling of data by our employees and contractors, our ability to conduct our business effectively could be damaged in a number of ways, including:
sensitive data regarding our business, including intellectual property and other proprietary data, could be stolen;
our electronic communications systems, including email and other methods, could be disrupted, and our ability to conduct our business operations could be seriously damaged until such systems can be restored;
our ability to process customer orders and electronically deliver products and services could be degraded, and our distribution channels could be disrupted, resulting in delays in revenue recognition;

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defects and security vulnerabilities could be introduced into our software, thereby damaging the reputation and perceived reliability and security of our products and potentially making the data systems of our customers vulnerable to further data loss and cyber incidents; and
personally identifiable data of our customers, employees and business partners could be compromised.
Should any of the above events occur, we could be subject to significant claims for liability from our customers and regulatory actions from governmental agencies. In addition, our ability to protect our intellectual property rights could be compromised and our reputation and competitive position could be significantly harmed. Also, the regulatory and contractual actions, litigations, investigations, fines, penalties and liabilities relating to data breaches that result in losses of personally identifiable or credit card information of users of our services can be significant in terms of fines and reputational impact and necessitate changes to our business operations that may be disruptive to us. Additionally, we could incur significant costs in order to upgrade our cybersecurity systems and remediate damages. Consequently, our financial performance and results of operations could be adversely affected.
We believe our long-term value as a company will be greater if we focus primarily on growth instead of profitability.
Our business strategy is to focus primarily on our long-term growth. As a result, our profitability in any given period may be lower than it would be if our strategy was to maximize short-term profitability. Expenditures on research and development, sales and marketing, infrastructure and other such investments may not ultimately grow our business, prospects or cause long term profitability. For example, in order to support our strong growth, we have accelerated our investment in infrastructure, such as enterprise resource planning software and other technologies to improve the efficiency of our operations. As a result, we expect our levels of operating profit could decline in the short to medium term. If we are ultimately unable to achieve or maintain profitability at the level anticipated by analysts and our stockholders, the market price of our common stock may decline.
We may not generate positive returns on our research and development investments.
Developing our products is expensive, and the investment in product development may involve a long payback cycle. For the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, our research and development expenses were $442.5 million, or approximately 20.6% of our revenue, $349.6 million, or approximately 21.2% of our revenue, and $273.6 million, or approximately 24.2% of our revenue, respectively. We expect to continue to invest heavily in software development in order to expand the capabilities of our cloud networking platform, introduce new products and features and build upon our technology leadership. We believe one of our greatest strengths lies in the speed of our product development efforts. By investing in research and development, we believe we will be well positioned to continue our rapid growth and take advantage of our large market opportunity. We expect that our results of operations will be impacted by the timing and size of these investments. These investments may take several years to generate positive returns, if ever.
Changes in our income taxes or our effective tax rate, the enactment of new tax laws or changes in the application of existing tax laws of various jurisdictions or adverse outcomes resulting from examination of our income tax returns could adversely affect our results.
Our income taxes are subject to volatility and could be adversely affected by several factors, many of which are outside of our control, including earnings that are lower than anticipated in countries that have lower tax rates and higher than anticipated in countries that have higher tax rates; our ability to generate and use tax attributes; changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities; expiration of or lapses in the federal research and development (“R&D”) tax credit laws; transfer pricing adjustments, including the effect of acquisitions on our inter-company R&D cost sharing arrangement and legal structure; tax effects of nondeductible compensation, including certain stock-based compensation; tax costs related to inter-company realignments; changes in accounting principles; adverse tax consequences, including imposition of withholding or other taxes on payments by subsidiaries or customers; a change in our decision to indefinitely reinvest foreign earnings or changes in tax laws and regulations, including the Tax Act enacted on December 22, 2017 and the new U.S. changes to the taxation of earnings of our foreign subsidiaries.

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Significant judgment is required to evaluate our tax positions and determine our income taxes. The accounting guidance for uncertainty in income taxes applies to all income tax positions, including the potential recovery of previously paid taxes, which if settled unfavorably could adversely affect income taxes or additional paid-in capital. In addition, tax laws are dynamic and subject to change as evidenced by the Tax Act. As new laws are passed and new interpretations of the law are issued or applied, our income taxes may be affected. Recent changes to U.S. tax laws, including taxation of earnings outside of the U.S., the introduction of a base erosion anti-abuse tax and the disallowance of tax deductions for certain book expense, as well as changes to U.S. tax laws that may be enacted in the future, could impact the tax treatment of our earnings, as well as cash and cash equivalent balances we currently maintain. For example, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, or the Court, is expected to issue an opinion in Altera Corp. v. Commissioner that addresses the treatment of stock-based compensation under a cost-sharing arrangement. We are monitoring this case and any impact the final opinion could have on our financial statements and effective tax rate. Furthermore, due to shifting economic and political conditions, tax policies or rates in various jurisdictions may be subject to significant change.
Further, we are subject to the examination of our income tax returns by the Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities. Audits by the Internal Revenue Service or other tax authorities are subject to inherent uncertainties and could result in unfavorable outcomes, including potential fines or penalties. As we operate in numerous taxing jurisdictions, the application of tax laws can be subject to diverging and sometimes conflicting interpretations by tax authorities of these jurisdictions. The expense of defending and resolving such an audit may be significant. The amount of time to resolve an audit is also unpredictable and may divert management’s attention from our business operations. We regularly assess the likelihood of adverse outcomes resulting from these examinations to determine the adequacy of our income taxes. We cannot assure you that fluctuations in our provision for income taxes or our effective tax rate, the enactment of new tax laws or changes in the application or interpretation of existing tax laws or adverse outcomes resulting from examination of our tax returns by tax authorities will not have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
The requirements of being a public company may strain our resources, divert management’s attention and affect our ability to attract and retain qualified board members.
As a public company, we are subject to the reporting and corporate governance requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, the listing requirements of the New York Stock Exchange and other applicable securities rules and regulations, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, or the Dodd-Frank Act. Compliance with these rules and regulations and the attendant responsibilities of management and the board, may make it more difficult to attract and retain executive officers and members of our board of directors, particularly to serve on our Audit Committee and Compensation Committee, has increased our legal and financial compliance costs, made some activities more difficult, time-consuming or costly and increased demand on our systems and resources. Among other things, the Exchange Act requires that we file annual, quarterly and current reports with respect to our business and results of operations and maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. In order to maintain and, if required, improve our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting to meet this standard, significant resources and management oversight may be required. In addition, if our internal control over financial reporting is not effective as defined under Section 404, we could be subject to one or more investigations or enforcement actions by state or federal regulatory agencies, stockholder lawsuits or other adverse actions requiring us to incur defense costs, pay fines, settlements or judgments. As a result, management’s attention may be diverted from other business concerns, which could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Although we have already hired additional employees to help comply with these requirements, we may need to further expand our legal and finance departments in the future, which will increase our costs and expenses.
In addition, changing laws, regulations, and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure, such as continued rulemaking pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act and related rules and regulations, are creating uncertainty for public companies, increasing legal and financial compliance costs and making some activities more time consuming. These laws, regulations and standards are subject to varying interpretations, in many cases due to their lack of specificity, and, as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies. This could result in continuing uncertainty regarding

