ENP Guide to the Top Networking Equipment Vendors [PLACEHOLDER]


Networking is fundamental to the operation of all modern enterprises. Simply put without networking equipment and the vendors that build it, there is nothing for applications to run across, no “pipes” to connect end users or to reach the cloud.

Networking hardware is in a very real sense the core foundation on which all other modern IT rests.

Networking Equipment

Modern networking encompasses a number of different areas with all manner of different equipment.

Since the beginning of the internet era, routers and switches have enabled all networks and that will remain the case for generations to come. Originally routing and switching was done entirely in hardware, but that is no longer the case. Hardware routers and switches are now also available in virtual appliances providing different modalities for enterprise deployments.

While routers and switches provide and enable connectivity, there is also often a need for other classes of devices that are also part of the networking topology including security devices, application delivery controllers (ADCs) and acceleration/optimization technologies. There is also a growing market for software defined technologies including Software Defined Networking (SDN) which disagregates networking hardware from the software that runs on it. As well, there is Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) which aggregates multiple public internet links to create a more robust WAN, that is cheaper than MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching). Managing networks, with visibility and monitoring tools is another key area of modern networking.

Enterprise networking is vast landscape, and when considering the top networking vendors, Enterprise Networking Planet is starting with networking hardware vendors including routers and switches for the basis of the list, with more specific vendor lists and product overviews to come in the weeks and months ahead.

Top 10 Vendors (in alphabetical order):

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE)Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

Company Profile

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) got its start as the enterprise networking division of Alcatel-Lucent, which was formed in April of 2006 as a merger of French telecom vendor Alcatel and US.-based Lucent. Lucent itself was a spinoff from AT&T’s Bell Labs division in 1996.

ALE was spun out from Alcatel-Lucent in October 2014 to China Huaxin, in a deal valued at $268 million, with Alcatel-Lucent retaining a minority stake. Alcatel-Lucent itself was acquired by Nokia for $16.6 billion in 2015, taking control of the remaining service provider assets.

Products Lines

ALE’s products include both networking and unified communications hardware and services.



OmniSwitch 9900

A modular SDN-ready LAN Switching platform


OmniSwitch 6350, 6450, 6560, 6860, 69000

Fixed configuration switches


OmniSwitch 6465, 6865

Ruggedized switches for industrial use-cases

Router (WAN)

WAN Access

OmniAccess Compact Enterprise Service Router

OmniAccess Modular Enterprise Service Router

OmniAccess Ruggedized Enterprise Service Router

WAN Core

IP MPLS Service Router Switches


Access Points

OmniAccess Stellar AP 1101, AP1201, AP1201H, AP1220, AP1230, AP1251


OmniAccess WLAN Controllers


Enterprise Networking Planet coverage of ALE


Company Profile

Arista Networks was founded in 2004 under the name Arastra and renamed itself Arista in 2008. The company had its IPO on the NYSE in June 2014 and trades under the symbol: ANET. From 2014- 2018, Arista was locked in multiple legal battles with Cisco over patent related issues. The patent dispute was settled in August 2018, with Arista paying Cisco $400 million.

Arista originally was focused solely on high-performance data center networks, but has expanded over the past year to include campus networks as well.

Products Lines

A unifying theme and technology across the Arista Networks portfolio is the company’s CloudVision capability which provides network-wide cloud automation and telemetry. Arista has also posted a quick reference guide to all of products that can be found here.


7500 Series

High Density 10/40/100 GbE Big Buffer, Lossless Modular Spine Switch

7320X Series

High Density Cloud Optimized 40/100 GbE Modular Spine Switch


High Density 10/40 GbE Modular Spline™ Switching


High Performance 10/40/100 GbE, Dynamic Deep Buffer, Universal Leaf and Spine

7260X and 7060R

High Performance 10/40/100/400 GbE Fixed Configuration Switches


Dense 10/40 GbE 2RU Spline platform


Multifunction Programmable Leaf and Spine Switches


High Capacity 10/25/40/50/100 GbE Programmable Leaf Switches


Ultra Low Latency 1RU Leaf Platform


1RU and 2RU 10/40 GbE Multilayer Leaf Switches


High Performance and Deep Buffer 1G and 10G Universal Leaf


High Performance and Power Efficient 1G Ethernet Switch


Cognitive WiFi

C-130, C-120, C-110, C-100, C-75

WiFi access points


ruggedized access point.

