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Cool Networking Vendors 2020

by Andrew Lerner  |  April 20, 2020  |  2 Comments

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 innovative ways. We’ve written about network automation many times, and not surprisingly a lot of the current coolness in networking centers around it. Specifically, the cool vendors we cover in this research are: NetYCE, Network to Code, Intentionet, BeyondEdge and Tigera…

NetYce provides commercial network automation/orchestration software that is easy to get started with. Network To Code is a boutique and advanced professional services firm that provides network automation consulting, as well as training while driving industry thought leadership. Intentionet provides software that performs network prevalidation of configurations, based on the open source project Batfish.

To date, most of the automation focus has been in the data center, and the WAN has SD-WAN (also now SASE), so one somewhat under-hyped area is campus networking.  And, in the area of campus networking, one vendor that is delivering innovation is BeyondEdge Networks. BeyondEdge (formerly iPhotonix) provides highly automated campus switching infrastructure, within heterogeneous and multivendor networks.

Last but certainly not least (and for reasons that I don’t fully comprehend) Kubernetes (not “cougar nannies” as speech-to-text recently called it) is the new hotness. ALL the cool kids are into it (think Tik-Tok and Zoom hot). Now there are very distinct and tedious networking challenges in a k8s world, particularly around automation, security and scale.  We profile a vendor who helps with these issues. Tigera provides software to help scale and secure networking within Kubernetes deployments, based on the Calico open source project.

Here’s the research link and summary:

Cool Vendors in Enterprise Networking

Summary: Agile network infrastructure is
a key ingredient to successful enterprise digital and cloud initiatives. These lesser
known but impactful “cool” vendors can help I&O networking leaders
accelerate the level of network agility and automation in their environment.

Stay safe (and


Note: image via from the movie Adventures in Babysitting which I watched during the 7th grade Outdoor Education field trip.

Additional Resources

Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020

Gartner’s annual top 10 Strategic Technology trends highlight trends that enterprises need to consider as part of their 5-year strategic technology planning process. These trends have a profound impact on people and the spaces they inhabit.

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Category: devops  just-published  networking  technology-innovation  

Tags: batfish  beyondedge  calico  coolness  interntionet  k8s  network-automation  network-to-code  netyce  tigera  

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

Thoughts on Cool Networking Vendors 2020

  1. Vivek Bhalla says:

    “(side note: those that know me personally would say I have no business writing about cool)”

    To be fair Mr Lerner, as analysts go, I’d rate you a cut above.. ;0)

    Nice work and summary on the research, hope all’s well with you and the family.

  2. Dan Holmes says:

    Totally ‘rad’ summary. Automation is key to managing cloud connected traffic. I will be curious to see how well these awesome new solutions connect automation to observation and if that system has the intelligence to see forward and not just back.

    Don’t be a fool the network is always ‘cool.’

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