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compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices. We intend to invest resources to comply with evolving laws, regulations, and standards, and this investment may result in increased general and administrative expense and a diversion of management’s time and attention from revenue-generating activities to compliance activities. If our efforts to comply with new laws, regulations and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us and our business and prospects may be harmed. As a result of disclosure of information in the filings required of a public company, our business and financial condition will become more visible, which may result in threatened or actual litigation, including by competitors and other third parties. If such claims are successful, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be harmed, and even if the claims do not result in litigation or are resolved in our favor, these claims, and the time and resources necessary to resolve them, could divert the resources of our management and harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
In addition, as a result of our disclosure obligations as a public company, we will have reduced strategic flexibility and will be under pressure to focus on short-term results, which may adversely affect our ability to achieve long-term profitability. We also believe that being a public company and these new rules and regulations makes it more expensive for us to obtain and maintain director and officer liability insurance, and in the future, we may be required to accept reduced coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain coverage. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of our board of directors, particularly to serve on our Audit Committee and Compensation Committee, and qualified executive officers.
Failure to comply with governmental laws and regulations could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our business is subject to regulation by various federal, state, local and foreign governmental agencies, including agencies responsible for monitoring and enforcing employment and labor laws, workplace safety, product safety, environmental laws, consumer protection laws, anti-bribery laws, import/export controls, federal securities laws and tax laws and regulations. In certain jurisdictions, these regulatory requirements may be more stringent than those in the United States. For example, the European Union, or EU, has now implemented General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). The GDPR requires substantial changes to the handling and storage of data and administrative fines for violations, which can be up four percent of the previous year’s annual revenue or €20 million, whichever is higher. From time to time, we may receive inquiries from such governmental agencies or we may make voluntary disclosures regarding our compliance with applicable governmental regulations or requirements relating to import/export controls, federal securities laws and tax laws and regulations which could lead to formal investigations. Noncompliance with applicable government regulations or requirements could subject us to sanctions, mandatory product recalls, enforcement actions, disgorgement of profits, fines, damages, civil and criminal penalties or injunctions. If any governmental sanctions are imposed, or if we do not prevail in any possible civil or criminal litigation, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially adversely affected. In addition, responding to any action will likely result in a significant diversion of management’s attention and resources and an increase in professional fees. Enforcement actions and sanctions could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We are subject to governmental export and import controls that could impair our ability to compete in international markets or subject us to liability if we violate these controls.
Our products may be subject to various export controls and because we incorporate encryption technology into certain of our products, certain of our products may be exported from various countries only with the required export license or through an export license exception. If we were to fail to comply with the applicable export control laws, customs regulations, economic sanctions or other applicable laws, we could be subject to monetary damages or the imposition of restrictions which could be material to our business, operating results and prospects and could also harm our reputation. Further, there could be criminal penalties for knowing or willful violations, including incarceration for culpable employees and managers. Obtaining the necessary export license or other authorization for a particular sale may be time-consuming and may result in the delay or loss of sales opportunities. Furthermore, certain export control and economic sanctions laws prohibit the shipment of certain products, technology, software and services to embargoed countries and sanctioned governments, entities, and persons. Even though we take precautions to ensure that we and our channel partners comply with all relevant regulations, any

45


failure by us or our channel partners to comply with such regulations could have negative consequences, including reputational harm, government investigations and penalties.
As our company grows we also continue developing procedures and controls to comply with export control and other applicable laws. Historically, we have had some instances where we inadvertently have not fully complied with certain export control laws, but we have disclosed them to, and implemented corrective actions with, the appropriate government agencies.
In addition, various countries regulate the import of certain encryption technology, including through import permit and license requirements, and have enacted laws that could limit our ability to distribute our products or could limit our end customers’ ability to implement our products in those countries. Any change in export or import regulations, economic sanctions or related legislation, shift in the enforcement or scope of existing regulations or change in the countries, governments, persons or technologies targeted by such regulations could result in decreased use of our products by, or in our decreased ability to export or sell our products to, existing or potential end customers with international operations or create delays in the introduction of our products into international markets. Any decreased use of our products or limitation on our ability to export or sell our products could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
If we or our partners fail to comply with environmental requirements, our business, financial condition, results of operations, prospects and reputation could be adversely affected.    
We and our partners, including our contract manufacturers, are subject to various local, state, federal and international environmental laws and regulations, including laws governing the hazardous material content of our products and laws relating to the collection, recycling and disposal of electrical and electronic equipment. Examples of these laws and regulations include the EU Restrictions on the use of Hazardous Substances Directive, or RoHS Directive, and the EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, or WEEE Directive, as well as the implementing legislation of the EU member states. Similar laws and regulations have been passed or are pending in China, South Korea, Norway and Japan and may be enacted in other regions, including in the U.S., and we or our partners, including our contract manufacturers, are, or may in the future be, subject to these laws and regulations.
The EU RoHS Directive and the similar laws of other jurisdictions limit the content of certain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury and cadmium in the manufacture of electrical equipment, including our products. Our products currently comply with the RoHS Directive; however, if there are future changes to this directive, we may be required to re-engineer our products to use components compatible with these regulations. This re-engineering and component substitution could result in additional costs to us or disrupt our operations or logistics.
We are also subject to environmental laws and regulations governing the management and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes. Our failure, or the failure of our partners, including our contract manufacturers, to comply with past, present and future environmental laws could result in fines, penalties, third-party claims, reduced sales of our products, substantial product inventory write-offs and reputational damage, any of which could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. We also expect that our business will be affected by new environmental laws and regulations on an ongoing basis applicable to us and our partners, including our contract manufacturers. To date, our expenditures for environmental compliance have not had a material effect on our results of operations or cash flows. Although we cannot predict the future effect of such laws or regulations, they will likely result in additional costs or require us to change the content or manufacturing of our products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Regulations related to conflict minerals may cause us to incur additional expenses and could limit the supply and increase the costs of certain metals used in the manufacturing of our products.
As a public company, we are subject to requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act that require us to perform diligence, and disclose and report whether or not our products contain “conflict minerals” mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries and procedures regarding a manufacturer’s efforts to prevent the sourcing of such “conflict minerals.”
The implementation of these requirements could adversely affect the sourcing, availability and pricing of the materials used in the manufacture of components used in our products. In addition, we will incur additional

46


costs to comply with these disclosure requirements, including costs related to conducting diligence procedures and, if applicable, potential changes to products, processes or sources of supply as a consequence of such verification activities. We may also face reputational harm if we determine that certain of our products contain minerals not determined to be conflict-free or if we are unable to alter our products, processes or sources of supply to avoid such materials.
Risks Related to the Securities Markets and Ownership of Our Common Stock
The trading price of our common stock has been and may continue to be volatile, and the value of your investment could decline.
The trading price of our common stock has historically been and is likely to continue to be volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to various factors, some of which are beyond our control. These fluctuations could cause you to lose all or part of your investment in our common stock. Factors that could cause fluctuations in the market price of our common stock include the following:
actual or anticipated announcements of new products, services or technologies, commercial relationships, acquisitions or other events by us or our competitors;
forward-looking statements related to future revenue, gross margins and earnings per share;
price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market from time to time;
changes in the growth rate of the networking market;
litigation involving us, our industry, or both including events occurring in our litigation with OptumSoft;
manufacturing, supply or distribution shortages or constraints, or challenges with adding or changing our manufacturing process or supply chain;
significant volatility in the market price and trading volume of technology companies in general and of companies in the IT security industry in particular;
fluctuations in the trading volume of our shares or the size of our public float;
sales by our officers, directors or significant stockholders;
actual or anticipated changes or fluctuations in our results of operations;
adverse changes to our relationships with any of our channel partners;
whether our results of operations or our financial outlook for future fiscal periods meet the expectations of securities analysts or investors;
actual or anticipated changes in the expectations of investors or securities analysts;
regulatory developments in the U.S., foreign countries or both;
general economic conditions and trends;
major catastrophic events;
sales of large blocks of our common stock; or
departures of key personnel.
In addition, technology stocks have historically experienced high levels of volatility and, if the market for technology stocks or the stock market in general experiences a loss of investor confidence, the market price of our common stock could decline for reasons unrelated to our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. The market price of our common stock might also decline in reaction to events that affect other companies in our industry even if these events do not directly affect us. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been brought against that company. If the market price of our common stock is volatile, we may become the target of securities litigation. Securities litigation could result in substantial costs and divert our management’s attention and resources from our business and prospects. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