News Coverage:


Key Product Lines:

The Catalyst is Cisco’s primary campus switching branch, while the Nexus portfolio is aimed at data centers. On the routing side, Cisco has long had two primary products, the ISR (Integrated Services Router) and the ASR (Aggregation Services Router)

Cisco has also posted a quick reference guide to all of switch products here, and all of its routers here.


LAN Access Switches

Catalyst 9400, 9300, 3580, 3650, 2960

LAN Core & Distribution Switches

Catalyst 9500, 6800 Nexus 7000

Data Center Switches

Nexus 9000, 7000, 3000

Cloud Data Center Switches

Nexus 9500, 9300



ISR 800, 1000, 4000


ASR 1000, 9000

Service Provider Core

NCS 5500, NCD 6000


CSR 1000v, IOS XRv 9000


Indoor Access Points

Aironet 4800, 3800, 2800, 1850, 1830, 1815

Outdoor Access Points

Aironet 1570, 1560, 1552, 1540, 

Cloud-managed access points

MR53E, MR52, MR42, MR33

News Coverage:

Enterprise Networking Planet Coverage of Cisco

Dell EMCDell EMC

Company Profile

Dell EMC includes the combined networking assets of both Dell and EMC which merged in September 2016, bringing together the two companies enterprise assets. Dell’s networking assets had been assembled over the years both organically and via acquisition including the acquisition of Force10 in July 2011, while EMC was largely known as a storage networking vendor.

Dell EMC provides networking hardware and software for data center, campus and branch networks, primarily focused on Ethernet switching. Dell has increasingly taken an open approach to the software the runs on its networking hardware in recent years, using the branding “Open Networking” which enables organization to choose the operating system they want to run on network hardware.

Key Product Lines:

Data Center Switches, PowerEdge Modular System Switches, Campus Switches


Data Center Switches


High-performance, high-density 100GbE 

multi-rate aggregation switch


Fixed form factor switch for high-

performance data center and computing 



10/25/40/50/100GbE fully modular open 

networking top-of-rack switch


Programmable, high-performance open 

networking top-of-rack switch with 

native 25G server/ ports and 100G 

network fabric connectivity


High-performance switch with native 

25G ports and 100G fabric ports

PowerEdge Modular System Switches

MX9116N, Mx7116n, MX5108N

Fabric switching

Campus Switches

N4000 Series

High density, power efficient and flexible 1/10/40GbE switches for large enterprise campus distribution and small network cores.

N3000 Series

Power efficient and resilient 1/10GbE switches with advanced Layer 3 distribution and dense PoE+ for small to 

medium-sized businesses and office wiring closets.

N2000 Series

1/10GbE switches providing efficient Layer 2+ access for personal 

computers, entry-level servers and other network devices.

N1100 Series, N1500 Series

Fully managed 1/10GbE Layer 2 switching with Open Networking capabilities

X Series

Smart managed 1GbE and 10GbE switches designed for small and medium businesses 

that want enterprise-class network control with consumer-like ease

News Coverage:

Enterprise Networking Planet Coverage of Dell EMC

Extreme NetworksExtreme Networks

Company Profile

Extreme Networks has been (pardon the pun) extremely busy over the last few years adding new capabilities to its platform by way of multiple acquisitions. The company was founded back in 1996 and had its IPO in April 1999 on NASDAQ under the symbol EXTR.

In October 2016, Extreme Networks acquired Zebra Technologies for WLAN; in July 2017 Extreme acquired Avaya’s enterprise networking unit; in October 2017 Extreme acquired  the enterprise networking assets of Brocade. Over the course of 2018, Extreme Networks has integrated and consolidated its portfolio from all the different networking assets it has acquired. Extreme Networks provides technologies for both enterprise as well as service provider networks.

Key Product Lines:


VSP 8600, VSP8400, VSP8200, VSP 7200, VSP4000,

high-performance data center / campus switching platform


High-density, purpose-built 100Gb switches designed for high-performance enterprise core and cloud environments


40 GbE purpose-built top-of-rack switches designed to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet-enabled servers and emerging 40 Gigabit Ethernet-enabled servers in enterprise and cloud data centers


High-density, purpose-built 10Gb/100Gb switches ideal for aggregation and/or edge leaf applications.


