2016 Trends in Enterprise Networking

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1 PREVIEW 2016 Trends in Enterprise Networking DEC 2015 Peter Christy, Research Director After years of being the uninteresting technology in back of the network jack, networking has recently found celebrity status since it clearly plays a critical role in the transformation to the digital enterprise in datacenter networks, mobile access, wide area networks and cloud and hybrid computing. We see this trend continuing through the coming year Research, LLC

2 ABOUT 451 RESEARCH 451 Research is a preeminent information technology research and advisory company. With a core focus on technology innovation and market disruption, we provide essential insight for leaders of the digital economy. More than 100 analysts and consultants deliver that insight via syndicated research, advisory services and live events to more than 1,000 client organizations in North America, Europe and around the world. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in New York, 451 Research is a division of The 451 Group Research, LLC and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication, in whole or in part, in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The terms of use regarding distribution, both internally and externally, shall be governed by the terms laid out in your Service Agreement with 451 Research and/or its Affiliates. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. 451 Research disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although 451 Research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, 451 Research does not provide legal advice or services and their research should not be construed or used as such. 451 Research shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The reader assumes sole responsibility for the selection of these materials to achieve its intended results. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. NEW YORK SAN FRANCISCO LONDON BOSTON 20 West 37th Street 3rd Floor New York, NY P F Geary Street 9th Floor San Francisco, CA P F Gower Street London, UK WC1E 6HH P +44 (0) F +44 (0) Liberty Square, 5th Floor Boston, MA P F ABOUT THE AUTHOR PETER CHRISTY RESEARCH DIRECTOR Peter is a Research Director with a focus on 451 Research s Systems & Software Infrastructure and Networking practices. For more than 30 years, Peter has worked with segment leaders in a spectrum of IT and networking technologies. He managed software and system technology for companies including HP, Sun, IBM, Digital Equipment Corp and Apple. Peter was founder and VP of Software at MasPar Computer, a midrange SIMD HPC provider. He was also the Founder and Principal Analyst of the Internet Research Group. II

3 Key Findings In 2016 the increasing need for enterprises to become digital in order to be competitive will increase the motivation for agile networking and increase the importance and value of software-defined and virtual networking. In 2016 the impact of the largest (mega-scale) cloud providers on networking will be very clear, as will the fact that the large network vendors no longer drive technology adoption and network architecture advancement will mark a clear inflection point in the perception of merchant silicon use from a risky alternative for proprietary packet-forward ASICs to a network performance accelerator, especially in datacenter networking. III

4 Executive Summary 2016: NETWORKING: THE SOFTWARE INFLECTION POINT IS REACHED After five years of software-defined networking (SDN) that mixed real innovation with overblown and unfulfilled marketing promises, SDN is evolving past a push technology trying to establish its value and use cases to a technology that is increasingly pulled along by the growing importance of the digital enterprise and public cloud computing. SDN can play a key role in achieving the necessary network agility and automation, and it can help provide access to new platforms and services and integrate these diverse resources into a coherent whole. This report presents the trends we see shaping enterprise networking in the coming year. 451 Research s 2016 Enterprise Networking Trends Source: 451 Research, 2015 The Growing Impact of the Digital Enterprise and the Public Cloud Will Drive Continuing Advances in Datacenter and Wide Area Networking Mega-Scale Cloud Providers Will Continue To Diminish the Advantage of the Legacy Market Leaders The Exploitation of Merchant Silicon Parts Will Accelerate Network Advances The Evolution to Networking as Software Will Increase the Threat of Over-the-Top WAN Solution Alternatives Network Virtualization Will Drive Broad Network Architecture Evolution Winners Product and services that enable change and agility Merchant silicon companies; vendors on the leading edge of packaging network as software Network system builders and network users; early adopters of commodity switches built with merchant parts Appliance vendors that have aggressively attacked the broader software issues; those that have adapted product licensing prices to fit well into cloud and service provider architecture and economics Vendors that push forward aggressively, understanding the implications of software for networking and the potential benefits of new, more application-friendly network abstractions Losers Products and services that bet on the public cloud and other ability-enhancing changes as fads and believe that transitions to these new models of IT will only occur slowly Networking equipment vendors that don t embrace the innovation acceleration that a more software-centric (standard box) approach can bring or that defend traditional device architectures without a clear analysis and understanding of merchant alternatives and more software-centric solutions Network equipment vendors unable to accelerate software-based innovation Companies that don t move aggressively to design and market software appliances and distributed system solutions Vendors that stick to device-centric architectures and hardware business models IV

5 2016 TRENDS IN ENTERPRISE NETWORKING METHODOLOGY Reports such as this one represent a holistic perspective on key emerging markets in the enterprise IT space. These markets evolve quickly, though, so 451 Research offers additional services that provide critical marketplace updates. These updated reports and perspectives are presented on a daily basis via the company s core intelligence service, 451 Research Market Insight. Forward-looking M&A analysis and perspectives on strategic acquisitions and the liquidity environment for technology companies are also updated regularly via Market Insight, which is backed by the industry-leading 451 Research M&A KnowledgeBase. Emerging technologies and markets are also covered in additional 451 Research channels, including Business Applications; Cloud and IT Services Markets; Data Platforms and Analytics; Datacenter Technology; Development, DevOps & IT Ops; Enterprise Mobility; European Services; Information Security; Internet of Things; Mobile Telecom; Multi-Tenant Datacenters; Networking; Service Providers; Storage; and Systems and Software Infrastructure. Beyond that, 451 Research has a robust set of quantitative insights covered in products such as ChangeWave, Voice of the Enterprise, Market Monitor, the M&A KnowledgeBase and the Datacenter KnowledgeBase. All of these 451 Research services, which are accessible via the Web, provide critical and timely analysis specifically focused on the business of enterprise IT innovation. For more information about 451 Research, please go to: V

6 Table of Contents TRENDS 1 Trend 1: The Growing Impact of the Digital Enterprise and the Public Cloud Will Drive Continuing Advances in Datacenter and Wide Area Networking 1 RECOMMENDATIONS WINNERS LOSERS Trend 2: Mega-Scale Cloud Providers Will Continue To Diminish the Advantage of the Legacy Market Leaders 2 RECOMMENDATIONS WINNERS LOSERS Trend 3: The Exploitation of Merchant Silicon Parts Will Accelerate Network Advances 3 RECOMMENDATIONS WINNERS LOSERS Trend 4: The Evolution to Networking as Software Will Increase the Threat of Over-the-Top WAN Solution Alternatives 4 RECOMMENDATIONS WINNERS LOSERS Trend 5: Network Virtualization Will Drive Broad Network Architecture Evolution 5 Figure 1: New Infrastructure Architecture Enables New Solutions RECOMMENDATIONS WINNERS LOSERS VI

7 2016 TRENDS IN ENTERPRISE NETWORKING THE LONG VIEW 8 FURTHER READING 9 INDEX OF COMPANIES 10 VII

Software-Defined Network Architectures Find High Customer Value When Applied to the WAN

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