IT Pros Vote for 2014 Brand Leaders in Ethernet and Software Defined Data Center Categories

San Diego, CA – April 28, 2014 – IT Brand Pulse, a trusted source of research, data and analysis about IT infrastructure, today announced the results of brand leader surveys (conducted March 2014) covering Ethernet, SDN and one other product category. Survey respondents were asked which vendors they perceive as the leader in fourteen product categories: Ethernet Core Switches, Ethernet Top of Rack Switches, Enterprise Ethernet NICs, Enterprise Network OS, Ethernet Network Monitoring, SDN ASICs, SDN Monitoring, SDN Virtual Switch, SDN Switch, SDN Controllers, SDN Orchestration Software, SDN Platform, Layer 4-7 SDN Services Platform, and Software Defined Storage. The survey also included a “bonus” question asking which end user has led Ethernet innovation over the last 5 years.

“Since the spin-in of Insieme by Cisco, and the acquisition of Nicira by VMware, the two giants set out to win the hearts and minds of the IT community about software defined networking,” said Frank Berry, CEO and Senior Analyst at IT Brand Pulse. “The strong showing by Cisco and VMware in the 2014 SDN brand leader surveys indicate their marketing campaigns are working.”

Survey Highlights

  • For the fourth straight time, Cisco reigns as Market Leader in Ethernet Core Switches and adds to its crown this year, two new Market Leader titles:Ethernet Top of Rack Switches and Enterprise Network OS. In all three product categories, Cisco was named the overall winner for Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation. For Ethernet Core Switches, HP came in second in every category except Performance. Dell/Force10 followed behind HP as Market Leader. For TOR Switches, the results were the same: HP and Dell were second and third Market Leaders, respectively. Behind Cisco in Enterprise Network OS was Juniper, who took the runner-up position in every category (Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation) with HP capturing the third place Market spot.
  • Establishing early incumbency in the SDN space, Cisco swept all SDN ASIC, SDN Virtual Switch, SDN Switch, and SDN Controller leader awards (Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation). In the Market Leader category, Juniper was the IT pros second pick for both SDN ASICs and SDN Switch, while HP was chosen behind Cisco for SDN Controller. Big Switch finished in the number two Market Leader position for SDN Virtual Switch.
    “Cisco is pleased to be recognized across 7 categories for its brand leadership,”
    said David Yen, SVP/GM, Cisco Data Center Business Group. “With Catalyst, Nexus family switches, IOS, UADP, Nexus 1000V, OpenFlow enabled Nexus Switches and APIC, we offer network-wide visibility, programmability and flow control that is consistent across both physical and virtual environments, without compromising security and compliance. Cisco delivers software flexibility with the scalability of hardware performance helping customers build faster, cheaper & secure networks.”
  • VMware, the other multiple category winner in this survey, displayed its prominence yet again in an IT Brand Pulse survey as it captured Market Leader in four categories: SDN Orchestration Software, SDN Platform, Layer 4-7 SDN Services Platform, and Software Defined Storage. VMware controlled all of the leader titles (Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation) in every category but one (SDN Platform), where respondents instead voted Cisco as the Performance, Reliability, and Service & Support champion. Market Leader runners-up (shown as second and third place, respectively): Cyan and Huawei for SDN Orchestration; Cisco and Big Switch for SDN Platform; F5 and Citrix forLayer 4-7 SDN Services Platform; and in Software Defined Storage, NetApp and EMC.
    “We are pleased to be recognized by IT professionals as a market leader for innovative solutions including networking and software defined storage,”said Karen Steele, vice president, corporate marketing, VMware. “This recognition is a true testament to VMware’s commitment in delivering the Software-Defined Enterprise and providing new value to organizations by enabling IT to operate at the speed of business.”
  • For SDN Monitoring, Microsoft’s DEMON was the favorite among respondents for Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support andInnovation. While Big Switch’s Big Tap came in the backup position as Market Leader (and in Price, Performance and Service & Support), Arista’s DANZ product line filled in the third Market slot, but took second behind Microsoft for Reliability and Innovation.
    “Microsoft is honored to be acknowledged by our IT peers with the 2014 SDN Monitoring leadership award across all six categories,”
    remarks Brad Booth, Principal Engineer, Global Networking Services, Microsoft. “We demand unparalleled performance from our products and continuously strive to transform the world of software, cloud infrastructures and services by addressing the evolving technological challenges facing Software-Defined Networks (SDNs). We hope that by sharing our best practices, we will help to increase the performance and efficiency within the entire industry. In doing so, we can all achieve a higher level of satisfaction among our customers and partners.”
  • Another repeat winner in 2014 was SolarWinds–replaying its leader victory in every category for Ethernet Network Monitoring–Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation. In a field crowded with 17 vendor answer choices, the runner-up selection for Market Leader went to Cisco, ahead of Nagios, who was third.
    “SolarWinds strives to make IT Pros’ jobs easier through software that helps solve their day-to-day performance management challenges across applications and IT infrastructure ,” said Suaad Sait, executive vice president, product and markets, SolarWinds. “We’re honored to be recognized for the second year in a row as the IT Brand Pulse all-around leader in Ethernet Network Monitoring. The award is a welcome acknowledgement from the IT Pro community that we’re delivering on our promise to provide the most comprehensive and easy-to-use IT management product portfolio and, specifically, in this case our network management products.”
  • Intel, for the third year in a row, secured the prime honor in Enterprise Ethernet NICs, as well as nabbed four of the five remaining leader titles. IT professionals chose Intel for Market, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation awards, while giving Price Leader to Broadcom(who was the second place finisher in all other categories). Emulex rounded out the Market Leader top three.
    “Intel has been delivering leading-edge Ethernet solutions for over 30 years,” said Steve Schultz, Director of Marketing for Intel’s Networking Division. “Intel is honored to be recognized by our IT customers who value the focus on quality and extensive validation that we invest in our Ethernet adapters.”
  • IT pros also answered one bonus question added to last month’s survey:
    “Which end user has contributed most to Ethernet innovation during the last 5 years (2009-2014)?”  Google was tapped for this specialInnovation Leader achievement with 40.8% of voting; nearly double that of the next finisher, Microsoft, who received 21%. Amazon took in 17.3% of the responses; Facebook 8.6%, Apple 4.9%, eBay 2.5% and the final 4.9% of the voting spread around with various write-ins.