47


Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public markets, or the perception that such sales might occur, could reduce the market price that our common stock might otherwise attain and may dilute your voting power and your ownership interest in us.
Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market, or the perception that such sales could occur, could adversely affect the market price of our common stock and may make it more difficult for you to sell your common stock at a time and price that you deem appropriate and may dilute your voting power and your ownership interest in us.
Based on shares outstanding as of December 31, 2018, holders of approximately 24.0% of our common stock have rights, subject to some conditions, to require us to file registration statements covering the sale of their shares or to include their shares in registration statements that we may file for ourselves or other stockholders. In addition, we have registered the offer and sale of all shares of common stock that we may issue under our equity compensation plans. If holders, by exercising their registration rights, sell large numbers of shares, it could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
We may also issue shares of common stock or securities convertible into our common stock in connection with a financing, acquisition, our equity incentive plans, or otherwise. Any such issuances would result in dilution to our existing stockholders and the market price of our common stock may be adversely affected.
Insiders have substantial control over us, which could limit your ability to influence the outcome of key transactions, including a change of control.
Our directors, executive officers and each of our stockholders who own greater than 10% of our outstanding common stock together with their affiliates, in the aggregate, beneficially own approximately 23.2% of the outstanding shares of our common stock, based on shares outstanding as of December 31, 2018. As a result, these stockholders, if acting together, could exercise a significant level of influence over matters requiring approval by our stockholders, including the election of directors and the approval of mergers, acquisitions or other extraordinary transactions. They may also have interests that differ from yours and may vote in a way with which you disagree and which may be adverse to your interests. This concentration of ownership may also discourage a potential investor from acquiring our common stock due to the limited voting power of such stock or otherwise may have the effect of delaying, preventing or deterring a change of control of our company, could deprive our stockholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their common stock as part of a sale of our company and might ultimately affect the market price of our common stock.
We have not paid dividends in the past and do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future.
We have never declared nor paid any dividends on our common stock, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the future. As a result, you may only receive a return on your investment in our common stock if the market price of our common stock increases.
If securities or industry analysts publish inaccurate or unfavorable research reports about our business or prospects, the market price of our common stock and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for our common stock, to some extent, depends on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business or prospects. We do not have any control over these analysts. If one or more of the analysts who cover us should downgrade our shares or change their opinion of our shares, the market price of our common stock would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts should cease coverage of our company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which could cause the market price of our common stock or trading volume to decline.
Our charter documents and Delaware law could discourage takeover attempts and lead to management entrenchment.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws contain provisions that could delay or prevent a change in control of our company. These provisions could also make it difficult for stockholders to elect directors that are not nominated by the current members of our board of directors or take other corporate actions, including effecting changes in our management. These provisions include:

48


a classified board of directors with three-year staggered terms, which could delay the ability of stockholders to change the membership of a majority of our board of directors;
the ability of our board of directors to issue shares of preferred stock and to determine the price and other terms of those shares, including preferences and voting rights, without stockholder approval, which could be used to significantly dilute the ownership of a hostile acquirer;
the exclusive right of our board of directors to elect a director to fill a vacancy created by the expansion of our board of directors or the resignation, death or removal of a director, which prevents stockholders from being able to fill vacancies on our board of directors;
a prohibition on stockholder action by written consent, which forces stockholder action to be taken at an annual or special meeting of our stockholders;
the requirement that a special meeting of stockholders may be called only by the chairman of our board of directors, our president, our secretary or a majority vote of our board of directors, which could delay the ability of our stockholders to force consideration of a proposal or to take action, including the removal of directors;
the requirement for the affirmative vote of holders of at least 66 2/3% of the voting power of all of the then outstanding shares of the voting stock, voting together as a single class, to amend the provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation relating to the issuance of preferred stock and management of our business or our amended and restated bylaws, which may inhibit the ability of an acquirer to effect such amendments to facilitate an unsolicited takeover attempt;
the ability of our board of directors, by majority vote, to amend the bylaws, which may allow our board of directors to take additional actions to prevent an unsolicited takeover and inhibit the ability of an acquirer to amend the bylaws to facilitate an unsolicited takeover attempt; and
advance notice procedures with which stockholders must comply to nominate candidates to our board of directors or to propose matters to be acted upon at a stockholders’ meeting, which may discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquirer’s own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us.
In addition, as a Delaware corporation, we are subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law. These provisions may prohibit large stockholders, in particular those owning 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock, from merging or combining with us for a certain period of time.
The issuance of additional stock in connection with financings, acquisitions, investments, our stock incentive plans or otherwise will dilute all other stockholders.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes us to issue up to 1,000,000,000 shares of common stock and up to 100,000,000 shares of preferred stock with such rights and preferences as may be determined by our board of directors. Subject to compliance with applicable rules and regulations, we may issue our shares of common stock or securities convertible into our common stock from time to time in connection with a financing, acquisition, investment, our stock incentive plans or otherwise. We may from time to time issue additional shares of common stock at a discount from the then market price of our common stock. Any issuance of stock could result in substantial dilution to our existing stockholders and cause the market price of our common stock to decline.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
None.

Item 2. Properties
Our corporate headquarters is located in Santa Clara, California where we currently lease approximately 210,000 square feet of space under a lease agreement that expires in 2023. In addition, we lease office spaces for operations, sales personnel and research and development in locations throughout the U.S. and various international

49


locations, including Ireland, Canada, India, Australia, the United Kingdom, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, China, Mexico, France, Taiwan, and United Arab Emirates. We also lease data centers in the U.S., Ireland and the United Kingdom.
We believe that our current facilities are adequate to meet our current needs. We intend to expand our facilities or add new facilities as we add employees and enter new geographic markets, and we believe that suitable additional or alternative space will be available as needed to accommodate ongoing operations and any such growth. We expect to incur additional expenses in connection with such new or expanded facilities.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings
The information set forth under the “Legal Proceedings” in Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.


50


PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Market Information
Our common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “ANET”. As of February 8, 2019, there were 78 holders of record of our common stock. Because many of our shares of common stock are held by brokers and other institutions on behalf of stockholders, we are unable to estimate the total number of stockholders represented by these record holders.
Stock Performance Graph
The following shall not be deemed “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, or incorporated by reference into any of our other filings under the Exchange Act or the Securities Act, except to the extent we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.
The following graph compares the cumulative total return of our common stock with the total return for the NYSE Composite Index and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (the “S&P 500”) from June 6, 2014 (the date of our initial public offering) through December 31, 2018. The graph assumes that $100 was invested on June 6, 2014's closing price in our common stock, the NYSE Composite Index and the S&P 500, and assumes reinvestment of any dividends. The stock price performance on the following graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.
trg2018a01.jpg
Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans
See Item 12 of Part III of this report regarding information about securities authorized for issuance under our equity compensation plans.

51


Recent Sales of Unregistered Equity Securities
On September 12, 2018, in connection with our acquisition of Metamako, we issued 79,821 shares of our common stock to the stockholders of Metamako as partial consideration for this acquisition. For further discussion of this acquisition, see Note 2. Business Combinations of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
This stock issuance was not registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Such shares were issued in a private placement exempt from the registration requirements of the Securities Act, in reliance upon Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act or Regulation D or Regulation S promulgated thereunder. The recipients of the securities in each of these transactions represented their intentions to acquire the securities for investment only and not with a view to or for sale in connection with any distribution thereof, and appropriate legends were placed upon the share certificates issued in these transactions.
Issuer Repurchases of Equity Securities
Under our equity incentive plans, certain participants may exercise options prior to vesting, subject to a right of a repurchase by us. During the fourth quarter of 2018, there were no repurchases of unvested shares of our common stock made pursuant to our equity incentive plans as a result of us exercising our rights nor pursuant to any publicly announced plan or program.

