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Data Center Networking Magic Quadrant, 2016

by Andrew Lerner  |  June 16, 2016  |  Submit a Comment

A few weeks back, we published the 2016 version of the Data Center Networking Magic Quadrant (paywall). This research includes 13 vendors that provide networking hardware and/or software solutions within enterprise data centers. The 13 vendors we evaluated include Arista, Avaya, Brocade, Cisco, Dell, Extreme, Juniper, H3C, HPE, Huawei, Lenovo, NEC and VMware, as they met inclusion criteria, which included:

  • Provide hardware and/or software addressing the emerging enterprise Data Center networking requirements outlined in the Market Definition/Description and Market Overview sections.
  • Produce and release enterprise data center networking products for general availability as of 4 January 2016. All components must be publicly available, shipping and included on the vendors’ published price list. Products shipping after this date will only have an influence on the Completeness of Vision axis.
  • Demonstrate relevance to Gartner clients (via a minimum of $50 million of annual product revenue) in the enterprise data center networking market, and/or 20% share within specific market geographies (such as Europe, North America and Latin America). Revenue includes all data center networking hardware and software, but excludes services revenue.
  • Demonstrate at least 500 enterprise customers that use its data center networking products in production environments as of 4 January 2016.
  • Demonstrate production enterprise data center customers with at least five reference customers supporting data center networks of more than 500 physical servers.

This year, there are 2 leaders (Cisco, Arista), 2 visionaries (Dell, VMware), 3 Challengers (HPE, Juniper, Brocade) and 6 niche players (Huawei, H3C, NEC, Extreme, Avaya, Lenovo). Further, the market remains dynamic and innovative, as we wrote in the research:

The new style of web-scale IT that is run in hyperscale organizations such as Google, Facebook and Amazon has changed the paradigm for delivery of IT services, and it is having a trickle-down effect on operational and buying practices within the enterprise. Early adopters and mainstream enterprise organizations are now attempting to improve their ability to deliver increased agility, improved management and/or reduced cost for their constituents.

However, it isn’t quite the SDNathon that was 2013…

“During the past 12 months, we have seen the market stabilize and many enterprises focus on executing the first steps of a data center transformation. Rather than focusing on high levels of innovation and all-encompassing change, 2015 saw more pragmatic deployments of automated fabric and basic software-defined networking (SDN) solutions.” 

You can check the full research note out here on (paywall): Magic Quadrant for Data Center Networking

Summary: Data center networking continues to evolve, with increasing choices for open and disaggregated network solutions, while other vendors aim for more closed, proprietary systems. Enterprises should evaluate different vendor approaches and architectures, with a particular focus on software capabilities.

Regards, Andrew

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Category: just-published  networking  sdn  

Tags: arista  avaya  brocade  cisco  dell  extreme  h3c  hpe  hp-huawei  juniper  lenovo  nec  vmware  

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

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