Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would have something in common with stock market watchdog theStreet. Much to my surprise, I do! TheStreet just came out with an article on the “5 Cisco Alternatives“, Juniper, Aruba, Polycom, Riverbed and Fortinet, all five of which Carousel represents, and I talk with customers about on a daily basis. TheStreet has noticed a trend that I have personally been seeing as well, “best of breed” is becoming more important than “brand name”.
TheStreet’s five technology picks to watch out for are Juniper Networks, Riverbed, Polycom, Aruba Networks and Fortinet. Carousel’s great relationship with these partners has given me the opportunity to be a part of small group trainings hosted by the different partners and learn more about their exciting growth and technology.
As demand on customers’ network becomes greater, customers are becoming increasingly impatient. A slow network is simply not acceptable. Andon Lucas and George Kaminski of Juniper have done a great job of getting the Carousel team excited about one of Juniper’s new QFabric technology, a platform that will simplify the network and make it run at a rate that will exceed customers’ previous expectations.
Arguably, one of the biggest game changers in the industry has been the entrance of tablets and smart phones in to the work force. Whether a company is providing these smart devices or consumers are bringing them into the workplace, the IT team must react and evolve with this trend. Enter Junos Pulse, another Juniper bleeding edge technology. Junos Pulse is the answer to the security question that has every corporate IT team biting their nails: How do we install corporate level security on these consumer items? Junos Pulse has security features such as remote wipe, gps, and secure VPN to ensure that these devices are not threats to the protection of corporate information.
However, security is not the only issue on the table when it comes to smart devices. Creating a network where tablet users can move throughout the workplace without connection interruption is now becoming a requirement. Aruba Networks has developed a “Mobile Virtual Enterprise” that answers this demand. The quick adoption of this technology has helped Aruba become the “biggest gainers”, according to Goldman Sachs’ recent IT spending survey.
The workforce is always on the move, they are also expected to be everywhere at once. While this is still impossible, Polycom is making it a little easier for employees to meet this expectation. Polycom is one of the most strategic corporations on the market, leveraging relationships with AVAYA, Juniper, and Microsoft to create a seamlessly integrated visual communications offering. I personally have seen more customers interested and excited in getting visual communications on to their network than any other technology. Enabling the workforce to be present without travel cost or time undeniably increases workforce efficiency. However, IT Directors must prepare themselves for the extremely high bandwidth demands that come along with it.
Enter Riverbed. Riverbed has been exploding in popularity as IT Directors are realizing that traffic and demand on their WAN is only going to skyrocket in the future, and adding more bandwidth is only a temporary fix that will have continuous cost. Riverbed changes and modifies the way traffic runs flows through a WAN allowing it to get there faster with a lower demand on the network. However, the technology does not just work to improve the WAN, their recent Steelhead hardware works to improve traffic flows to both public and private clouds.
Cloud and hosted technology is a great fit for many customers who don’t want to pay the upfront cost and liability of having the technology their company needs to run. However, allowing a free flowing pipe out of your company also has its repercussions. Unified Threat Management is becoming increasingly important as companies become more vulnerable with the increase of traffic in and out of their network. Fortinet has earned its position as the largest gainer in the IT security market because its sole focus is security.
These technologies have all earned the title of “best of breed” because they choose to focus on their market and improve vertically instead of trying to expand into unknown markets. Carousel recognizes these 5 companies, Juniper, Aruba, Polycom, Riverbed and Fortinet as the technologies available today that will help prepare IT Directors for the demands of the future. It is extremely exciting to have such close working partnerships with companies who are all technology visionaries.