Item 6. Selected Consolidated Financial Data
The selected consolidated statements of operations data for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 and the consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2018 and 2017 are derived from our audited financial statements appearing in Part II, Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The selected consolidated statements of operations data for fiscal 2015 and 2014 and the consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 are derived from audited financial statements not included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected in the future. The following selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” our consolidated financial statements, and the accompanying notes appearing in Part II, Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to fully understand factors that may affect the comparability of the information presented below.

52


 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
 
(in thousands, except per share data)
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:
Revenue
 
$
2,151,369

 
$
1,646,186

 
$
1,129,167

 
$
837,591

 
$
584,106

Cost of revenue (1)
 
777,992

 
584,417

 
406,051

 
294,031

 
192,015

Total gross profit
 
1,373,377

 
1,061,769

 
723,116

 
543,560

 
392,091

Operating expenses (1):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Research and development
 
442,468

 
349,594

 
273,581

 
209,448

 
148,909

Sales and marketing
 
187,142

 
155,105

 
130,887

 
109,084

 
85,338

General and administrative
 
65,420

 
86,798

 
75,239

 
75,720

 
32,331

Legal settlement (2)
 
405,000

 

 

 

 

Total operating expenses
 
1,100,030

 
591,497

 
479,707

 
394,252

 
266,578

Income from operations
 
273,347

 
470,272

 
243,409

 
149,308

 
125,513

Other income (expense), net:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest expense
 
(2,701
)
 
(2,780
)
 
(3,136
)
 
(3,152
)
 
(6,280
)
Other income (expense), net
 
18,155

 
7,268

 
1,952

 
(147
)
 
2,275

Total other income (expense), net
 
15,454

 
4,488

 
(1,184
)
 
(3,299
)
 
(4,005
)
Income before income taxes
 
288,801

 
474,760

 
242,225

 
146,009

 
121,508

Provision for (benefit from) income taxes (3)
 
(39,314
)
 
51,559

 
58,036

 
24,907

 
34,658

Net income
 
$
328,115

 
$
423,201

 
$
184,189

 
$
121,102

 
$
86,850

Net income attributable to common stockholders:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
 
$
327,926

 
$
422,400

 
$
182,965

 
$
119,115

 
$
68,889

Diluted
 
$
327,941

 
$
422,468

 
$
183,039

 
$
119,264

 
$
70,524

Net income per share attributable to common stockholders:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
 
$
4.39

 
$
5.85

 
$
2.66

 
$
1.81

 
$
1.42

Diluted
 
$
4.06

 
$
5.35

 
$
2.50

 
$
1.67

 
$
1.29

Weighted-average shares used in computing net income per share attributable to common stockholders:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
 
74,750

 
72,258

 
68,771

 
65,964

 
48,427

Diluted
 
80,844

 
78,977

 
73,222

 
71,411

 
54,590

____________________
(1) Includes stock-based compensation expense as follows:
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
 
(in thousands)
Cost of revenue
 
$
5,087

 
$
4,353

 
$
3,620

 
$
3,048

 
$
1,535

Research and development
 
48,205

 
42,184

 
31,892

 
25,515

 
14,986

Sales and marketing
 
24,995

 
17,953

 
15,666

 
11,454

 
7,643

General and administrative
 
12,915

 
10,937

 
7,854

 
5,286

 
3,455

Total stock-based compensation
 
$
91,202

 
$
75,427

 
$
59,032

 
$
45,303

 
$
27,619


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(2) See Note 14. Legal Settlement of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
(3) Provision for (benefit from) income taxes for 2018 and 2017 included an excess tax benefit of $75.5 million and $110.0 million, respectively, resulting from the adoption of Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") 2016-09 in 2017. Benefit from income taxes for 2018 also included a benefit of $96.9 million resulting from our legal settlement with Cisco (see Note 14. Legal Settlement of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K). Provision for income taxes for 2017 also included a provisional amount of $51.8 million in connection with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017 (see Note 10. Income Taxes of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K).
 
 
December 31,
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
 
(in thousands)
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities
 
$
1,956,147

 
$
1,535,555

 
$
867,833

 
$
687,326

 
$
449,457

Working capital
 
2,108,298

 
1,736,524

 
1,066,573

 
739,317

 
535,106

Total assets
 
3,081,983

 
2,460,860

 
1,729,007

 
1,159,890

 
811,023

Total indebtedness (1)
 
37,743

 
39,592

 
41,210

 
42,546

 
43,634

Total deferred revenue and customer contract liabilities (2)
 
619,822

 
515,262

 
372,935

 
196,808

 
106,468

Total stockholders’ equity
 
$
2,143,389

 
$
1,661,914

 
$
1,107,820

 
$
788,152

 
$
555,658

___________________
(1) Total indebtedness for all periods presented included our lease financing obligations.
(2) As a result of our adoption of ASC 606 - Revenue from Contracts with Customers (“ASC 606”) on January 1, 2018, we began to record our performance obligations related to customer prepaid subscription under cancellable contracts as contract liabilities. Prior to 2018, such liabilities were classified as deferred revenue. See Note 1. Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for details. December 31, 2018 included such liabilities, current and noncurrent, of $32.6 million.

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with the consolidated financial statements and related notes that are included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This discussion contains forward-looking statements based upon current plans, expectations and beliefs that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Overview
We are a leading supplier of cloud networking solutions that use software innovations to address the needs of large-scale internet companies, cloud service providers and next-generation data centers and campuses for enterprise support. Our cloud networking solutions consist of our Extensible Operating System, or EOS, a set of network applications and our Ethernet switching and routing platforms. Our cloud networking solutions deliver industry-leading performance, scalability, availability, programmability, automation and visibility. At the core of our cloud networking platform is EOS, which was purpose-built to be fully programmable and highly modular. The programmability of EOS has allowed us to create a set of software applications that address the requirements of cloud networking, including workflow automation, network visibility and analytics, and has also allowed us to rapidly integrate with a wide range of third-party applications for virtualization, management, automation, orchestration and network services.
We believe that cloud networks will continue to replace legacy network technologies, and that our cloud networking platform addresses the large and growing cloud networking segment of data center switching, which

