Enterprise networking is currently a major industry – over $40 billion in revenue in 2015 and growing. In this industry, some major powerhouse companies have consistently shown their value to the market, and Network World has compiled a list of the ten most dominant. Their findings were based on consultations with industry analysts, journalists, and their own research, and focused on market share in core networking, monitoring and management, and more. Some entries may seem obvious, some may be unexpected. But this article provides handy, easy-to-read information about key industry players and what solutions they offer, which will be helpful to both veteran and new IT administrators alike.
This week, Cisco announced that its Software-Defined Networking platform, called Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) will soon be able to integrate with many of the most popular public clouds, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. This will allow customers to more easily deploy and manage hybrid networks that cover both environments. These three main public cloud providers will be the only ones that Cisco will make its API currently available to. Cisco plans to bridge connections between multiple controllers at different sites, allowing administrators to create policies that are consistent across environments, including network segmentation and whitelisting. While they are not the first to announce this – VMware announced last year that its NSX SDN would soon be able to integrate with public clouds – one can only wonder what an industry leader’s take on the technology will be.
Extreme Networks has been on a roll lately, purchasing Avaya’s networking business, Brocade’s networking assets, and Zebra Technologies’ wireless portfolio. What could this mean for enterprise customers? In the short term, probably nothing – all current products will continue to be supported. However, as with any acquisition, there will inevitably be consolidation of product lines, and the discontinuing of others. Many industry analysts believe that the mergers will be beneficial, with Avaya’s strengths in campus environments complementing Extreme’s focus on campus deployments, and Zebra’s wireless security and managed services helped plug some holes in Extreme’s portfolio. At this point, only time will tell how successful the merger is, but Extreme may be good to consider for your next hardware refresh.
As the Internet of Things continues to expand, security will be an ongoing concern for network administrators. In order to maintain data security, Cisco has unveiled its newest offering: IoT Threat Defense, a package containing seven different tools that will limit the damage that can be done with IoT security breaches. Cisco’s strategy is based on the premise that IoT devices cannot be trusted to be secure, so the best way to compensate for this is to limit the damage that can be done to the network. This is done through a combination of network segmentation, behavior analytics, and more. With IDC’s prediction that IoT endpoints will skyrocket from 14.9 billion in 2016 to 50 billion by 2020, IoT security will be an important factor in network security in the coming years; Cisco is leading the charge in laying the groundwork.
After the acquisition of EMC by Dell last year, the tech giant began a massive campaign to downsize overlapping positions and cut costs drastically. Dell has not made clear how many layoffs would be happening, but they have set aside $416 million to cover severance packages, a major increase from the $26 million set aside last year for this same purpose. Though the future is uncertain for some Dell/EMC employees, the company is currently advertising more than 3,000 open positions globally, and their revenue continues to increase year-over-year.