Gartner Blog Network

Andrew Lerner
Research Vice President
6+ years at Gartner
21 years IT Industry

Andrew Lerner is a Vice President in Gartner Research. He covers enterprise networking, including data center, campus and WAN with a focus on emerging technologies (SDN, SD-WAN, and Intent-based networking). Read Full Bio

Just the FACs

by Andrew Lerner  |  August 4, 2020

Hyperscalers push the limits of networking products. In doing so, they’ve had to forge new ways of thinking/doing and thus have driven TON of market innovation in networking. One lesser-known example is their use of Functional Accelerator Cards (FACs). FACs are a class of network interface (i.e., NIC) hardware that help improve and accelerate server […]

Read more »

Networking Hype 2020

by Andrew Lerner  |  July 20, 2020

There’s some cool stuff happening in networking and we just published the 2020 Hype Cycle for Enterprise Networking (paywall). While 5G and SD-WAN remain highly hyped, the COVID-19 pandemic instantly shifted I&O networking leaders’ priorities, creating the need to dynamically, rapidly and temporarily scale to support a large remote workforce. This accelerated interest in cloud-based and […]

Read more »


by Andrew Lerner  |  July 9, 2020

Vendors are increasingly using the term “SD-branch” to describe their products. Consequently enterprises are asking us about these “SD-branch” solutions to achieve greater simplicity, agility and increased security via consistency of policies across branch devices. We/Gartner did not coin this term, and I don’t love the idea of YASDA (yet another software defined acronym), but […]

Read more »

5G Isn’t the New WAN Anytime Soon

by Andrew Lerner  |  May 5, 2020

5G promises to offer higher throughput, lower latency and better quality of service than 4G. But limited coverage and other impediments complicate its adoption as a WAN access option. This research offers advice for infrastructure and operations leaders on where and where not to use 5G.

Read more »

Cool Networking Vendors 2020

by Andrew Lerner  |  April 20, 2020

So, after a one-year hiatus, we are excited to publish the 2020 edition of Cool Vendors in Enterprise Networking. While some would say that networking and cool are oxymorons, there is definitely some coolness happening (side note: those that know me personally would say I have no business writing about cool). Coolness is about solving challenges in new and […]

Read more »

Technical Debt in Enterprise Networks

by Andrew Lerner  |  February 25, 2020

New stuff is fun and greenfield is (relatively) straightforward. But, greenfield is rare so the pragmatic reality we all live with is lots of legacy…and most network projects are brownfield.  This fosters accrual of technical debt, which is pervasive in many enterprise networks. This tech debt ultimately adds complexity which reduces networking agility, availability and […]

Read more »

Multicloud Networking

by Andrew Lerner  |  February 10, 2020

Based on a survey from November 2018, 81% of respondents who use the public cloud were currently working with two or more external providers. Further, if you have anything on-prem or at a colo, this means at least 3 networking consoles for configuration, troubleshooting, reporting, analytics, etc. Enter Multicloud Networking… Multicloud networking solutions are software-based […]

Read more »

Network Source of Truth (SoT)

by Andrew Lerner  |  January 28, 2020

To align with digital business needs (i.e., more, faster but with near 100% uptime), we recommend networking professionals apply DevOps and infrastructure-as-code techniques. We’ve written about this before and it entails treating network configurations as code which will not only automate configuration, but also the validation phases, both in test and production. This is easy to say, […]

Read more »

Breaking Down DevOps for Networking

by Andrew Lerner  |  January 16, 2020

Increasing the level of network automation is a common network resolution for many organizations we speak with. Today, about 70% of network configuration activities are manually-driven (which may not sound good, but at least it is down from 85% a few years ago). In addition to longer provisioning times, manual configuration changes are ripe for human […]

Read more »

Networking Predictions 2020 Edition

by Andrew Lerner  |  January 6, 2020

We’ve been known to make a predictions through the years, and here’s a list of my favorite networking predictions that Gartner has published over the last year. We all have technical debt, and it is time to start actively managing it. Through 2023, I&O leaders who actively manage and reduce technical debt will achieve at least […]

Read more »