54


remains in the early stage of adoption. Cloud networks are subject to increasing performance requirements due to the growing number of connected devices, as well as new enterprise and consumer applications. Computing architectures are evolving to meet the need for constant connectivity and access to data and applications. We expect to continue growing our organization to meet the needs of new and existing customers as they increasingly realize the performance and cost benefits of our cloud networking solutions and as they expand their cloud networks. Accordingly, we intend to continue to invest in our research and development organization to enhance the functionality of our existing cloud networking platform, introduce new products and features, and build upon our technology leadership. We believe one of our greatest strengths lies in our rapid development of new features and applications.
We generate revenue primarily from sales of our switching products which incorporate our EOS software. We generate the majority of our services revenue from post contract support, or PCS, which end customers typically purchase in conjunction with our products. Our end customers span a range of industries and include large internet companies, service providers, financial services organizations, government agencies, media and entertainment companies and others. As we have grown the functionality of our EOS software, expanded the range of our product portfolio and increased the size of our sales force, our revenue has continued to grow rapidly. We have also been profitable and operating cash flow positive for each year since 2010.
To continue to grow our revenue, it is important that we both obtain new customers and sell additional products to existing customers. We expect that a substantial portion of our future sales will be follow-on sales to existing customers. We intend to continue expanding our sales force and marketing activities in key geographies, as well as our relationships with channel, technology and system-level partners in order to reach new end customers more effectively, increase sales to existing customers, and provide services and support effectively. In order to support our strong growth, we have and may continue to accelerate our investment in infrastructure, such as enterprise resource planning software and other technologies to improve the efficiency of our operations.
Our development model is focused on the development of new products based on our EOS software and enhancements to EOS. We engineer our products to be agnostic to the underlying merchant silicon architecture. Today, we combine our EOS software with merchant silicon into a family of switching and routing products. This enables us to focus our research and development resources on our software core competencies and to leverage the investments made by merchant silicon vendors to achieve cost-effective solutions. We currently procure certain merchant silicon components from multiple vendors, and we continue to expand our relationships with these and other vendors. We work closely with third party contract manufacturers to manufacture our products. Our contract manufacturers deliver our products to our third party direct fulfillment facilities.  We and our fulfillment partners then perform labeling, final configuration, quality assurance testing and shipment to our customers.
Historically, large purchases by a relatively limited number of end customers have accounted for significant portion of our revenue. We have experienced unpredictability in the timing of large orders, especially with respect to our large end customers, due to the complexity of orders, the time it takes end customers to evaluate, test, qualify and accept our products and factors specific to our end customers. Due to these factors, we expect continued variability in our customer concentration and timing of sales on a quarterly and annual basis. For example, our sales to Microsoft as an end-user in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, representing 27% of our revenue during fiscal 2018, benefited from certain factors that may not repeat in fiscal 2019 or future fiscal years and the percentage of our revenue from Microsoft in fiscal 2019 may decline. In addition, we have provided, and may in the future provide, pricing discounts to large end customers, which may result in lower margins for the period in which such sales occur. Our gross margins may also fluctuate as a result of the timing of such sales to large end customers.
On August 6, 2018, we entered into a binding term sheet with Cisco (the “Term Sheet”). Pursuant to the Term Sheet, we paid Cisco $400.0 million on August 20, 2018, and the Company and Cisco obtained dismissals of all ongoing district court and USITC litigation between us. Cisco granted us a release for all past claims relating to the patents Cisco asserted against us in the district court and USITC, and we granted Cisco a release from all past antitrust and unfair competition claims. These mutual releases extended to the Company's and Cisco’s customers, contract manufacturers, and partners. The parties further agreed to a five-year stand-down period for any utility patent infringement claims either may have against features currently implemented in the other party’s products and services, with some carve-outs for products stemming from acquired companies. The parties further

55


agreed to a three-year dispute resolution process for allegations by either party against new and/or modified features in the other party’s products. We also agreed to make certain modifications to our Command Line Interface (“CLI”). On December 3, 2018, the parties entered into a Mutual Release and Settlement Agreement (the “Definitive Agreement”), which superseded the Term Sheet but did not substantially alter the terms. See Note 14. Legal Settlement of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Furthermore, in order to comply with USITC exclusion and cease and desist orders previously issued in relation to the Cisco legal matter, we made certain design changes to our products for sale in the United States. Following the expiration and invalidation of related patent claims, effective July 1, 2018, certain features previously covered by the orders could be re-incorporated into our products. We are working with customers to complete any remaining re-qualification procedures related to the reintroduction of these features, the timing of which could result in an impact to our revenue and our deferred revenue balances.
Acquisitions
On August 2, 2018, we completed the acquisition of Mojo Networks, Inc., a provider of Cognitive WiFi and cloud-managed wireless networking solutions headquartered in Mountain View, California. We expect to extend our cognitive cloud networking architecture with the addition of Mojo by providing secure, high performance cognitive WiFi at cloud scale.
On September 12, 2018, we completed the acquisition of Metamako Holding PTY LTD. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Metamako was a leader in solutions for latency sensitive business applications. We expect this acquisition to play a key role in the delivery of our next generation platforms for low-latency applications.

Results of Operations
Year Ended December 31, 2018 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2017
Revenue, Cost of Revenue and Gross Profit (in thousands, except percentages)
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
Change in
 
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
%
Revenue
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Product
 
$
1,841,100

 
85.6
%
 
$
1,432,810

 
87.0
%
 
$
408,290

 
28.5
%
Service
 
310,269

 
14.4

 
213,376

 
13.0

 
96,893

 
45.4

Total revenue
 
2,151,369

 
100.0

 
1,646,186

 
100.0

 
505,183

 
30.7

Cost of revenue
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Product
 
720,584

 
33.5

 
538,035

 
32.7

 
182,549

 
33.9

Service
 
57,408

 
2.7

 
46,382

 
2.8

 
11,026

 
23.8

Total cost of revenue
 
777,992

 
36.2

 
584,417

 
35.5

 
193,575

 
33.1

Gross profit
 
$
1,373,377

 
63.8
%
 
$
1,061,769

 
64.5
%
 
$
311,608

 
29.3
%
Gross margin
 
63.8
%
 
 
 
64.5
%
 
 
 
 
 
 


56


Revenue by Geography (in thousands, except percentages)
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2018
 
% of Total
 
2017
 
% of Total
Americas
 
$
1,550,453

 
72.1
%
 
$
1,192,289

 
72.4
%
Europe, Middle East and Africa
 
414,069

 
19.2

 
299,547

 
18.2

Asia-Pacific
 
186,847

 
8.7

 
154,350

 
9.4

Total revenue
 
$
2,151,369

 
100.0
%
 
$
1,646,186

 
100.0
%
Revenue
We generate revenue primarily from sales of our products. We also derive a portion of our revenue from sales of PCS, which is typically purchased in conjunction with our products, and subsequent renewals of those contracts. We expect our revenue may vary from period to period based on, among other things, the timing and size of orders, the delivery and acceptance of products, and the impact of significant transactions.  In addition, while we expect our revenue to continue to grow in absolute dollars on a year-over-year basis, our revenue growth rates are expected to decline as our business scales.
Product revenue increased $408.3 million, or 28.5%, in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to 2017. The increase was primarily driven by sales to our existing customers as they continued to expand and upgrade their cloud networks. In addition, our newer switch products have continued to gain market acceptance, which has contributed to our revenue growth. Service revenue increased $96.9 million, or 45.4%, in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to 2017 as a result of continued growth in initial and renewal support contracts as our customer installed base has continued to expand. We continue to experience pricing pressure on our products and services due to competition, but demand for our products and growth in our installed base has more than offset this pricing pressure during the period. 
Cost of Revenue and Gross Margin
Cost of revenue primarily consists of amounts paid for inventory to our third-party contract manufacturers and merchant silicon vendors, overhead costs in our manufacturing operations department, and other manufacturing-related costs associated with manufacturing our products and managing our inventory.
Cost of revenue increased $193.6 million or 33.1% for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to 2017. The increase in cost of revenue was primarily due to the corresponding increases in product revenues. We expect our cost of product revenue to continue to increase as our product revenue increases. Cost of providing PCS and other services consists primarily of personnel costs for our global customer support organization.
Gross margin, or gross profit as a percentage of revenue, has been and will continue to be affected by a variety of factors, including sales to large end customers who generally receive lower pricing, manufacturing-related costs including costs associated with supply chain sourcing activities, merchant silicon costs, the mix of products sold, and excess/obsolete inventory write-downs, including charges for excess/obsolete component inventory held by our contract manufacturers.
Gross margin decreased from 64.5% to 63.8% for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to 2017. The decrease in gross margin was primarily driven by a decrease in product margins due to customer mix, partially offset by reduced inventory-related charges and an improved service margins due to a relatively fixed services cost base and growing service revenues. We expect our gross margins to fluctuate over time, depending on the factors described above.
Operating Expenses (in thousands, except percentages)
Our operating expenses consist of research and development, sales and marketing, general and administrative expenses, and legal settlement expense. The largest component of our operating expenses is personnel costs. Personnel costs consist of wages, benefits, bonuses and, with respect to sales and marketing expenses, sales commissions. Personnel costs also include stock-based compensation and travel expenses. We

