Who are Juniper Networks' competitors

Competition for Cisco: These 10 companies stand up to the network giant

With a wide range of products and extensive financial resources, Cisco faces numerous challenges on all fronts that allow other network giants and even some smaller competitors to survive. [...]

It is no easy task to draw up a list of the most important competitors of the Cisco company, after all, the network company is now represented in several markets at the same time. So we tried to find companies that have either been around for a while or those that have developed the key technologies necessary to have a direct impact on the network giant. Because Cisco is now increasingly concentrating on software and security, this opens up completely new opportunities for its competition - the smaller companies also get a chance.

1. Arista

Since it was founded by Andy Bechtolsheim, David Cheriton and Kenneth Duda in 2004, Arista Cisco has been a thorn in the side. The company, led by former Cisco data center and CEO Jayshree Ullal, had sales of over $ 1.6 billion in 2017. His strategy of offering his EOS routing and switching system software as a white box has proven particularly popular with large cloud companies. Many believe that this strategy led Cisco to move its IOS XE and XR software in the same direction - an idea that was unthinkable a few years ago. Cisco and Arista are still fighting in court today over a patent lawsuit that Cisco filed in 2014.

2. Juniper Networks

Like Arista, Juniper has accepted the outcry of disaggregation and has successfully sold itself to large cloud providers. While the company competes successfully there, Cisco has outperformed it elsewhere, particularly in the security market, where Cisco has grown significantly over the past three years. Cisco and Juniper are currently actively fighting in the service / telco world, which has been a neck-and-neck race for years.

3. Huawei

Huawei is a 31-year-old company that - especially outside of the US - has been very successful in asserting itself against Cisco in the field of telecommunications and corporate networks. According to some analysts, Cisco and Huawei are currently battling for the Ethernet switching market. According to the American market research company IDC (International Data Corporation), Cisco’s Ethernet switching share rose by around 7 percent in the third quarter of 2017, while the market share rose to a full 57 percent over the same period. But Huawei presented itself at least as well: Their sales of Ethernet switches increased year-on-year in the third quarter of 2017 by 14 percent to a market share of around 8 percent - in contrast to the 7 percent in the third quarter of 2016.

4. Microsoft

Microsoft has competed with Cisco more than once for money in the field of unified communications software in the past few years. A March 2018 report by Synergy Research stated: “Cisco’s global market share was relatively stable over the four quarters of 2017, while Microsoft’s stock rose steadily over the course of the year. Cisco's market share exceeded Microsoft's in the first three quarters by one percentage point or more, but decreased significantly to less than one percentage point in the fourth quarter. ”According to Synergy, Cisco owes its leadership position to its dominant, location-based UC and its repositioning as Host / cloud provider. Microsoft is the leading host / cloud provider, but the market is more fragmented as there is no competitor who has acquired double-digit shares yet.

5. VMware

Cisco and VMware have worked together successfully on more than one occasion over the years. (Do you remember Virtual Computing, which Cisco and EMC / VMware teamed up to create virtual cloud computing packages?). In addition, Cisco expanded its ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) last fall to enable “tight integration between ACI-capable physical infrastructure and virtual VMware elements”. Also last year, VMware stated that it would no longer support third-party virtual switches - customers should only work with VMware vSphere products. This strategic decision on the part of VMware has strained the relationship between Cisco and other virtual switching companies such as HPE and IBM.

6. Extreme Networks

In the breakneck world of enterprise switching and routing, it's almost a statement that Extreme has held up so well in the market since it was founded in 1996. The years have certainly not been easy for the company, but last year it made an impression with the purchase of Avaya and Brocade. From the company side, it is said that in the future annual revenues in the vicinity of 1 billion dollars are expected and market shares will be taken over by Cisco.

7. F5 Networks

F5 Networks is also an old acquaintance in network technology and introduced its BIG-IP Load Balancer in 1997. Its heyday came when Cisco pulled out of the layers 4-7 load balancer market in 2012. At the time, Network World wrote: “[Cisco] was beaten by F5 and Citrix; Cisco is increasingly shifting these and other additional functions to its most important routing and switching products through software. "

8. HPE

Cisco and HPE probably rarely meet each other in direct disputes over customers, but HPE nonetheless remains an important player in the data centers of this time. In a report by the Synergy Research Group last year, “Cisco continues to control a third of the enterprise infrastructure market and, despite the many challenges, is in a league of its own. HPE is the only broad-based competitor who can challenge Cisco's dominance even though it does not compete with it in all markets. ”Synergy also stated that HPE has a clear lead in cloud servers and should not be underestimated Storage media competition as Cisco dominates networking and a growing line of server products.

9. Check Point Software

Gartner forecast global security spending in excess of $ 96 billion in 2018. This corresponds to an increase of 8 percent compared to the previous year, as companies have to invest more money in security due to the new data protection regulations. This gives them a huge impact on the mindset of their buyers, who now have to focus on new threats and the development of a digital business strategy in response. A market that Cisco hopes to dominate. However, many companies are orientating themselves differently - the long-term competitor Check Point is one of the oldest. The company has been a firewall and VPN market leader since 1993 and still has a solid balance sheet - and over 4,300 employees.

10. Cumulus Networks

Still young and privately owned, Cumulus entered the corporate, data center and cloud computing world in 2010 and made a name for itself with an open source operating system for any hardware. Since then, it is said to have had more than 1,000 customers using Cumulus Linux. Forrester Research wrote of the company: "Firms building both their data center and operations on Linux should shortlist Cumulus Networks to capitalize on their efficiencies with a consistent development approach." Cumulus Networks debuted in 2017 at Gartner Magic Quadrant in Data Center Networking in the Visionaries Quadrant.


* Michael Cooney is a freelance digital journalist. His article appeared in Network World.

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