 About the Brand Leader Surveys

IT Brand Pulse awards are the symbols for brand leadership. Winners are voted by IT pros and the surveys 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 vendors answer, and the ability to write-in a vendor if not listed.

Respondents to our surveys have included (select list): AT&T – Server Administrator/Architect; Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) – Storage Administrator/Architect; Boeing – Data Center Manager; Booz Allen Hamilton – Network Security 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; Environmental Protection Agency – Network Administrator/Architect; ExxonMobil – Network Administrator/Architect; Fermilab – Network Administrator/Architect; Ford Motor Company – Network Administrator/Architect; 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 Manager/Director; Morgan Stanley – Network Administrator/Architect; NASA – IT Manager/Director; National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) – Network Administrator/Architect; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – IT Manager/Director; Northrop Grumman – Network Administrator/Architect; Oppenheimer – Executive/Management; PepsiCo – Storage Administrator/Architect; Porsche Cars North America – Network Administrator/Architect; REI – Server Administrator/Architect; Sandia National Labs – Network Administrator/Architect; Shell – Storage Administrator/Architect; Social Security Administration (SSA) – Server Administrator/Architect; Stanford University – Network Administrator/Architect; Staples – Network Administrator/Architect; Target – IT Manager/Director; The University of Chicago – Server Administrator/Architect; ThomsonReuters -Server Administrator/Architect; T-Mobile – Data Center Manager; Transamerica – Storage Administrator/Architect; UBS – Executive/Management; UCLA – IT Manager/Director; United Airlines – Network Administrator/Architect; Universal Parks and Resort – IT Manager/Director; University Of Michigan- Data Center Manager; University of Michigan Medical School – IT Manager/Director; University of Notre Dame – Storage Administrator/Architect; USC – Network Administrator/Architect; Verizon – Network Administrator/Architect; Yale University – IT Manager/Director…among many others…

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