57


expect operating expenses to continue to increase in absolute dollars in the near term as we continue to invest in the growth of our business.
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
Change in
 
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
%
Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Research and development
 
$
442,468

 
20.6
%
 
$
349,594

 
21.2
%
 
$
92,874

 
26.6
 %
Sales and marketing
 
187,142

 
8.7

 
155,105

 
9.4

 
32,037

 
20.7

General and administrative
 
65,420

 
3.0

 
86,798

 
5.3

 
(21,378
)
 
(24.6
)
Legal settlement
 
405,000

 
18.8

 

 

 
405,000

 
*

Total operating expenses
 
$
1,100,030

 
51.1
%
 
$
591,497

 
35.9
%
 
$
508,533

 
86.0
 %
__________________
* Not meaningful.
Research and development.
Research and development expenses consist primarily of personnel costs, prototype expenses, third-party engineering and contractor support costs, and an allocated portion of facility and IT costs including depreciation. Our research and development efforts are focused on maintaining and developing additional functionality for our existing products and on new product development, including new releases and upgrades to our EOS software and applications. We expect our research and development expenses to increase in absolute dollars as we continue to invest heavily in software development in order to expand the capabilities of our cloud networking platform, introduce new products and features and build upon our technology leadership.
Research and development expenses increased $92.9 million, or 26.6%, for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to 2017. The increase was primarily due to a $48.9 million increase in personnel costs, including corporate bonuses and stock-based compensation, driven primarily by headcount growth from our normal hiring process and from the two acquisitions we completed in the third quarter of 2018, and a $24.7 million increase in new product introduction costs, driven by additional development projects. In addition, facility and IT costs increased by $9.5 million due to increased IT services, headcount growth and additional costs associated with our acquired businesses.
Sales and marketing.
Sales and marketing expenses consist primarily of personnel costs, marketing and promotional activities, and an allocated portion of facility and IT costs including depreciation. We expect our sales and marketing expenses to increase in absolute dollars as we continue to expand our sales and marketing efforts worldwide.
Sales and marketing expenses increased $32.0 million, or 20.7% for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to 2017. The increase primarily included a $28.0 million increase in personnel costs, which was driven by increased headcount as well as higher sales volumes, resulting in increased compensation costs, including commissions and stock-based compensation.
General and administrative.
General and administrative expenses consist primarily of Cisco and OptumSoft litigation related expenses, personnel costs, professional services fees, and an allocated portion of facility and IT costs including depreciation. General and administrative personnel costs include those for our executive, finance, human resources and legal functions. Our professional services fees are primarily due to external legal, accounting, and tax services.
General and administrative expenses decreased $21.4 million, or 24.6%, for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to 2017. The decrease included a $33.8 million decrease that was primarily related to a reduced level of litigation activities and a decrease in bond costs as a result of the settlement of the Cisco litigation in August 2018. The decrease was partially offset by $3.5 million of acquisition-related expenses incurred in 2018,

58


$3.3 million increase in personnel costs, including increased stock-based compensation, driven by increased headcount, and a $3.1 million increase in other legal and professional fees.
Legal settlement.
During the three months ended June 30, 2018, we recorded $405.0 million in legal settlement expenses in connection with the Term Sheet that was entered into on August 6, 2018 between the Company and Cisco, which included a $400.0 million payment to Cisco pursuant to the Term Sheet and $5.0 million of legal fees associated with the settlement. See Note 14. Legal Settlement of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further discussion.
Other Income (Expense), Net (in thousands, except percentages)
Other income (expense) consists primarily of interest income from our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, foreign currency transaction gains and losses, gains and losses on our investments in privately-held companies, and interest expense on our lease financing obligation. In connection with our adoption of ASU 2016-01 in 2018, other income (expense) may fluctuate in the future as a result of the re-measurement of our private company equity investments upon the occurrence of observable price changes and/or impairments. See Note 1. Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for details of this new guidance. In addition, Other income (expense), net will also fluctuate due to changes in interest rates, returns on our cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities, and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations on our foreign currency transactions.
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
Change in
 
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
%
Other income (expense), net:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest expense
 
$
(2,701
)
 
(0.1
)%
 
$
(2,780
)
 
(0.2
)%
 
$
79

 
(2.8
)%
Other income (expense), net
 
18,155

 
0.8

 
7,268

 
0.4

 
10,887

 
149.8

Total other income (expense), net
 
$
15,454

 
0.7
 %
 
$
4,488

 
0.2
 %
 
$
10,966

 
244.3
 %
The favorable change in other income (expense), net, during the year ended December 31, 2018 as compared to 2017 was driven by a $23.6 million increase in interest income as we continued to generate cash and expand our marketable securities portfolios, which was offset partially by a $13.8 million net loss recorded in 2018 on our investments in privately-held companies. See Note 5. Investments of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further discussion.
Provision for (Benefit from) Income Taxes (in thousands, except percentages)
We operate in a number of tax jurisdictions and are subject to taxes in each country or jurisdiction in which we conduct business. Earnings from our non-U.S. activities are subject to local country income tax and may also be subject to U.S. income tax. Generally, our U.S. tax obligations are reduced by a credit for foreign income taxes paid on these foreign earnings which avoids double taxation. Our tax expense to date consists of federal, state and foreign current and deferred income taxes.
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
Change in
 
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
%
Provision for (benefit from) income taxes
 
$
(39,314
)
 
(1.9
)%
 
$
51,559

 
3.1
%
 
$
(90,873
)
 
(176.3
)
Effective tax rate
 
(13.6
)%
 
 
 
10.9
%
 
 
 


 



59


For the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, we recorded a benefit of $39.3 million and an expense of $51.6 million for income taxes, respectively. The change in our income taxes was largely attributable to a $96.9 million tax benefit on the Cisco settlement in 2018 whereas we recorded a $51.8 million tax expense in 2017 related to the enactment of the Tax Act. The Tax Act provided for a decrease in the 2018 U.S. federal statutory tax rate, but this was partially offset by a new requirement to provide U.S. tax on foreign earnings. For further information regarding income taxes and the impact on our results of operations and financial position, see Note 10. Income Taxes of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Our future effective tax rate is expected to be impacted by fluctuations in excess tax benefits on share-based compensation.
Year Ended December 31, 2017 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2016
Revenue, Cost of Revenue and Gross Profit (in thousands, except percentages)
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
Change in
 
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
%
Revenue
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Product
 
$
1,432,810

 
87.0
%
 
$
991,337

 
87.8
%
 
$
441,473

 
44.5
%
Service
 
213,376

 
13.0

 
137,830

 
12.2

 
75,546

 
54.8

Total revenue
 
1,646,186

 
100.0

 
1,129,167

 
100.0

 
517,019

 
45.8

Cost of revenue
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Product
 
538,035

 
32.7

 
369,768

 
32.8

 
168,267

 
45.5

Service
 
46,382

 
2.8

 
36,283

 
3.2

 
10,099

 
27.8

Total cost of revenue
 
584,417

 
35.5

 
406,051

 
36.0

 
178,366

 
43.9

Gross profit
 
$
1,061,769

 
64.5
%
 
$
723,116

 
64.0
%
 
$
338,653

 
46.8
%
Gross margin
 
64.5
%
 
 
 
64.0
%
 
 
 
 
 
 

Revenue by Geography (in thousands, except percentages)
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2017
 
