We just published our 2018 Cool Vendors in Enterprise Networking research. This year, my colleague Bill Menezes led the document (perhaps I wasn’t cool enough…) and these vendors solve networking challenges in new and innovative ways.
In the document, we recommend investing in products for improving network agility outside of the hardware refresh cycle. In other words, don’t limit your vision solely to what hardware refreshes or new builds may provide. Along the lines, the vendors this year are very toolsy, including Cloudleaf, Forward Networks, MetaPort, and a retroactive look at Arkin/Vnera (now VMware).
- Cloudleaf provides a sensor fabric for industrial applications, where integration with assets is inherently difficult, or where additional information about the asset or environment is needed.
- Forward provides assurance for networks by collecting device data to create a behaviorally accurate model of the network, then making that data available to Forward’s analytics applications. This can be part of an Intent-based networking system, and they also offer a freemium version of their product.
- Metaport provides interactive visualization software enabling an enterprise to see, not only topologies but also capacities and costs associated with network links — a unique approach to accurately profile the costs of upgrading network infrastructure. Side note: They’re based in Florida, and we’ve written about that before…
We also take a look back at 2016 Cool Vendor, Arkin (AKA Vnera) which was acquired by VMware and is now offered as vRealize Network Insight, or vRNI (no relation to Bernie).
Summary: Hardware improvements alone are no longer the best way to improve enterprise networking agility. These vendors provide some of the cool, innovative networking analytics and automation tools that will help I&O leaders improve the agility of the enterprise networks critical to digital business.
PS – Here’s a picture of Bill that demonstrates his immutable coolness. I think he was on the phone with his wife reminding her to videotape Miami Vice, or to pickup Weekend at Bernies from Erols on her way home…
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