Despite its best efforts to establish itself as the benchmark in enterprise networking, Cisco must compete against a group of competitors whose strengths are difficult to overcome. Here is the list of these 10 most notable rivals.
Compiling this list of competitors that Cisco fails to eliminate makes it clear that the competition among the big players is fierce. Almost all of the networking giant’s competitors have refreshed their product lines or purchased technology to compete more closely with the OEM. But that does not mean that the San José firm did nothing. Cisco has developed and updated its main network equipment Catalyst, Nexus and Silicon One and the equipment manufacturer has made major advances in security and software. In the future, Cisco also intends to establish itself as an industry leader in the field of network as a service. For most competitors, Cisco remains a powerful and elusive target. So who are its competitors?
Arista Networks, a sharp competitor on the high end
Led by former Cisco executive Jayshree Ullal, Arista has been a more than capable contender for years. Since we started compiling this list, Arista has extended its data center technology to campus and edge. The company has also made some significant acquisitions, including Mojo for its wireless technology and Big Switch for its software-defined networking expertise. These acquisitions provide Arista with software technology that should enable it to merge data center and campus networks with multi-cloud deployments in the future.
Check Point Software, heading towards cloud security
Cisco’s growing emphasis on security is putting Check Point and other competitors, including Palo Alto and Fortinet, under great pressure. But Check Point Software, which has been around since 1993, has recently formed alliances with key companies including SD-WAN provider Aryaka to compete in hot markets. More recently, Check Point said it would invest $100 million to grow its cloud security business.
Dell, backed by VMware
Now that the split with VMware is complete, Dell could become a bigger competitor since it will likely have more connectivity options, not to mention that it can still wield the VMware weapon if nothing else comes along. According to Gartner, the company already has 20,000 data center customers. Dell’s PowerSwitch product supports its own NOS and third-party NOS including Cumulus and SONiC. More recently, Dell launched Apex, a set of managed storage, server and hyperconverged infrastructure that can be deployed in companies’ own data center, at edge sites or in colocation facilities, and companies pay for the capacity according to their needs.
Extreme Networks, focus sur l’IA/ML
This other competitor of Cisco has improved its offer lately. Extreme Networks celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. The company is doing well, as its flagship management platform ExtremeCloud IQ (XIQ) saw its subscription rate grow by 122% last year. Like other rivals on this list, Extreme Networks is betting heavily on AI/ML technology and the cloud to stay relevant in the networking market. More recently, it launched a new XIQ subscription called CoPilot that uses what the vendor calls Explainable AI (or XAI) to help network professionals understand network alarms and why they were generated.
Juniper Networks, a historic adversary
A long-time competitor to Cisco, Juniper recently stepped up a notch by acquiring Apstra and 128 Technology. The Apstra operating system gives Juniper an extra edge in the race for automated networks, in that it maintains a real-time repository of configuration, telemetry, and validation information to ensure the network is doing what customers want him to do. As for 128 Technology, its acquisition allowed Juniper to get its hands on Session Smart software which promises to reduce operating costs of SD-WAN and WAN networks by making intelligent routing decisions based on sessions and needs. applications on individual traditional tunnels. Combine that with Mist, Juniper’s AI-based management system, and its comprehensive suite of networking software and hardware, and Cisco is facing a formidable adversary.
HPE/Aruba, very active on SD-WAN
In 2020, HPE/Aruba took a big step into the SD-WAN market by buying network provider Silver Peak for $925 million. According to a 650 Group study cited by HPE/Aruba, the SD-WAN market will grow from $2.3 billion in 2020 to $4.9 billion in 2024 and HPE Aruba has every intention of being one of them. important actor. The competitor also recently launched its Edge Services Platform (ESP), which can analyze telemetry data generated by WiFi access points or network switching equipment and use it to automatically optimize connectivity, discover network problems and securing the entire edge environment. HPE/Aruba has the tools to continue to challenge Cisco.
Huawei, businesses as a priority
Huawei has a strong lineup of networking equipment and is a strong competitor for Cisco, primarily outside the United States. The company has been battered politically in recent years, and the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reportedly has no plans to end the ban on using Huawei in US telecommunications systems. . However, IDC recently noted that Huawei’s Ethernet switch revenue fell 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, but grew 4.8% for the full year. Huawei’s combined service provider and enterprise router revenue grew 7.1% in 4Q20 and 6.0% for the full year, leading to a market share of 32.9%, same as Cisco.
NetGear, still focused on VSEs-SMEs
NetGear may compete more closely with Adtran, D-Link, Dell and others, but the company has been in the networking market since 1996. In the world of small and medium-sized businesses, retail and of home networks, NetGear has managed to compete with larger players, including Cisco Meraki, with its wired and wireless products. According to experts, during the pandemic, NetGear has done well with the adoption of remote work.
Nvidia, a player that counts on the datacenter
The reason Nvidia makes this list of Cisco competitors is because in the past two years, few vendors have achieved data center breakthroughs as well as Nvidia. It’s true that the company’s networking portfolio isn’t as deep as Cisco’s or some of the other competitors on this list, but the company is doing everything it can to become a player that counts in the market. data centers. In an article in Network World last November, Nvidia’s goal was to build on its high-powered processor technology and, through innovation, high-profile acquisitions (Mellanox, Cumulus and Arm) and strategic alliances (VMware, Check Point and Red Hat), to offer a complete hardware/software offer that brings the power of AI to companies modernizing their data centers. Gartner believes Nvidia will target investments for large-scale environments and high-performance workloads, including 50/200/400 Gbps Ethernet and telemetry.
VMware, continuous scale-up
VMware and Cisco are fierce competitors in the SD-WAN arena and will remain so for the foreseeable future, as this technology underpins the emerging Secure Access Service Edge secure access services market and connects data systems. enterprise and multicloud. The two rivals have struck deals with major cloud providers – AWS in particular for VMware, which suggests that the competition between these two players will be even stronger in the future.