% of Total
 
2016
 
% of Total
Americas
 
$
1,192,289

 
72.4
%
 
$
874,740

 
77.5
%
Europe, Middle East and Africa
 
299,547

 
18.2

 
168,789

 
14.9

Asia-Pacific
 
154,350

 
9.4

 
85,638

 
7.6

Total revenue
 
$
1,646,186

 
100.0
%
 
$
1,129,167

 
100.0
%
Revenue
Product revenue increased $441.5 million, or 44.5%, in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to 2016. The increase was primarily driven by increased product shipments to our existing customers as they continued to expand their cloud networks. In addition, our newer switch products had continued to gain market acceptance, which had contributed to our revenue growth. Service revenue increased $75.5 million, or 54.8%, in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to 2016 as a result of continued growth in initial and renewal support contracts as our customer installed base continued to expand.
We continued to experience pricing pressure on our products and services due to competition, but demand for our products and growth in our installed base had more than offset this pricing pressure. Deferred product revenue at December 31, 2017 remained consistent with the balance at December 31, 2016. The deferred product revenue balance at December 31, 2016 primarily included customer arrangements with new product and new customer acceptance clauses, which expired during 2017, while the balance at December 31, 2017 primarily

60


represented arrangements with a few of our larger customers related to the then ongoing qualification activities of our 945 Investigation-related product redesigns. See Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K
Cost of Revenue and Gross Margin
Cost of revenue increased $178.4 million, or 43.9%, for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to 2016. The increase in cost of revenue was primarily due to an increase in product shipment volumes and the corresponding increase in product revenue. Gross margin increased from 64.0% to 64.5% for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to 2016. The increase in gross margin was primarily driven by improved service margins as we scaled our services business on a relatively fixed cost base and slightly better product margins due to end customer mix. This improvement was partially offset by an increase in excess and obsolete inventory-related charges as we transitioned to new products.
Operating Expenses (in thousands, except percentages)
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
Change in
 
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
%
Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Research and development
 
$
349,594

 
21.2
%
 
$
273,581

 
24.2
%
 
$
76,013

 
27.8
%
Sales and marketing
 
155,105

 
9.4

 
130,887

 
11.6

 
24,218

 
18.5

General and administrative
 
86,798

 
5.3

 
75,239

 
6.7

 
11,559

 
15.4

Total operating expenses
 
$
591,497

 
35.9
%
 
$
479,707

 
42.5
%
 
$
111,790

 
23.3
%
Research and development
Research and development expenses increased $76.0 million, or 27.8%, for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. The increase was primarily due to a $36.9 million increase in personnel costs driven by headcount growth, resulting in additional compensation costs, including stock-based compensation, and a $31.6 million increase in new product introduction costs, driven by additional development projects, and costs associated with litigation-related changes in product design. In addition, facility and IT costs increased by $5.3 million due to the headcount growth.
Sales and marketing
Sales and marketing expenses increased $24.2 million, or 18.5%, for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. The increase included a $15.4 million increase in personnel costs, which was primarily due to increased headcount as well as higher sales volumes, driving increased compensation costs, including commissions and stock-based compensation. In addition, sales support costs increased by $8.1 million compared to 2016, reflecting increased professional services and field demonstration costs to support our sales infrastructure and expand our customer base.
General and administrative
General and administrative expenses increased $11.6 million, or 15.4%, for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. The increase was primarily due to a $4.5 million increase in the Cisco litigation related expenses, which included bond costs associated with the importation and sale of affected products and components during the presidential review period of the 945 Investigation. In addition, personnel costs increased by $3.9 million primarily due to increased stock-based compensation and higher salary related costs driven by the increased headcount.

61


Other Income (Expense), Net (in thousands, except percentages)
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
Change in
 
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
%
Other income (expense), net:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest expense
 
$
(2,780
)
 
(0.2
)%
 
$
(3,136
)
 
(0.3
)%
 
$
356

 
(11.4
)%
Other income (expense), net
 
7,268

 
0.4

 
1,952

 
0.2

 
5,316

 
272.3

Total other income (expense), net
 
$
4,488

 
0.2
 %
 
$
(1,184
)
 
(0.1
)%
 
$
5,672

 
(479.1
)%
Other income (expense), net improved during the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to 2016 primarily due to an increase in interest income as we continued to generate cash and expand our marketable securities portfolio.
Provision for Income Taxes (in thousands, except percentages)
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
Change in
 
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
% of
Revenue
 
$
 
%
Provision for income taxes
 
$
51,559

 
3.1
%
 
$
58,036

 
5.1
%
 
$
(6,477
)
 
(11.2
)%
Effective tax rate
 
10.9
%
 
 
 
24.0
%
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our provision for income taxes was approximately $51.6 million and $58.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively, which resulted in a decrease in our effective tax rate from 24.0% in 2016 to 10.9% in 2017.  The reduction in our effective tax rate was primarily due to the recognition of $110.0 million of excess tax benefits on share-based awards in the provision for income taxes as a result of our adoption of ASU 2016-09 in 2017, combined with a favorable geographical mix of our earnings towards jurisdictions with lower tax rates than the U.S.  These positive drivers were partially offset by the inclusion of provisional tax amount totaling $51.8 million resulting from the recently enacted the Tax Act.
The Tax Act makes significant changes to the U.S. tax code, which include, but are not limited to, a U.S. federal corporate tax rate decrease from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018, and a shift to a modified territorial tax regime, which requires companies to pay a one-time transition tax on the mandatory deemed repatriation of the cumulative earnings of certain foreign subsidiaries as of December 31, 2017.  As of December 31, 2017, we had not yet completed our accounting for the tax effects of the Tax Act. As a result, we recorded a provisional tax amount of $18.8 million for the transition tax and a provisional tax amount of $33.0 million related to the re-measurement of certain deferred tax assets and liabilities, based on the tax rates at which they are expected to reverse in the future.

Liquidity and Capital Resources
Our principal sources of liquidity are cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, and cash generated from operations. As of December 31, 2018, our total balance of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities was $2.0 billion, of which approximately $294.1 million was held outside the U.S. in our foreign subsidiaries. 
Our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities are held for working capital purposes. Our marketable securities investment portfolio is primarily invested in highly-rated securities with the primary objective of minimizing the potential risk of principal loss. We plan to continue to invest for long-term growth. We believe that our existing balances of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities together with cash generated from operations will be sufficient to meet our working capital requirements and our growth strategies for at least the next 12 months. Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including our growth rate, the timing and extent of our spending to support research and development activities, the timing and cost of establishing additional sales and marketing capabilities, the introduction of new and enhanced product and service offerings,

62


our costs associated with supply chain activities, including access to outsourced manufacturing, our costs related to investing in or acquiring complementary or strategic businesses and technologies, the continued market acceptance of our products, and costs incurred related to outstanding litigation claims. If we require or elect to seek additional capital through debt or equity financing in the future, we may not be able to raise capital on terms acceptable to us or at all. If we are required and unable to raise additional capital when desired, our business, operating results and financial condition may be adversely affected.

