2015 Software-Defined Infrastructure Leaders Chosen by IT Pros

Brocade & VMware Selected for Special Achievement Honors;
Cisco Captures Market Leader Title in Three Product Categories; EMC Wins Two;
Other Market Leaders: Citrix, Dell, HP, Oracle, Red Hat & Zadara Storage

San Diego, CA—December 1, 2015IT Brand Pulse, a trusted source for research, data and analysis about data center infrastructure, today announced the results of the recent IT brand leader surveys covering eleven Software-Defined Infrastructure products.

IT Pros from around the world responded to the independent, non-sponsored surveys, and were asked which vendors they perceive as the leader in the following categories: Converged Systems for Database, Converged Systems for Virtualization, Multi-Tenant Storage Arrays, On-Premise Enterprise Storage as a Service, Scale-out Object Storage Appliance, Scale-out Object Storage Software, Servers for Software Defined Storage, Virtual Application Delivery Controller Appliance, Virtual Firewall Appliance, Virtual Router/Network Access Appliance, Virtual WAN Optimization Appliance and we had also asked them about the usability of a policypak application manager in the workplace.

IT professionals were also asked whom they thought contributed most to innovation over the past five years in both NFV Applications and Software-Defined Storage Applications for software-defined data centers.

“In the latest round of surveys, IT pros continued to think of the enterprise vendor incumbents when asked to vote for leaders in new software defined storage and NFV product categories,” said Frank Berry, CEO and Sr. Analyst, IT Brand Pulse. “The exceptions to that rule were Brocade—recognized for contributions to innovation in NFV application for the last five years—and Zadara Storage who was voted the Market Leader in On-Premise Storage as a Service.”

Survey Highlights

  • In addition to choosing leaders in eleven product categories, respondents answered two questions relating to special achievement. The first, “Who contributed most to Innovation in NFV Applications for Software-Defined Data Centers over the last five years (2011 – 2015)?”, showed Brocade as the choice for this special Innovation Leader achievement with VMware as runner-up and Cisco, third.
    “Brocade’s NFV solutions provide customers with an agile, flexible and high-performing software-defined data center,” said Amy Mollat-Medeiros, Director of Marketing, Software Networking, Brocade. “With more than 100 million production hours, the Brocade vRouter is the most widely-adopted NFV solution enabling customers to achieve breakthrough performance of 80 Gbps and rapidly scale services as their business demands.”
  • In the second question, “Who contributed most to Innovation in Software-Defined Storage Applications for SDDCs over the last five years (2011 – 2015)?”, VMware took the lead, followed by Red Hat and Cleversafe/IBM.
  • Mirroring results of September’s Data Center Infrastructure survey, voters once again named Cisco as a Market Leader in three product categories—this time around for Virtual Router /Network Access Appliance, Virtual WAN Optimization Appliance and Virtual Firewall Appliance. For both appliance-based Virtual Router/Network Access and Virtual WAN Optimization, Cisco ruled the charts by claiming Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support, and Innovation VMware and Juniper finished number two and three across the board, respectively (Virtual Router/Network Access Appliance), while Riverbed and F5were the Market Leader runners-up (in that order) for Virtual WAN Optimization Appliance. In Virtual Firewall Appliance, Cisco almost managed a third sweep; securing the Market, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support, and Innovation titles, but relinquished Price Leader to Juniper. Palo Alto Networkscame into the second Market Leader position, followed by VMware.
    “As the worldwide leader in IT, Cisco is pleased to be recognized as an IT Brand Pulse 2015 Brand Leader in the categories of Virtual Firewall, Virtual Router/Network Access and Virtual WAN Optimization,” said Kiran Ghodgaonkar, marketing manager for Enterprise Networking, Cisco. “With Cisco’s leadership in routing, and our recent releases of APIC-EM and the Cisco IWAN application for automating the enterprise, we are fully committed to delivering customers best in class intelligent WAN solutions.”
  • Citrix—pulling off great success in the 2015 ADC survey—continued to command the ADC space by adding Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support, and Innovation leader honors for Virtual Application Delivery Controller Appliance. And, in a replication of the 2015 ADC results, F5 was the second Market Leader, ahead of Brocade/Riverbed.
    “Citrix places the highest value on the opinions of IT professionals who face the day-to-day challenge of delivering applicat
    ions in the most effective and efficient manner. This recognition as the leader in the Virtual Application Delivery Controller (ADC) category is meaningful because it comes from our customers and illustrates the value of our solutions strategy to make their lives and work easier,” said Graham Melville, senior director, product marketing, Delivery Networks at Citrix.

