In today’s hyper-connected world, companies depend on stable and reliable networks. Indeed, the consequences of unreliable networks are grave, with Gartner estimating that the cost of network downtime averages about $5,600 per minute.
Today’s top networking companies deliver fast and reliable connectivity for end-users and applications. They help businesses avoid network downtime and inefficiencies that may lead to ineffective and unavailable business processes and outcomes. Networking companies help enterprises keep up with the complexities of evolving network architectures. They also provide the network resources to allow enterprises to innovate and gain competitive advantages over their competitors.
The tools of enterprise networking provided by networking companies include networking hardware and software, wireless, WAN and security solutions. These critical tools help companies reduce their costs, ease management of the enterprise, bolster security and improve overall productivity and performance.
- How to Choose a Networking Vendor
- Juniper Networks
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise (Aruba Networks)
- Riverbed Technology
- Extreme Networks
- Palo Alto Networks
Also see: Top WAN Providers and Vendors
To ensure that you have the right vendor for your networking use cases, there are a few factors to consider:
Does the technological flexibility the vendor promises align with your existing infrastructure and business processes? Will the solution make your processes more flexible or will it inadvertently restrict them? Assessing how well the prospective solution fits your environment is a crucial factor in assessing the viability of a vendor.
Budget and Cost
Considering the cost of the products and services of a prospective networking vendor against similar vendors gives you a rough understanding of how much you can spend on these products and services. This allows you to compare these costs against your budget and compare the pricing models of the vendors to figure out which vendor’s models best work within your budget to realize the most value.
In particular, is the vendor flexible on cost? With networking costs so high, vendors are sometimes willing to compromise on the price of the solution.
The long- and short-term plans of the vendor will affect the quality of their products and services. Which in turn will affect your business outcomes.
As a result, your goals need to be aligned with those of the vendor. For example:
- What is the technical level of various teams in your enterprise?
- How does the vendor meet and improve any technical gaps?
- How does the vendor handle customer support?
- How scalable are products and services?
- How does the vendor plan on improving and future-proofing the product or service?
- Do they satisfy industry standards?
- How healthy and secure is the ecosystem they offer?
- Who are the vendor’s partners?
Also remember: a service-level agreement should comprehensively help you gauge aspects of your alignment with a prospective vendor.
Also see: Top Managed Security Service Providers
Top 10 Networking Companies
Arista Networks provides data-driven, client-to-cloud networking to large data centers and routing and campus environments. Arista offers availability, automation, security and agility through its platforms’ advanced network operating stack. It serves clients in markets like enterprise, finance and cloud service provision. Arista’s software and routing solutions for monitoring and network detection and response are comprehensive.
Arista reinforced its real-time monitoring and visibility as well as its network detection and response capabilities through the acquisition of Big Switch Networks and Awake Security in 2020, respectively.
Cognitive campus – Arista uses a data-driven model coupled with a dashboard for both the wired and wireless edge for next-generation zero-touch campus deployments to support elastic workplaces and drive multifaceted visibility for OT and IoT applications. Cognitive campus has three principles; the Universal Cloud Network, the Cognitive Management Plane, and Securing the Campus.
Electronic trading – The company provides distinctive, composable low-latency financial services solutions. It has a variety of products enhanced for the needs of finance and trading environments, whether at the back office or the exchange edge. Arista’s 7130 Series enables solutions span from a single device to large scale-out environments.
Data-driven cloud networking – Arista takes an open approach to cloud networking around the Arista EOS network stack, network data lake architecture (NetDL) and a consistent software platform. It also applies AI and ML to security and automation challenges.
Cisco is an industry leader whose products and services cover three market segments: service provision, enterprise, and small and midsize businesses.
Its IT products and services span five key technology segments: networking, collaboration, security, data center and IoT. Cisco has decades of networking technology experience. It is also one of the largest vendors of networking hardware, software and telecommunications equipment globally.
Constant innovation – Cisco cements its position as an industry leader through its perpetual innovation in the space. It constantly evolves how networks are built to optimize operational agility for its clients and to provide them with a competitive advantage to future-proof their infrastructure. Cisco offers its clients the ability to scale, meet the requirements of high-demand networks and simplify their network stacks through products such as Cisco Silicon One, Cisco Optics, and Cisco IOS XR.
