The 2017 Magic Quadrant is out!

The Magic Quadrant for the Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure has been released by Gartner on October 17th:

THE VENDORS

Just like last year, the same companies have been identified as leaders: Cisco and HPE Aruba. To me, this is no surprising at all, they lead and dominate the market. However, we can note that they are positioned a little closer to the visionaries section than last year.

Talking about the visionaries, we can see that Extreme Networks is clearly catching up and getting closer and closer to the leaders. Gartner has recognized the successful acquisitions made by Extreme over the past few months. If you want to learn more about it, Rowell Dionicio and I recorded a Clear To Send podcast episode about it with Mike Leibovitz from Extreme.

Among the new comers, Mist Systems has been positioned as a visionary by Gartner. I believe this was expected knowing that the startup has been growing at a fast pace over the past couple of years. They also focus heavily on AI and, therefore, I am not surprised to see them as visionaries.

The appearance of Mojo Networks as a new comer is also interesting, I believe. Mojo decided to advocate the open networking standards and is actively part of the Open Commute Project. This has modified their business model and impacted the company in a good way. They also focus on AI and machine learning.

We can also note that Ubiquiti Networks is not included in this Magic Quadrant. Having following their progress on the Uni-Fi brand, I believe that they are offering good products. However, according to Gartner, they “do not currently meet our inclusion criteria, but they can address enterprise access layer connectivity in certain usage scenarios. In some cases, these vendors sell to customers outside the traditional IT organization”. I would be interested to see how the company reacts to this MQ knowing the difficult times that they are experiencing right now.

THE FUTURE

The trend is clearly around software defined networks, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Gartner believes that more and more automation will happen at the access layer of our networks. Here is their prediction: “By 2022, more than 60% of IT organizations will use access layer network automation, up from less than 5% today.

Earlier this year, the Mobility Field Day 2 outlined this trend with presentations from vendors such as Mist SystemsMojo NetworksCape Networks and Nyansa.

I believe that, as Network Engineers, we need to prepare for the future and learn more about network automation, scripting and programming.

RESOURCES

If you want to read the full Gartner report, you can get a free copy of the report if you visit Aruba’s website at http://engage.arubanetworks.com/LP_CP_Aruba_510354404_Gartner-Report-ROMA2057.

These were my thoughts on the new 2017 Magic Quadrant. As a Network Engineer, do you trust the Magic Quadrant? Or do you think that vendors are lobbying Gartner in order to get a better spot on the Magic Quadrant?

Thank you for reading!

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