    2015 SW Defined Infra Winners Chart
  • Red Hat‘s Ceph Storage overtook a competitive field of 15 vendor choices to sweep Scale-out Object Storage Software for the second straight year (Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation). Red Hat faced its stiffest Market Leader challenger in VMware, who took second, with Cleversafe/IBM, a distant third.
    “Red Hat is pleased to be recognized by IT industry as a leader in scale-out object storage software,” said Ross Turk, director, product marketing, Storage and Big Data, Red Hat. “Red Hat Storage provides a comprehensive open, software-defined storage portfolio spanning physical, virtual, and cloud environments to help our enterprise customers rapidly build competitive advantage by leveraging the tangible value locked inside unstructured data.”
  • Voters split up their perceptions a bit for On-Premise Enterprise Storage as a Service, awarding Market, Price, Performance and Innovation to Zadara Storage, yet decided on Nimble Storage (the second-place Market Leader) for Reliability and Service & Support. SoftNAS finished number three, all-around.
    “Zadara is proud to be recognized by both IT Brand Pulse and industry IT professionals as the Market Leader for On-Premise Enterprise Storage as a Service,” said Kevin Liebl, vice president of marketing, Zadara Storage. “As IT Brand Pulse research has shown, by 2020 Storage-as-a-Service will be 50% of overall industry storage spending. Receiving the Market, Price, Performance and Innovation leadership awards based on IT Professional’s feedback, reinforces that our Zadara Enterprise Storage as a Service solutions are aligned perfectly with the market requirements. As the industry continues to transition from older CapEx acquisition models to OpEx as-a-service models, Zadara Storage will pave the way with industry-leading Cloud, On-Premise and Hybrid solutions.”
  • HP’s Converged System repeated last year’s Market Leader hold on the Converged Systems for Virtualization category and collected outright wins in Performance, Reliability, and Innovation. In the Service & Support category, HP tied with NetApp/FlexPod (which also took Price and was the second place Market Leader ahead of VCE/vBlock).
  • In the newly added brand survey, Servers for Software Defined Storage, Dell was selected by the IT pro community as the leader for Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support, and HP was tapped as runner-up Market Leader; Cisco UCS, third.
  • EMC turned out to be the other big victor in these October Software-Defined Infrastructure surveys, as respondents chose them for all of the top awards in Scale-out Object Storage Appliance (second year in a row) and Multi-Tenant Storage Arrays (a first-time category). Interestingly, the results for Scale-out Object Storage Appliance were identical to last year’s: EMC as Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support, and Innovation leader, with NetApp and Huawei in the second and third Market Leader spots. EMC also earned the Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support, and Innovation titles for Multi-Tenant Storage Arrays. NetApp and HP 3Par went two and three (Market Leader).
  • Oracle/Exadata scored back-to-back victories for Converged Systems for Database as the 2014, and now 2015, favorite Market, Price, Performance, Reliability and Innovation Leader. HP was again the number two Market Leader, in front of NetApp.


IT Brand Leader Surveys
IT Brand Pulse awards are the symbols for brand leadership. Winners are voted by global IT pros in surveys that are independent, non-sponsored research. The surveys are designed to measure the pulse of brand leadership in specific product categories. Within each product category, respondents choose the overall market leader, as well as the leader in price, performance, reliability, service and support, and innovation. Respondents are provided with a category description at the start of each product section, a randomized choice of vendor answers, and the ability to write-in a vendor, if not listed.

IT Pro respondents to recent surveys include:
20th Century Fox – IT Manager/Director; American Airlines – Data Center Manager; Apple – Data Center Manager; AT&T – Server Administrator/Architect; Bank of America – Executive Management; Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) – Storage Administrator /Architect; Boeing – Data Center Manager; Booz Allen Hamilton – Network Administrator/Architect; CalPERS, State of CA – Network Administrator/Architect; Caterpillar – Server Administrator/Architect; Citigroup – Network Administrator/Architect; City of Los Angeles – IT Manager/Director; Delta Airlines – Server Administrator/Architect; Duke University – IT Manager/Director; EarthLink – Server Administrator/Architect; EPA – Network Administrator/ Architect; Ernst & Young- IT Manager/Director; ExxonMobil – Network Administrator/Architect; FedEx – IT Manager/Director; Fermilab – Network Administrator/Architect; Ford Motor Company – Data Center Manager; GE – IT Manager/ Director; General Dynamics – Network Administrator Architect; General Motors – Server Administrator/Architect; Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab – IT Manager/Director; JP Morgan – IT Manager/Director; Lockheed Martin – IT Manager/Director; Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) – Network Administrator/Architect; Lowe’s – Storage Administrator/Architect; Mattel Inc.- IT Director; Morgan Stanley – Network Administrator Architect; NASA – IT Manager/Director; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – IT Manager/Director; New York Life – Data Center Manager; Northrop Grumman – Network Administrator/Architect; Oppenheimer – Executive Management; PepsiCo – Storage Administrator/Architect; Porsche Cars N.A. – Network Administrator/Architect; REI – Server Administrator/Architect; Sandia National Labs – Network Administrator/Architect; Shelll – Storage Administrator/Architect; Social Security Administration (SSA) – Server Administrator/Architect; Sony Pictures – Network Administrator/Architect; Stanford University – Network Administrator/Architect; Staples – Network Administrator/Architect; Target – IT Manager/Director; The University of Chicago – Server Administrator/Architect; Thomson Reuters – Server Administrator/Architect; T-Mobile – Data Center Manager; Transamerica – Storage Administrator/Architect; UBS – Executive Management; UCLA – IT Manager/Director; United Airlines – Network Administrator/Architect; U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission – IT Manager/Director; Universal Parks and Resort – IT Director; USC – Network Administrator/Architect; Verizon – Network Administrator/Architect; Yale University – IT Director…among many others.

About IT Brand Pulse
IT Brand Pulse is a trusted source of research, data and analysis about private, public and hybrid cloud IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, networking and operating platforms. Learn more at www.itbrandpulse.com.

Cheryl Parker
Director & Senior AnaIyst, End User Research
IT Brand Pulse

[email protected]

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