The Extreme Switching S-Series is a versatile family of terabit-class modular switch routers for edge-to-core and data center

7100 Series

High-density, high-performance 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches optimized for high-bandwidth Top of Rack and edge applications


Modular data center solution.

8000 Series

For use at the edge of the most demanding enterprises switching Voice-over-IP (VoIP), video, wireless, and data traffic


SLX 9850

Modular Chassis –Data Center Spine, Super Spine, and WAN Edge Router

SLX 9640

Next-Generation High Performance Fixed Router

CER 2000

Fixed Form Factor –WAN Edge 1 RU router

MLX Series Router

Modular Chassis (4, 8, 16, 32 slot) with a wide range of 1/10/40 GbE


Access Points

AP3917, AP3935, AP3965, AP3915, AP3912

Enterprise-grade APs


C35, C5210, C5215

Wireless Controllers provide advanced functionality to allow organizations to define how wireless voice/video/data traffic is processed

News Coverage:

Enterprise Networking Planet Coverage of Extreme Networks


Corporate Profile

F5 Networks got its start in 1996 and unlike the other vendors on this list, F5 is not focused on switch and routing, but rather has long been focused on load balancing technologies, which today are more commonly referred to as Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs).

The basic promise of F5’s ADCs is to to help accelerate and secure application delivery across enterprise, service provider and cloud netowrks.

Key Product Lines:

The BIG-IP platform is F5’s primary product that is available in multiple modalities and form factors including the iSeries, Viprion , virtual edition and Cloud Editions.

BIG-IP iSeries

i15000, i11000,i10000, i7000,i5000, i4000, i2000

BIG-IP iSeries appliances deliver application services with quick and easy programmability, multi-vendor service orchestration, software-defined hardware, and line-rate performance.


4800, 4480, 2400 and 2200 chassis

VIPRION chassis and blades provide programmability, multi-vendor service orchestration, software-defined hardware, and line-rate performance.

News Coverage:



Corporate Profile

Juniper Networks was founded in 1996 and was initially focused on high-performance routing. The company expanded into enterprise  switches in 2008 and over the last decade has steadily grown its enterprise aspirations. Juniper is 2018 is focused on enabling multicloud networking, with a combination of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and intent, including both hardware and software assets.

Primary Product Lines:

EX and QFX series switches, MX routing platform, PTX Series Packet Transport Routers, T-4000 core router, Contrail SDN.


EX Series Access Switches

EX2200, EX2300, EX3300, EX3400, EX4200, EX4300

Fixed configuration 1GbE and multigigabit access switches that deliver enterprise network access and are available with PoE and Media Access Control Security (MACsec) encryption

Aggregation Switches

EX4550, EX4600, EX4650, 

Fixed configuration 10GbE aggregation switches for high-density enterprise campus deployments.

Core Switches

EX9200, EX9250

Flexible, high density enterprise campus core switching for mission-critical deployments.

QFX data center switches

QFX5100, QFX5110, QFX5120, QFX5200


MX Series

SDN-enabled routing platform

PTX Packet Transport Routers

Optical transport integration

ACX Universal Metro

MEF CE 2.0-compliant hardened routers address use cases of business Ethernet services, residential aggregation, small cell, mobile backhaul, and industrial field area networks.

T4000 Core Router

Multiservice core routing system 

News Coverage:

Enterprise Networking Planet Coverage of Juniper


Corporate Profile

Riverbed was founded in 2002 with primary focus on WAN optimization and acceleration. The company had its IPO in 2006 and was public until 2015 when the company was acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo for $3.6 billion. Riverbed itself has also grown via multiple acquisitions, most recently acquiring WiFi vendor Xirrus in April 2017.

Primary Product Lines:

SteelHead WAN Optimization appliances, SteelFusion Software-Defined Edge appliances, Xirrus WiFi


Xirrus XD4, XD2, XR-320

WAN Optimization

Steelhead CX,GX, SD

WAN optimization and acceleration hardware and software.


application performance management


Software-Defined Edge 



News Coverage:

Enterprise Networking Planet Coverage of Riverbed

Latest Articles

Follow Us On Social Media

Explore More