Networking as a service (NaaS) – Cisco’s NaaS is a notable enterprise networking service as it provides compute, storage, applications, security and networking to its customers through easy-to-use unified subscriptions. This service allows users to purchase enterprise network hardware-on-demand.
Cisco Digital Network Architecture – Cisco DNA Center empowers users to take control of their networks, lower their IT spending and optimize their network investment through an effective network controller and management dashboard. Its 3 building blocks are DNA Center, SD-Access, and SD-WAN. Cisco’s SD-WAN solution facilitates cloud and digital transformation as a cloud-delivered overlay WAN architecture. It is offered on physical, virtual and cloud platforms.
Juniper Networks provides AI networking, cloud and connected security solutions. The company has a focus on smart automation empowered by a single operating system and simplifies the full stack of IT networking requirements for its clients. It is also a vendor for IT networking products such as routers, switches, and IT security toolkits.
Mist Cloud and AI – To enable users to transform IT using AI-driven operations and support, Mist AI combines AI, ML and data science. This combination optimizes user experience and eases operations across SD-WAN, wired access and wireless access domains.
Juniper Connected Security – Juniper extends security to all points of connection across the whole network to safeguard applications, users, and infrastructure. The company builds security into the same infrastructure that provides connectivity and extends across all points of connection to offer security that is invisible to end-users.
Enterprise WAN – Juniper enterprise WAN solution enables customers to smoothly transition to flexible, secure, resilient and automated modern architectures. Juniper offers a complete enterprise WAN solution that tackles WAN aggregation and backbone, multi-cloud connectivity, data center interconnectivity and the internet edge.
NVIDIA has always been a fabless semiconductor company that creates graphics processing units for professional and gaming markets as well as system on a chip units for automotive and mobile computing markets. However, its acquisitions show that NVIDIA aims to evolve into a leader in AI deployment in enterprise data centers. Cumulus and Mellanox are examples of these acquisitions.
Cumulus Networks – Acquired by NVIDIA, Cumulus develops network software for data center networking hardware. Its products include Cumulus Linux and NetQ. Cumulus Linux is a system enabling enterprises to affordably create networks and use standard hardware components. Cumulus NetQ offers users holistic, real-time visibility into overlay and underlay networks. It also generates insights into data center health.
Mellanox – NVIDIA acquired Mellanox to leverage end-to-end network management solutions for analytics, monitoring, management and visibility from the cloud, to the data center and the edge. This is realized through the NVIDIA Mellanox Unified Fabric Manager and NVIDIA Mellanox NEO products.
VMware is a leading multi-cloud service provider for all applications, granting enterprises greater digital control and innovation abilities. VMware leverages a Virtual Cloud Network to provide enterprise networks with greater flexibility. The Virtual Cloud Network allows enterprises to operate using the network-as-code model of the public cloud to introduce public cloud flexibility to enterprises’ private clouds.
Cloud-scale networking – The Virtual Cloud Network connects and protects applications across customers’ data center, bare metal, container, and multi-cloud infrastructure. It is built on VMware NSX, which is a comprehensive L2-L7 networking and security virtualization platform that offers stable, pervasive connectivity for applications and data across users’ clouds.
Intrinsic security – VMware provides what it call intrinsic security to protect enterprises and respond to threats across clouds and endpoints. This technology offers service-defined firewalls built into the hypervisor to safeguard east-west traffic. VMware achieves this by leveraging deep workload behavior visibility and stateful L2-L7 protection.
End-to-end analytics – VMware NSX Intelligence is a distributed analytics engine that empowers users’ teams to ease compliance, improve security posture and optimize security operations.
Aruba Networks, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, offers enterprises the technology they require to secure, manage and operate their network efficiently for all their users and devices. Aruba Edge Services Platform (ESP) is a cloud-native platform that secures, automates and accelerates digital transformation initiatives that aim to make edge data more impactful to business outcomes and improve operational efficiencies.
Unified infrastructure – HPE and Aruba provide a unified infrastructure to provide customers with context visibility and the ability to control all domains. This infrastructure simplifies and improves users’ IT operations.
Edge to cloud security – Aruba offers security built on SASE and Zero Trust frameworks to ensure security for IoT, mobility, cloud and remote workers. Zero Trust with Dynamic Segmentation sets role-based IT access permissions implemented by the network infrastructure using user and device identity.