Cash Flows
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2018
 
2017
As Adjusted (1)
 
2016
As Adjusted
 (1)
 
 
(in thousands)
Cash provided by operating activities
 
$
503,119

 
$
631,627

 
$
174,295

Cash used in investing activities (1)
 
(755,113
)
 
(391,320
)
 
(325,775
)
Cash provided by financing activities
 
42,851

 
51,469

 
32,745

Effect of exchange rate changes
 
(1,390
)
 
753

 
(464
)
Net increase/(decrease) in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash
 
$
(210,533
)
 
$
292,529

 
$
(119,199
)
__________________________
 
 
 
 
 
(1) Cash used in investing activities for year ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 were adjusted as a result of our adoption of ASU 2016-18, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Restricted Cash, in the first quarter of 2018. See Note 1. Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more information.
Cash Flows from Operating Activities
Our primary source of cash provided by operating activities has been cash collections from our customers. We expect cash inflows from operating activities to be affected by increased sales and timing of collections. Our primary uses of cash from operating activities have been for personnel costs, inventory purchases from our contract manufacturers and suppliers, investment in research and development, and litigation expenses.
During the year ended December 31, 2018, cash provided by operating activities was $503.1 million, net of $405.0 million payments for the legal settlement with Cisco including the associated legal fees. Our cash provided by operating activities was primarily from net income of $328.1 million, non-cash adjustments to net income of $71.4 million, and a net increase of $103.6 million in cash from changes in our operating assets and liabilities. Our operating cash benefited $70.5 million from increased deferred revenue reflecting ongoing growth in service and support contracts, $51.1 million from decreased inventories driven by improved inventory management and timing of receipts, $39.3 million from increased accounts payable due to timing of vendor payments primarily related to inventory-related purchases, $21.4 million from a decrease in prepaid expenses and other assets primarily due to decreased deposits at our contract manufacturers, and $17.5 million from an increase in other long term liabilities primarily driven by increased customer prepayments under cancellable contracts. These favorable changes were partially offset by unfavorable changes of $77.9 million from increased accounts receivable due to increased billing and timing of customer shipments, and $14.8 million from decreased accrued liabilities due primarily to a decline in supplier liabilities and the timing of vendor accruals.
During the year ended December 31, 2017, cash provided by operating activities was $631.6 million, primarily from net income of $423.2 million with non-cash adjustments to net income of $105.9 million, and a net increase of $102.5 million in cash from changes in our operating assets and liabilities. Our operating cash benefited $142.3 million from increased deferred revenue reflecting ongoing growth in service and support contracts, $43.5 million from increased accrued liabilities driven by increased inventory purchases and product development activities, and $19.9 million from increased income taxes payable. These favorable changes were partially offset by a growth in inventory of $69.7 million, supporting overall growth in the business and the expansion of our manufacturing and supply chain activities, by a decline in accounts payable of $30.1 million due

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to timing of vendor payments primarily related to inventory purchases, and by an increase in prepaid expenses and other assets of $11.6 million primarily due to increased prepaid taxes.    
During the year ended December 31, 2016, cash provided by operating activities was $174.3 million, primarily from net income of $184.2 million with non-cash adjustments to net income of $58.6 million, partially offset by a net decrease in cash from changes in our operating assets and liabilities of $68.4 million. The decrease in cash from changes in operating assets and liabilities was primarily due to an increase in working capital requirements with accounts receivable up $108.9 million, inventories and inventory deposits up $207.5 million, and increased prepaid expenses and current assets (excluding inventory deposits) of $54.8 million which was primarily driven by an increase in deferred cost of inventory associated with increased product revenue deferrals referenced below. These increases reflect substantial growth in the business and the expansion of our manufacturing and supply chain activities at our new contract manufacturer. These working capital increases were partially offset by an increase in deferred revenue of $176.1 million reflecting ongoing growth in service and support contracts and a significant increase in product deferred revenue related to contract acceptance terms, as well as an increase in accounts payable and accrued liabilities of $69.3 million primarily due to timing of inventory purchases, and an increase in income taxes payable of $42.7 million.
Cash Flows from Investing Activities
Our investing activities have consisted primarily of purchases of available for sale marketable securities, net of proceeds from maturities of marketable securities, business acquisitions, investments in privately-held companies, and capital expenditures.
During the year ended December 31, 2018, cash used in investing activities was $755.1 million, consisting of purchases of marketable securities of $1.2 billion, offset by proceeds of $547.8 million from maturities of marketable securities, $96.8 million for business acquisitions, additional investments in privately-held companies of $8.0 million, and purchases of property, equipment and other assets of $23.8 million.
During the year ended December 31, 2017, cash used in investing activities was $391.3 million, consisting of purchases of marketable securities of $585.4 million, purchases of property, equipment and other assets of $15.3 million, partially offset by proceeds of $206.3 million from maturities of marketable securities and proceeds of $3.0 million from repayment of notes receivable.
During the year ended December 31, 2016, cash used in investing activities was $325.8 million, consisting of purchases of marketable securities of $439.7 million, purchases of property, equipment and other assets of $21.4 million, and an additional investment in a privately-held company of $2.5 million. These decreases were partially offset by proceeds from the maturity of available-for-sale securities of $137.9 million.
Cash Flows from Financing Activities
Our financing activities have consisted primarily of proceeds from the issuance of our common stock under employee equity incentive plans, offset by principal payments for lease financing obligations related to our headquarters facility.
During the year ended December 31, 2018, cash provided by financing activities was $42.9 million, consisting primarily of proceeds of $53.7 million from the issuance of common stock under employee equity incentive plans, partially offset by $8.9 million of minimum tax withheld for employees and payments of $1.9 million for lease financing obligations.
During the year ended December 31, 2017, cash provided by financing activities was $51.5 million, consisting primarily of proceeds of $44.6 million from employee stock option exercises, partially offset by $4.0 million of minimum tax withheld for employees, and proceeds of $12.5 million from employee stock purchases under our ESPP, partially offset by payments of $1.6 million for lease financing obligations.
During the year ended December 31, 2016, cash provided by financing activities was $32.7 million, consisting primarily of proceeds from the exercise of stock options of $24.9 million and proceeds from the issuance of common stock from our ESPP of $10.3 million, partially offset by payments of $1.3 million for lease financing obligations.


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Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
As of December 31, 2018, we did not have any relationships with any unconsolidated entities or financial partnerships, such as entities often referred to as structured finance or special purpose entities that would have been established for the purpose of facilitating off-balance sheet arrangements or other contractually narrow or limited purposes.

Contractual Obligations and Commitments
Our contractual commitments will have an impact on our future liquidity. Our contractual obligations represent material expected or contractually committed future payment obligations. We believe that we will be able to fund these obligations through cash generated from operations and from our existing balances of cash, cash equivalent and marketable securities.
The following summarizes our contractual obligations and commitments as of December 31, 2018 (in thousands):
 
 
Payments Due by Period
 
 
Total
 
Less than
1 Year
 
1 to 3 Years
 
3 to 5 Years
 
More than
5 Years
Financing lease obligation (1)
 
$
31,649

 
$
6,321

 
$
13,192

 
$
12,136

 
$

Operating lease obligations
 
103,351

 
12,789

 
28,077

 
26,616

 
35,869

Purchase commitments with contract manufacturers and suppliers
 
345,968

 
345,968

 

 

 

Other non-cancellable purchase obligations
 
43,254

 
43,254

 

 

 
 
Total
 
$
524,222

 
$
408,332

 
$
41,269

 
$
38,752

 
$
35,869

___________________
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(1) Includes interest and land lease.
The contractual obligation table above excludes tax liabilities of $40.3 million related to uncertain tax positions and transition tax due under the Tax Act because we are unable to make a reasonably reliable estimate of the timing of settlement, if any, of these future payments.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates 
We have prepared our consolidated financial statements in accordance with GAAP and include our accounts and the accounts of our wholly owned subsidiaries. The preparation of these consolidated financial statements requires our management to make estimates, assumptions and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the applicable periods. We base our estimates, assumptions and judgments on historical experience and on various other factors that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. Different assumptions and judgments would change the estimates used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements, which, in turn, could change the results from those reported. We evaluate our estimates, assumptions and judgments on an ongoing basis. Actual results may differ from these estimates. To the extent that there are material differences between these estimates and our actual results, our future financial statements will be affected. The critical accounting estimates, assumptions and judgments that we believe have the most significant impact on our consolidated financial statements are the following:
Revenue Recognition     
Prior to 2018, our revenue recognition policy was based on ASC 605 - Revenue Recognition (“ASC 605”), and is described in the section entitled Critical Accounting Policies under Item 7 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, filed with the SEC on February 20, 2018.

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Effective January 1, 2018, we adopted the new revenue recognition guidance under ASC 606 as discussed in the section titled Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements in Note 1. Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The following is our new rev