Enterprise Networking Week in Review: CEO Resignations, SDN and ADCs, Security and More

Jude ChaoThings change. People change. Hairstyles change. And while I can’t speak to hairstyle trends in the networking industry, I can say that the networking space is changing at just as rapid a pace as the rest of the world, as this week’s news amply demonstrated.

Juniper and Polycom Lose CEOs

First up: Two big CEO exits. Over at Juniper, five-year CEO Kevin Johnson announced his resignation during Juniper’s Q2 2013 earnings call. His resignation comes at a time of strong growth for Juniper’s enterprise switching business and struggle in its security business, as the prolific Sean Michael Kerner reported. Strong growth isn’t something unified communications vendor Polycom can claim, unfortunately. Not only did the company report a 4 percent year-over-year decline in revenue for the quarter, but it now finds itself in need of new leadership following the resignation of CEO Andy Miller after irregularities were found in his expense submissions.

OpenDaylight, Embrane, and Solarflare SDN News

There’s better news in the Software Defined Networking (SDN) space. The Linux-led OpenDaylight Project continues its march towards a December release that will include the fruits of 11 different projects, which Sean detailed in his OpenDaylight coverage earlier this week. Sean also found the time to write about networking startup Embrane. Embrane’s coming out with an approach to networking that embraces the application and overlay model, much like PLUMgrid’s and Cisco Insieme’s look set to do. And speaking of applications, Solarflare recently released its Flareon server adapters, designed to support application-centric SDN. I covered the announcement, along with Solarflare’s announcement of new OEM partnerships with HP and IBM.

ADC Product Announcements

This week also marked some announcements in the Application Delivery Controller (ADC) arena. F5 Networks reported its fiscal Q3 earnings this week, showing a 5 percent year-over-year gain generated in large part by F5’s ADC business. Sean reported that F5 aims to continue to drive that business with new software and hardware. A10 Networks, meanwhile, announced its latest entry into the ADC market with its expanded Thunder Series of “Unified Application Service Gateway” (UASG) appliances, which A10 described to Sean as offering a broader range of functionality functionality than ordinary ADCs.

Network Security News and Insight

Big changes seem afoot in network security now that Cisco has announced its intention to acquire Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) technology vendor Sourcefire for $2.7 billion. As Sean reported, the purchase will allow Cisco and Sourcefire to combine the best of both companies’ individual portfolios in an integrated security architecture.

Strong security is a must for any enterprise, of course, especially considering the high-profile breaches of recent years. Enterprises with very dispersed structures—lots of remote locations, branch offices, and franchises on their WANs—are especially vulnerable to attack. I spoke to Saylor Frase, president and CEO of managed network security services provider Nuspire, about how distributed enterprises can better secure their outposts.

Internet Speed and Data Traffic Numbers

None of this would be possible without the continued development and acceleration of the Internet, a hot topic this week with Akamai’s first quarter 2013 State of the Internet report. Internet speeds are, once again, up, with the U.S. third among the top ten broadband nations for average broadband speed. Sean has the details here.

All that growth is a good thing. As Art Cole wrote for his Data Center Blog this week, increased data traffic from the cloud and distributed data center architectures might put worldwide networking capacity in danger…if it weren’t for the even-faster increase in broadband performance. So our Internet speeds and our networks are safe for now.

That wraps up another week at Enterprise Networking Planet. Thanks for reading. Be sure to check back in with us next week as we bring you tips, reviews, how-tos, and the latest news from the enterprise networking world. And for now—happy Friday!

Jude Chao is executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Follow her on Twitter @judechao.

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