We just published our 2015 edition of Cool Vendors in Enterprise Networking, which profiles five “cool” organizations: Appcito, Big Switch Networks, CloudGenix, OpenDaylight and Viptela.
Cool Vendors in Enterprise Networking, http://www.gartner.com/document/3021217
Summary: The proliferation of public cloud computing has dramatically and permanently changed enterprise networking requirements. Network designers can use the innovative approaches described in this research to solve network challenges in both the wide area and data center networks
Being cool is certainly subjective, but for me it is the ability to solve customer challenges in new and innovative ways. Thus, our Cool Vendors research is an opportunity to highlight lesser-known vendors that can solve enterprise challenges. Ironically, on Wednesday morning, Cisco announced the intent to acquire Embrane, a former Cool Vendor from 2012.
For the first time in over a decade, several emerging vendors are offering solutions that dramatically simplify branch networking for hybrid WANs, and in a cost-effective manner. We profile CloudGenix and Viptela in this research, although there are other emerging players like Nuage (who we profiled as a cool vendor last year) and VeloCloud.
In the Data Center, an open eco-system is emerging around the OpenDaylight consortium, as multiple vendors are building flagship offerings around it. Thus, we profile them as a cool “vendor”. Note you don’t have to be a “vendor” to be cool, as we’ve profiled OpenStack and OCP in the past. Big Switch Networks was one of the original pioneers of SDN, and now provides a programmable Ethernet Fabric, supports switching dissagregation and offers a lightweight and cost effective packet brokering solution. Appcito is a cloud-resident, software-based application delivery controller that offers a subscription-based model.
While these folks can solve networking challenges, most are quite small, and adoption of their solutions is very limited in mainstream enterprise. Thus, prior to committing to smaller vendors, organizations should request references of similar size/complexity and confirm appropriate support and sales resources.