AIOps – HPE and Aruba offer AIOps that promises to lower the mean time to resolution by up to 90%. Aruba Central gives users access to services such as location-aware technology and management orchestration.
Riverbed Technology develops applications, networks, data centers, remote offices and the cloud. The firm offers intelligent optimization, visibility, and simplified control across all applications. It has solutions in network performance, hybrid work, network transformation, and digital experience management among others. Riverbed helps IT teams securely and cost-effectively transition to digital and cloud technologies.
Technology alliances – Riverbed provides its technology partners access to an ecosystem of 28,000 customers and thousands of resellers to offer highly innovative and integrated products and solutions for not only its customers but its partners’ customers too.
Acceleration solutions – Riverbed’s acceleration solutions accelerate apps and services across digital enterprises to help IT teams keep digital services secure, high-performing and accessible for users. The end-to-end acceleration portfolio includes cloud, SaaS, client, eCDN accelerators as well as WAN Optimization and SD-WAN.
Alluvio Unified Observability portfolio – Alluvio Unified Observability unifies data, actions and insights to empower IT teams to provide seamless end-to-end performance and digital experiences.
Extreme Networks provides software-driven networking solutions that assist IT departments in achieving business outcomes such as stronger connections with employees, customers and partners. Extreme helps enterprises optimize their networks by reaching users wherever they are, to ensure business continuity and accelerate innovation. It delivers analytics, routing, security and switching solutions, among others.
ExtremeCloud IQ – ExtremeCloudIQ helps business and IT teams avoid repetitive and time-consuming operational tasks and improve their efficiency by streamlining every facet of their network, from deployment to maintenance. Authorized users enjoy security, performance and health visibility for all users and devices. ExtremeCloudIQ also provides unified policy management for thousands of sites and devices as well as insights derived from machine learning to provide network health KPIs.
ExtremeCloud SD-WAN – ExtremeCloud SD-WAN is a secure and cost-effective SD-WAN solution that connects customers’ applications and users while optimizing performance and agility. The solution reduces management complexity through unified management and information security and the total cost of ownership.
Fabric Connect – Extreme offers Fabric Connect as a new approach to designing, building and operating networks while satisfying the scalability, agility, resilience and overall network security demands of today’s modern enterprises. This enables not only faster deployment of applications but also improved security and stability.
Palo Alto Networks is a leader that delivers innovation to support secure digital transformation. The company offers visibility, flexibility, automation and trusted intelligence to help organizations securely carry out their processes. Palo Alto Networks’ extensive cloud security platform Prisma Cloud incorporates acquisitions such as RedLock, Zingbox, CloudGenix and Aporeto to deliver security all through the application lifecycle.
Prisma Access – Palo Alto Networks is a top vendor in cloud-delivered network security via Prisma Access, which allows users to deploy SASE solutions, secure their organizations and devices as well as control data from anywhere. Prisma Access is purpose-built for SASE as it proves to be a complete SASE solution when combined with Prisma SD-WAN.
Next-Generation Firewalls – Machine learning-powered next-generation firewalls are standout Palo Alto Networks products. They use deep learning to stop threats in real-time. They implement Zero Trust across the network security stack and deliver more significant visibility and compliance enforcement for IoT devices.
Netscout aims to secure and assure the performance of the digital ecosystems of its customers across applications, clouds as well as data centers. It uses its patented Smart Data technology and continuous monitoring to pierce through countless layers of applications, services and hybrid cloud servers that weaken its customers’ digital architectures. Netscout boasts best-in-class technology partners such as Google Cloud, Palo Alto Networks, AWS, Cisco and more.
Software-defined networking – Netscout helps customers maintain high-quality standards and ensure business continuity throughout their software-defined networking (SDN) transformation by closing visibility gaps. Netscout’s SDN solution delivers real-time performance, improved user experience, insight into application dependencies and lower mean time to recovery. The nGeniusONE platform offers end-through-end visibility into business services.
Network performance management in complex environments – Netscout enables enterprises to solve their network challenges today in areas such as network performance, capacity/bandwidth planning and quality of service. nGeniusONE helps to optimize performance and minimize disruptions while nGeniusPULSE helps to ensure high-quality end user experience.